In the last two days I’ve called around 5 or 6 local restaurant/bars and none of them will take a reservation for 10 people on Saturday night. What the happened in the last 5 years that I’ve been off raising kids? When did dining out become a first in best dressed situation?
A little background. A few friends that I haven’t seen in years are all going to be in town for one weekend. All together, including partners there will be around 10 – 12 of us depending on the availability of baby sitters. As parents we’re on a schedule. Whether someone is looking after the kids or not, we’re on the clock. Gone are the days of just heading into town and walking up the street to see what looks nice; now-a-days we want to know before we go.
We were looking for a place that we could grab a few share plates, a couple of pizzas, eat some dessert, drink a few cocktails or craft beers and chat for 3 or 4 hours.
So there’s this place that I’ve been wanting to check out for a while. I had actually dropped in there when it first opened for a sly beer on the way to an event, and was extremely impressed. So you can imagine my disappointment when I rang to book us in for an early dinner at 6:30 Saturday night and was told they didn’t except bookings. What, the actual? I was even happy to pay a deposit, but no, they didn’t want to take my money. The guy who took the call was all ‘smart arse’ about it too, like I had missed some important social norm.
So a partner of one of my mates suggested a place a bit further down from our original choice. I rang and was greeted by a lovely lass who was quite pleasant and welcoming. I explained that I had a group of 10 – 12 wanting somewhere to eat, drink and chat for a few hours on Saturday night from around 6:30pm. I was promptly told that reservations were only made for people wishing to eat main meals, and I would be very lucky to be able to get a table without a reservation because it was very popular. I explained that’s why I was making a reservation, but was again treated to a chorus of, ” you’re old and that’s not how we do things anymore”.
Without boring you, this trend continued with phone call after phone call. It seemed that a few share plates, a couple of pizzas and a bunch of drinks did not constitute a booking and we would “have to take our luck”. Now I’m not talking about trying to book at your run of the mill bar or pub here. It’s not like I’m trying to book ten in the main bar at my local. These places advertise themselves as restaurant/bars. Last time I checked restaurants were places you made reservations at.
So can some one tell me what was in the memo I missed? When did heading out become a contact sport of first in best dressed. Maybe that’s why violence on the streets has increased. Because no one wants to feed you.