After the Bar


This month’s story is on the danger after hours. In the restaurant and bar industry, we are surrounding by temptation. Things that feed on the senses: food, drink, and people.

Things that are needed, wanted, and desired as we can be a gluttinous and overindulgent lot.  Things that are often overdone when we are so tired at the end of a shift that making the correct judgment call is often a difficult and undone task.

Enter Francois Morrison, head bartender at Cherche Midi. Francois’s experience includes: Le Pere Pinard, Arcane, Balthazar, Minetta Tavern and now Keith McNally’s latest restaurant in the old Pulino space. He has years of experience in the bar industry and has finally been the chosen one to help design and execute both the bar space as well as the offerings at the bar.

On April 12, 2013, Francois Morrison was listed as one of NYC’s Most Legendary Bartenders on  He was hand-picked from Balthazar to head up the bar at Minetta Tavern. A professional on all levels and obviously sought out for his knowledge of the bar, the patrons, and the right combination that makes people come back for more. Now, at Cherche Midi, Francois is working his shifts but unfortunately having to call out on occasion because of an ongoing issue with his leg.

It happened late one night when he left Minetta Tavern.  Francois was just about ready to start the rest of his night when a taxicab came into contact with his leg. At the end of a long shift in a bar restaurant, you’re exhausted and weary and the city can become quite dangerous. With taxicabs running 24-7, you hope your cab driver has not had as long a shift as you. So, whether it was a bad judgment call on where to step or if the taxi should have stopped in time, either way you can end up hurt, especially in the dark hours of the night.

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Francois had a long course of recovery and rehabilitation to get his leg back into working order. His lower leg was broken and this injury called for major surgery in which hardware was implanted to help support the bone. He ended up in my office for months getting his leg strong again and was back into the thick of things with the new restaurant, when he ended up with an infection in the bone from the hardware. Another bout out of the restaurant in the hospital to get the infection out and your whole body can become deconditioned. Another round of rehabilitation and the body and leg gets stronger. A system of back and forth…

Our whole system is connected. The brain controls all, and the muscles and tendons are servants of it. When one area is weakened, it can really affect the entire system. An infection can lay stagnant for a long time without the body really knowing it. When it shows itself, all hell can break loose and it can really make you take a seat if your system is unable to handle it. A broken bone is easily mended but the physical and psychological toil it can take can wear you down.

A good lesson here is that we need to continuously take care of our bodies. We all work in the service industry. That means taking care of and pleasing those around us.   But if you and your body are not at the top of your game, how can you serve those around you? Take care to keep your body in top top shape, doing cardiovascular exercises, strength and endurance exercises, stability and flexibility activities. It is an interwoven, complex and beautiful system that is our mind and our bodies and it pays to keep it in shape.

My office emphasizes holistic rehabilitation and care. It is up to you ultimately to continue on your path of wellness. Respect the body as it is the temple in which you reside. Treat it well and it will do for you what you need it to. On top of that, your mind will be free to embrace your service and your industry and enjoy it the entire time.

Dr. Karena Wu is owner and Clinical Director of ActiveCare Physical Therapy. She has been practicing physical therapy for 16 years in New York City after she graduated from the Program In Physical Therapy at Columbia University. She received her clinical doctorate in physical therapy from Temple University. She has advanced training in manual therapies, specifically in the Maitland Australian Approach and Myofascial Release. Karena is a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Kinesiology Tape Practitioner and Pilates Instructor. She is also LSVT BIG, FMS and SFMA Level 1 Certified. Karena is a dedicated practitioner who takes a holistic approach to her practice. She actively networks with a team of physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists. Her patient population consists of professional athletes, dancers, celebrity chefs, TV media stars, high end business professionals, and NYPD/FDNY. Karena is used as a healthcare expert on CBS, NBC, NY1, PIX11, Verizon Fios, Fox News and Dr. Oz. She is the Director of Education for SpiderTech Kinesiology Tape and is on the Medical Board of the Association of Volleyball Professionals. Visit her website at