More detail on V-Day night out...calling restaurant worker/owner opinions!!

  1. OK, as posted in another thread, BF and I had a great night out on v-day. But...I wanted to share what happened at our first attempt for dessert/nightcap to get y'all's opinions here...

    When BF picked me up we didn't really have specific plans. He had had dinner with his DDs earlier (I haven't met them yet, still pretty new relationship) so he wasn't super hungry and just wanted a cozy night in with a glass of wine and snuggling. I on the other hand was ready to get out and go get a drink or some ice cream...anything to get out of the house.

    He agreed and we drove into the more downtown-ish area of my suburb which is really growing and very fun. There is a relatively new, hip wine bar we had heard about and had never tried before. So, we decided to check it out! A lot of my GF's have raved about it too...great food, great happy hour, chef is from a very well known and respected restaurant chain around here...

    So we get there and the ambiance is spectacular. The hostess greets us and we ask for a table for two. She smiles and goes to grab menus. She then returns and says in a very sweet apologetic voice that she actually can't seat anyone after all b/c they stop seating at 10:00. Sure enough, it was about 9:55.

    So we then ask well can't we just grab something at the bar? It was half empty, not crowded at all. We were told NO. OK, I wasn't dying to be there anyway but WTF?? How can you greet guests and then turn them away and refuse to seat them or even let them get a drink??? I was floored. I even bashed them on a local blog.

    Now, I've never worked in a restaurant but that to me was completely unacceptable. I have heard through the grapevine they are going through major growing pains.

    BF and I just kinda laughed it off and went to ANOTHER very cool, hip place where we've been before (even more into the downtown suburb area) and actually even got drinks on the house and red carpet treatment!

  2. That sounds so weird ... do they close at 10? ... New restaurants can be inconsistent with service.

    Glad you had a good time at another restaurant though!
  3. I'd write a letter to the manager... Sounds very wrong... U never turn a customer away... Ever!
  4. well in my opinion working in privately owned ones this isnt exactly unheard of, especially on holidays. 1, I know people say they'll be quick but it's really not worth the hour to keep all these extra employees just for one table. 2, sometimes on holidays they can be out of so much by the end of the night it's just easy to say were done even if there is 5 more mins left than to have to look unorginized by saying were out of that, oh and were also out of that oh and yep that as well. 3. there might have been a wide space between you and the last table that had came in and they might have already told the kitchen to start wrapping up and start cleaning up. Having worked in the rstaurant world for so long, I often feel bad waiting on that last table because the kitchen just rushes out there food anyway. These are just a few of my thoughts on the situation, but I have worked at some very succesful places that have turned people down as well. Im sorry that happened to you.
  5. It seems like if they are a wine bar they should be open past 10:00, especially on Vday. I did however used to work in a restaurant briefly and I HATED it when people came in right before closing and kept the place open. I was 16 years old. Got to remember a lot of people that work in the restaurant biz are young and just want to get the hell out of there at the end of the night.
  6. ...just wanted to add we had no clue we were walking in 5 minutes before they were closing, and it was not as if we were walking in knowingly and demanding full service right at closing...
  7. it's not unreasonable for a restaurant to do this, just as someone stated above.

    i understand if you were frustrated with the situation, as most people would be. but especially since you didn't know they closed at 10 i don't think you should have been that upset that they refused to seat you at 5 till. however they probably should have locked the doors if they didn't want any more customers, but i'm sure the hostess probably got orders from someone else when they found out some customers walked in.

    and look at the bright side.... if you didn't get turned away from the first place then you woudln't have had the great experience at the other place :smile:
  8. That's kind of irritating, but at least your night wasn't completely ruined and you had a positive experience at the next place. While the hostess at the first place could have done things a lot differently (eg, told you upfront that they're not seating anyone, close the doors, etc), at least she was apologetic. I can't stand hostesses who are rude/snobby (even when you're being perfectly pleasant), like it's part of the job.
  9. I don't know what your suburb is like, but mine shuts down pretty early, despite the fact that we have some major restaurants and shops, like Spago, Il Fornaio, NM, stuff that isn't necessarily "suburban". Having the kitchens all close early was one of the biggest adjustments for me when I moved here from a city proper. I've come to just expect that there's nowhere to eat at like 10 PM. I'm glad you were able to go somewhere else and have a good nightcap. As the last poster said, at least the hostess was nice about it; I'm sure she felt super-awkward.