Trinity Allie had gone to a bar in St. Petersburg, Florida to do what most people do when they go to a bar. She wanted to relax, unwind, have a few drinks and forget about the stress of everyday life. But all her hopes were dashed when a creepy guy started harassing her and her friend.
And then, a savior in the form of a bartender in a Hawaiian shirt stepped in to save the day. At first, Allie didn't understand why the kind bartender making her drink slipped her a note with her receipt, but as the night went on,
Florida Woman Goes Viral
Trinity Allie from St. Petersburg, Florida, has less than 5,000 followers combined on Twitter and Instagram, and yet, everyone’s flocking to her social media to write messages of support after she had a terrible ordeal at a bar.
They Went to the No Vacancy Bar
The social media user who identifies as Guyanese and Irish and an unnamed friend visited the No Vacancy Bar on Sunday, June 13, 2021, for some drinks and some laughs. But things didn’t turn out the way they expected.
No Vacancy Has Two Bars
Despite the name of the bar, No Vacancy gets packed in the evenings in both their indoor and outdoor bars where patrons get to enjoy frozen drinks and tropical tiki cocktails. But Trinity Allie and her friend didn't have such a good time after they had a rude encounter with a stranger.
Drunk Guys at Bars Are the Worst
Sadly, a few drunk guys at bars are under the mistaken impression that they have free reign to make lewd remarks or get touchy feely with women despite being told to leave. But there are some guys who haven’t had a single drink and they’re still horrible.
Unpleasant Encounters Are Quite Common
Most women have had at least one unpleasant encounter where some random guy tries to strike up a conversation or offer to buy them a drink expecting something in return. And while a few guys can tell when a woman is interested and when she’s not, some don’t know when to quit and move on.
No Means No
Trinity Allie and her friend knew they would have to deal with unwanted advances at the bar. It's sadly pretty much expected these days. But when someone says no, they mean no. But there was one guy who wasn’t taking no for an answer.
Her Amazing Evening Was Ruined
Her amazing evening was suddenly not even fun anymore because of an unnamed guy who wouldn’t stop harassing her. She tried to be nice because that’s how she was raised, but he wouldn’t take the hint.
She Looked for Help
She looked around to see if anyone could help, and at first, it seemed as though she and her friends were in deep trouble. But then, a hero came to her rescue and he wasn’t wearing a cape or a police uniform.
Her Bartender Gave Her a Clipboard Receipt
Just as all hope seemed lost, her bartender, Max Gutierrez, handed her and her friend something. At first, she was confused and then she realized it was a clipboard receipt. But she wasn’t ready to leave. Why had he given her this already?
There Was a Note on the Clipboard
She studied the clipboard carefully. It took her a second at first because there was a lot of loud music and loud patrons distracting her. Plus, she was tense from her encounter with the guy who wouldn’t leave her alone. But when she read what the note said, she sighed.
The Note Was the Best Offer She’d Gotten
Gutierrez had seen how the guy was behaving and he knew that Trinity Allie and her friend were in distress. So, he handed her a note that read: “If this guy is bothering you, put your ponytail on your other shoulder, and I will have him removed. He’s giving me the creeps.”
She Didn’t Follow the Bartender’s Instructions
She was relieved to know that Gutierrez was in her corner, but she didn’t do what he suggested on the note and move her ponytail to her other shoulder. Her friend didn’t do it either. Instead, they tried a different tactic.
The Creepy Guy Seemed to Lose Interest
The creepy guy appeared to leave them alone, but Trinity Allie and her friend decided to play it safe and move a couple of seats closer to where Gutierrez was. Then the creepy guy returned.
He Started Acting Erratic
The guy walked up to them, but he stopped and turned his back to them. Then, he turned again, but this time, he approached Trinity Allie like a stalker. In fact, he got so close and personal that the woman leaned forward in her chair. And that’s when Gutierrez the bartender decided that enough was enough.
Gutierrez Couldn’t Wait Any Longer
He kept waiting for the women to do that thing with their ponytails like he had suggested, but they didn’t. And yet, he couldn’t wait any longer. So, he stepped in for the second time that night. But would he be able to take this creepy guy out if he became aggressive?
He Couldn’t Rely on Security or Cops
Most people would say that in cases where there’s a difficult customer who could become aggressive, it’s always best to let security or the police handle the situation. But No Vacancy didn’t have a security staff at the bar and by the time the cops arrived, it might be too late for the two young women.
