Is it okay to reach behind the bar for a straw, napkin, or lime?

If you’re sitting at a bar, is it ever acceptable to reach into the bartender’s work station and grab a napkin, straw or even a lime? Rarely, writes the Takeout columnist known as The Salty Waitress. “If it’s going to touch someone’s mouth, hands off. That means you should never reach for the lime wedges, orange wedges, lemon twists, maraschino cherries, stuffed olives, herb garnishes, or straws behind the bar,” she writes. “The gray area, though, includes non-mouth-touching stuff like coasters and napkins. Bartenders are usually okay with you helping yourself to one of these if you need it, but they’d really rather just get it for you. If you’ve spilled something, few bartenders would fault you for grabbing a couple cocktail napkins when time is of the essence.”

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