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Aug 18, 2006 09:02 PM

Press Worries (down***l alert?)

For what it's always been, I love Press 195. I don't look to it for "authentic" panini, but for great pressed sandwiches and salads, for an easy neighborhood midweek bite. The guys that own (owned?) it always had great servers working there, and I never thought twice about going often and tipping well.


On Wednesday, my wife and I both worked late, and stopped into Press at 9:30. We asked if they had any tables in the back patio, at which point the guy said "actually, we're only doing take-out orders, because we're closing down." Two or three tables were in the main dining room at this point. My wife looked at each other, shrugged, and left.

The next night--last night--our craving undiminished, we walked into Press again. Any tables in the back? "We're not seating anyone back there," the host said. Why not? "Because we're closing down." What time do you close?, asked my wife. "10 o'clock," he said. What time is it now, asked my wife. "It's, like, 9," he said.

It was 8:35.

This has nothing to do with the food. Nothing to do with the atmosphere or the prices. Everything to do with the people. If you don't want my business, being *clearly* uninterested is a great way to let me know. One of the original owners lives on my block, and I was hoping to run into him before I posted this, but no dice. Are we the only ones who have noticed anything amiss?

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    1. re: CornflakeGirl

      sorry--this was the 5th Ave. location, not the one in Bayside.

    2. I have never eaten at the restaurant to which you refer, but I certainly agree with you. It's a sign of very poor, or nonexistant on site management. I would suggest that you find out who is (mis)managing the place and inform the Owner, either in person or via a letter to his home.
      If he doesn't offer you much thanks and a free meal, I'd suggest you find another place to eat because if management doesn't care about the quality of the service, can not caring the quality of the food be far behind?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tay

        It sounds like the staff had a long day and saw it extending unprofitably...yeah, it was unpleasant experience but it is understandable that, with an empty restaurant, servers want to go home rather than linger while one table finishes their meal.
        Ive seen this in other small places - they will just close up and go home when business is light - looks like you are catching them on the cusp of making that decision.

        1. re: jen kalb

          Jen ... You sound like a very kind person :-}
          Accroding to the original post, then place was not empty the first night, there is no indication the staff had a long day and it sounds like the poster is more upset with the way he was spoken to rather than the early closing. Whenever someone quotes actual conversation they are usually upset at what was said. What the server could have said was, "I'm very sorry, but we are closing a little early tonight. Would you accept a take out order with a free appetizer/dessert as a thank you for your understanding?" Receiving that (un)welcome 2 nights in a row is inexcusable, and is indicative of poor or non existant management, also inexcusable. Potential customersshould have elicited a better response.
          Even if the server was entirely ignorant and all else was ignored,someone should have recognized these patrons as repeat customers and gone out of their way to make some sort of effort to satisfy them.
          When a restaurant is empty and the servers want to go home, that's what "Sorry We're closed" signs are for.