The Bartender Had to Act Fast
Unwilling to wait any longer, Gutierrez decided to take immediate action. So, he approached the guy and said, “You need to get … away from these girls who clearly are not interested.” But how did the guy respond?
There Was a Tense Moment Between the Men
There were a lot of ways that this situation could have gone wrong. The guy might have seen Gutierrez’s stance as aggressive and taken physical action. If that had been the case, then the bartender would have had no choice but to risk losing his job by defending himself.
It Was Like Being in a Western Movie
Trinity Allie and her friends felt like they were watching a Western with two cowboys, or in this case, a bartender and a creep, about to have a showdown. But this was real life and someone could get hurt. And while she didn’t wish harm on anyone, she was certainly rooting for the bartender.
The Bartender Fought Aggression With Aggression
The man was shocked by Gutierrez’s words and it took a moment for him to recover. Then, he replied: “That was a little aggressive.” And Gutierrez told him, “Well you’re aggressively hitting on them and you need to leave.”
Trinity Allie and Her Friends Were Grateful
Once the creepy guy finally left, Trinity Allie and her friends thanked Gutierrez for being their hero that night. And to make their evening a little more pleasant, the bartender decided to get them a round of drinks on the house. But she wasn’t done thanking her savior.
She Shared What Happened on Twitter
Trinity Allie had asked Gutierrez to pose with the note while she snapped a photo of him. When she got home, she thought about how heroic the bartender had been and she decided to share the story with her followers. Then, she shared the photo on Twitter along with an explanation of what had happened.
The Post Went Viral
So far, the photo has gotten over 221,000 likes, over 47,000 retweets and 642 comments regarding the bartender in the Hawaiian shirt who saved Trinity Allie and her friends from a patron who wouldn’t take no for an answer. But how did the bar’s owner feel about all this?
He Was a New Hire
Gutierrez was recently hired at No Vacancy, so he knew that what he did was going to either getting him the praise he deserved from his boss or it was going to get him fired. But his gut told him that he was going to be okay, and he was right.
His Boss Was Very Pleased
“He got a great reputation downtown, he was someone we were excited to bring on,” the owner, Stephen Schrutt, told 10 Tampa Bay. “He is a talented bartender, he is very experienced, but he also shows you the character on him. Those are the people that we always want.”
Schrutt Wishes He Had More Bartenders Like Him
Schrutt is the CEO and founder of Hunter Thirst Group, which owns various Tampa Bay bars in the area like No Vacancy as well as Park and Rec, and The Avenue. But there was only one Gutierrez, though he wouldn’t mind having one just like him in every establishment he owns.
Schrutt Wants Other Employees to Follow Gutierrez’s Lead
Schrutt explained that he intends to encourage his other staff to implement the same type of strategy that Gutierrez used to help Trinity Allie. “Take a page out of Max’s book. This is what it’s about,” Schrutt said. “You’re not just selling food and drinks, you’re making sure people are safe.”
Netizens Applauded the Bartender
A lot of netizens were impressed with Gutierrez’s quick thinking and the way he protected these women. One person wrote: “Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear Hawaiian shirts.” But how did he know that they were in danger?
He Was Good at Reading the Situation
Most bartenders would have a hard time spotting a bad situation in progress because bars can get pretty busy and crowded. But he claimed: "It's something you just pick up from mentor bartenders. Eventually, you become pretty good at reading people, body language, etc. This guy was giving off very weird vibes for quite a while, kept an eye on him, try to give him a chance, try to let the girl tell him no and leave it at that."
There Was Another Warning Sign
Gutierrez also noticed another warning sign that was a major red flag. The creepy guy had brought a dog with him to use as a conversation starter. But when Gutierrez noticed the guy putting his hand on Trinity Allie’s shoulder, he knew he had to step in.
He Wouldn’t Take No for an Answer
Gutierrez continued: "But he didn't take no for an answer and kept pestering them so eventually I kind of yelled at him and made him leave lol. I honestly don't like yelling at customers or embarrassing people, but I find it's one of the best ways to handle creeps. Calling them out in front of people is usually enough to get them to turn tail and walk away. I just don't need my guests feeling uncomfortable."
He Was Good at Recognizing Aggressive Flirters
He had identified the creepy guy as an aggressive flirter, who left without further incident. This was something Gutierrez felt that men like the creepy guy often do because they know what they’re doing in the first place and they don’t like it when their bad habits are brought to light.
