Terry Moore, Bartender

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A Year in the Life

Terry Moore, Bartender

For bartender Terry Moore, the days just before the pandemic struck in March were spent going to concerts with friends and going to work at RL Restaurant in Chicago, where he’s worked for the past six years. But just days after being told to be mindful about washing his hands and not touching his face during service, the restaurant closed and Moore stayed home, until he returned to work in July.  

Looking ahead, he hopes to get vaccinated as soon as possible so he can travel more safely to see family and friends, and maybe even take a proper vacation. And, of course, experience live music with friends.  

“Collectively, we have all had a hard year, financially and mentally,” Moore says. “We, restaurant and bar workers, are doing our best to navigate through the constantly changing guidelines to provide the best service and experience to our customers, despite what personal hardships we may be dealing with outside of the workplace.” 

His story of the last 12 months follows.  

Start Gallery

March 2020: Dinner and drinks with St. Louis, Missouri-based bar industry friends at Izakaya Mita in Bucktown, Chicago, before everything changed. — T.M.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

April 2020: Shots with friends around the U.S. via Zoom. I live alone, so, pre-pandemic, I made sure to attend many live concerts and meet friends at bars to socialize. When the pandemic struck, I relied on watching livestreams on Twitch to maintain some kind of normalcy for real-time interaction. I would set up Zoom and Houseparty sessions to socialize with friends. My PlayStation 4 became my best friend when I wanted to play Uno, Poker, Call of Duty or NBA2K20 with some friends.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

May 2020: Dearborn Street bridge raised after a Black Lives Matter March in Downtown Chicago. Later, when I went back to work in July, I avoided public transportation and relied on my bicycle to commute to/from work, and then anywhere else. The city of Chicago is flat, so you can get mostly anywhere you need to go in under 30 to 40 minutes via bicycle.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

May 2020: Attending a Black Lives Matter march with friends.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

June 2020: A socially distanced celebration with friends for my 44th birthday. I formed a pod with a few friends to have socially distanced hangs on back decks, backyards, parks and bicycle rides around the city.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

July 2020: Arrachera and Mexican green onions on the grill.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

August 2020: Back to work behind the bar. I enjoy bartending and serving in the restaurant industry. I am hoping to do my part in revitalizing the bar and restaurant industry in Chicago post-pandemic.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

September 2020: My first real tattoo of a black panther at Brown Brothers Tattoo shop.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

October 2020: I voted early for the election.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

October 2020: And I had my first gin martini since the pandemic at LuxBar in Chicago.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

November 2020: Outdoor dining at RL Restaurant with my friend, Gideon Evans. When the weather got colder, we only had outdoor dining to keep us operating. Our team rallied together to provide the best outdoor experience to our customers considering the limitations of our restaurant space and the fickleness of Chicago weather. Surprisingly, we managed to maintain a steady business of regular customers to support our personal finances even through some cold inclement weather. Luckily, minus the huge snow storm in February, the weather somehow cooperated with our only option to provide outdoor dining only.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

December 2020: All of the major holidays were a blur, since spending time with my immediate family wasn’t much of an option, because they reside in different cities. Luckily, I had some friends from my college days drop off home-cooked holiday meals, so I didn’t feel too left out.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

December 2020: Working hard behind the bar.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

January 2021: Having some Korean rice cake soup (tteokguk) for good luck to usher in the New Year.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

February 2021: Donning PPE for airline travel. In February, my father was battling some complications from COVID-19, so my sister, niece, and I went to visit him in Houston once he was released from the hospital. Luckily, he’s doing much better than the initial diagnosis.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

February 2021: Reunited with my niece in Houston.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

March 2021: My second tattoo at Brown Brothers tattoo parlor in tribute to the late MF DOOM.

Photo Courtesy Terry Moore

Read More Stories From Resy's Special Project: A Year in the Life of Restaurant Workers

A Year in the Life

Terry Moore, Bartender

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