Photo by Stacie Joy
There's a memorial at the Parkside Lounge in honor of Maximiliano Contreras, a bartender here who died in a fall at the Delancey-Essex station early Sunday morning. Contreras was 24.
Parkside ownership said they are gutted by the loss. In an Instagram post, they described Contreras this way: "He was such a bright light, kind person and utterly unique."
At the bar on Wednesday, staff and patrons shared remembrances, including how funny Contreras was with snappy lines, how he handled patrons at the bar (a friend to everyone) and how universally adored he was.
Contreras, who lived in Ridgewood, was born in Mexico, where his family remains. His friends have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help his family pay for funeral expenses.
According to published reports, Contreras died after hitting his head in a fall onto the J train tracks at 1:45 a.m. Sunday. Police believe he may have been drunk and lost his balance.
"There are very few people I look forward to knowing the rest of my life, and he was one of them," his longtime friend Angus Baigrie told the Daily News. "He was incredibly funny. Just a gorgeous human being who had this hilariously acidic tongue that was rarely unkind."