He Made Women Feel Safe
Those who commended Gutierrez on social media were grateful that he was making the female customers at the bar safer and others shared their wishes that there were more bartenders like him around to keep others safe.
He Was the Perfect Example of a Great Bartender
Netizens continued to shower Gutierrez with praises. Some called him a “great bartender,” while others claimed they wanted to be friends with him because they felt they would feel safer at a bar if he was around.
He Needs a Raise
People also praised Trinity Allie for sharing her story of the bartender hero who swooped in to save her and her friend. And yet another netizen suggested that he get a bump on his pay and possibly a higher position at No Vacancy.
She Never Expected Gutierrez to Rescue Her
Trinity Allie told NBC’s News Channel 8 how annoyed she had been that the creepy guy kept rubbing up against her and wouldn’t leave her alone. And yet she never expected someone to come to her rescue the way Gutierrez had.
She Was Amazed by How Heroic He Had Been
“No bartender has ever stepped in for me and that’s why I thought it was so great and everyone should hear about it,” Trinity Allie explained with regards to why she tweeted the story as well as the photo of the bartender.
He Doesn’t See Himself as a Hero
“I see all the ‘hero bartender’ messages but I’m not a hero, I was just doing my job,” he told NBC’s News Channel 8. But as Trinity Allie also pointed out in the same interview, “You never know what could have happened,” she said. “Say he didn’t step in and this guy followed me and my friend out when we left.”
He Restored People’s Faith in Humanity
Gutierrez was very surprised by the way that his tactic became so popular with people in other parts of the world. He claims he has gotten messages from people who feel that his actions restored their faith in humanity.
She Hopes She Can Be More Like Him
Trinity Allie is also in the same line of business as Gutierrez. But even though she works as a local server, she has never been put in a situation where she has had to get as creative as he was to get a patron out of a bad situation.
The Creep Returned
Gutierrez replied to Trinity Allie’s tweet on June 15—just two days after the initial incident—to tell her that the creepy guy had returned to the No Vacancy and walked up to the bar. But what did the guy want?
Gutierrez Refused to Serve Him
Gutierrez wasn’t scared of the man, but he was surprised that he had come back after the way he spoke to him. He figured he was looking for an apology. Of course, he wasn’t going to get one. And when the bartender approached him, the creep asked for a drink, but Gutierrez claimed he didn’t serve him.
He Has Gained International Recognition
Meanwhile, Gutierrez has become somewhat of an international hero as word of what he did spread like wildfire. And in just a short amount of time, he has been approached by folks from the United Kingdom, Brazil, and even the Netherlands. But did he ever reunite with Trinity Allie?
Reunited With the Legend
Over a week later, Gutierrez and Trinity Allie reunited for the first time since the incident and of course, she posted the photo of herself at his side on Instagram, and they were both happy to see each other. “Reunited w/ the legend himself #maxthebartender back @ the scene of the crime,” she wrote on the post.
He Greeted Her With a Big Hug
When he saw her, the first thing he said to her was: “So excellent to see you!” Then he gave her a big hug and lifted her up in his arms. It was a beautiful moment for both of them. But some netizens questioned his motive.
Twitter Users Questioned His Motive
Some folks on Twitter claimed that Gutierrez pushed the creepy guy away so that he could move in and flirt with Trinity Allie instead. It was even suggested that he came across almost as creepy as the guy he threw out.
Some Felt She Should Have Fought the Creep Off
Others felt that Trinity Allie and her friend were not completely drunk. Therefore, they could have simply told the guy to leave them alone without the bartender getting involved in the first place. But Gutierrez set the record straight.
Gutierrez Stuck With the Story
Despite people’s claims that this situation was all set up to get likes and exposure on social media, Gutierrez claimed that was not the case. “This isn’t a conspiracy,” he explained. “We didn’t set anything up to become famous.”
Bartenders Are Familiar With Codes for Help
He did explain to WFLA 8 that he’s familiar with codes often used by customers to warn bartenders that they need help. For example, ordering an “Angel shot,” or saying “Hey, it’s a little warm in here, can your turn up the AC?”
His Technique Was a Spur of the Moment Thing
The technique he used to help Trinity Allie was something he had come up with in that moment. And although the women didn’t use it, his perseverance to watch over them worked. And now that his technique has gone viral, it might inspire other bartenders to use it to save another patron in distress.