In the interest of making our community better, this is a rant.
Friday night, I met up with a friend for a drink at Veni Vedi Vici in the Tower District. It was our plan to sit on the patio and drink a couple of Stockholm Royales before heading over to Palomino’s for Vintage Fridays featuring some local blogger. We were to be joined by two additional friends.
What happened instead was: I got to Veni’s and ordered my drink at the bar, knowing how slim my chances were of getting prompt (or any) service on the patio. I carried my drink outside and found my friend sitting on a planter, as all tables were full. It was around 9:30.
We headed back inside to the far less than half-full restaurant, ordered a Stockholm for my friend, then made our way to a table in anticipation of the rest of our party joining us. Immediately, a guy in a tie rushed up and told us we couldn’t have the table, as it was reserved for diners.
I explained there was four of us, and that the patio was full and the bar had just two available seats left. He said he was sorry. I asked if he would prefer we stood in the middle of the restaurant, drinking our drinks. He said again that there was nothing he could do about the table, but he’d keep an eye on the patio and let us know if anyone left.
My friend and I finished our drinks at the bar, after calling our friends and telling them to meet us at the more accommodating Palomino’s instead. As we started to leave, Tie Guy rushed over and said he had a table for us on the patio, and then asked us to give him props for acting so quickly.
Not quickly enough, as it turned out. I appreciated his help, but by then we were done with the place. At $9 a pop, I can only guess how much in sales those undrank (undrinked? undranken?) Stockholms cost Veni’s that night. I can tell you it was more than the invisible money they made from the invisible people not sitting at the table we would have occupied.
I appreciate Veni’s acting on behalf of diners, but after 9:30, it seems to me that money-spending bar patrons should be equally welcome. I’m not so sensitive I won’t go back to Veni’s (I do love that patio), but I’m also not above sharing nonsense like this with my fellow Fresnans.
Uneven, or even bad, service: is this the Tower District’s legacy? Bad service is something that exists everywhere, but I hear stories like this quite often coming out of the Tower specifically.
Feel free to chime in with your Tower bar rant stories below.