A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 28, 2022
“Waiter, I’d like a bottle of wine.” / “What year, sir?” / “Right now.”

Restaurant waiters sometimes ask their customers what year they want their wines from, and there’s a popular joke that has been featured in comic strips. The misunderstanding customers usually demand the wine “now.”

“Fellow dining at La Popette ordered a bottle of wine. Asked what year he said ‘Now’” was printed in the Daily News (New York, NY) on April 16, 1966. “Dialogue at The Grenadier: ‘And waiter, I’d like a bottle of wine’ ... ‘Yes, sir—what year?’ ... ‘Well, I’d like it right now’” was printed by syndicated New York City entertainment columnist Earl Wilson in the Lubbock (TX) Avalanche-Journal on January 5, 1973.


Newspapers.com
16 April 1966, Daily News (New York, NY), “Dream Street” by Robert Sylvester, pg. C16, col. 1:
Fellow dining at La Popette ordered a bottle of wine. Asked what year he said “Now.”

Newspapers.com
5 January 1973, Lubbock (TX) Avalanche-Journal, “In New York” with Earl Wilson, pg. 10-D, col. 5:
Dialogue at The Grenadier: “And waiter, I’d like a bottle of wine” ... “Yes, sir—what year?” ... “Well, I’d like it right now.”

Newspapers.com
11 May 1978, Leicester (UK) Mercury, “View point” by Joan Stephens, pg. 6, col. 5:
FOLLOWING my recent article on wine, a colleague related the story of a customer in a restaurant who asked the waiter to bring him a bottle of red wine with his meal.

“What year sir?” asked the waiter.

“What year?” repeated the customer indignantly. “I want it NOW.”

Newspapers.com
17 March 1983, Philadelphia (PA) Daily News, “By Larry Fields, pg. 43, col. 2:
This guy was dining last night at Franchin’s, the restaurant on Rt. 70 and the Racetrack Circle in Cherry Hill, N.J., and he said, “Waiter, I’d like a bottle of wine.” The waiter asked, “What year, sir?” The guy sighed, “I’d like it now!”

Newspapers.com
15 May 1984, The Sun (Flagstaff, AZ), “Hi Neighbor” by Burl L. Lyons, pg. 4, col. 2:
This couple were having dinner in a fine restaurant and the man asked the waiter to bring a bottle of red wine.

“What year?” asked the waiter.

“Right now, we want to have it with our dinner.”

Google Books
The Reader’s Digest
1984
Pg. 20:
RESTAURANT PATRON: “Waiter, I’d like a bottle of wine.”
Waiter: “What year, sir?”
Patron: “Well =, I’d like it right now.”
-- Earl Wilson, Field Newspaper Syndicate

Newspapers.com
11 August 1984, Today (Cocoa, FL), “Scramlets” puzzle, pg. 5D, col. 5:
Customer: “I’d like a bottle of wine.”
Waiter: “Certainly. What year?”
Customer: I’d like it RIGHT NOW.”

Newspapers.com
2 April 1985, Muscatine (IA) Journal, “Thru Ethel’s Window” by Ethel Hanft, pg. 3B, col. 1:
Diner. “I’d like a bottle of wine.
Waiter. “What year?”
Diner. “Now.”

Newspapers.com
27 September 1985, Current-Argus (Carlsbad, NM), “Bottoms Up!” by Jack Trice (ad for Variety Package), pg. 9, col. 6:
My wife and I were having dinner in Albuquerque and playing the part of wealthy tourists she asked the waiter for a bottle of wine. “What year madam?” asked the waiter. “Well we’d kinda like to have it tonight coz we have to be home tomorrow night,” she said.

Newspapers.com
5 January 1986, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), “Funnybone,” Sunday magazine, pg. 21, col. 2:
A restaurant customer decided to order a bottle of wine with his dinner.

“What year?” asked the waiter.

“What year?” the customer asked, surprised. “I would like to have it right now.”
Mrs. Leroy Logsdon, Bardstown, Ky.

Newspapers.com
7 April 1989, The Island Packet (Hilton Head, SC), “Hägar the Horrible” comic strip by Chris Browne, pg. 5-C, col. 4:
Hägar the Horrible: I WANT A BOTTLE OF WINE
Waiter: WHAT YEAR?
Hägar the Horrible: THINGS COULD BE PRETTY NASTY IF I DON’T GET IT THIS YEAR

Google Books
3650 Jokes, Puns, and Riddles
By Charles Foxgrover, ‎Anne Kostick and ‎Michael J. Pellowski
New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
1998
Pg. 151:
Diner: Waiter, bring me a bottle of wine, please.
Waiter: What year?
Diner: This year! We’d like to drink it with our dinner!

Newspapers.com
11 March 2000, News Journal (Mansfield, OH), “Wizard of Id” comic strip by Brant Parker and Johnny Hart, pg. 7D, col. 1:
Bar Customer: I’D LIKE A BOTTLE OF WINE
Bartender: WHAT YEAR?
Bar Customer: WHAT YEAR? I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!
Another Bar Customer: YOU’RE NOT A CONNOISSEUR ARE YOU?

Twitter
Ice Bear
@ice_bear1307
Replying to @stfuxavia
Restaurant patron: “Waiter, I’d like a bottle of wine.”
Waiter: “What year, sir?”
Patron: “Well, I’d like it right now.”
1:32 AM · Nov 26, 2021·Twitter Web App

Reddit—Jokes
Posted by u/ApollosBeard961 August 27, 2022
Restaurant patron: “Waiter, I’d like a bottle of wine.”
Waiter: “What year, sir?”
Patron: “Well, I’d like it right now.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Monday, November 28, 2022 • Permalink