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Bumped at the Bar

sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 04:46 PM

I've noticed a disturbing trend here in Boston recently and I hope that my fellow compatriots would be able to chime in.

Three times in the past two weeks I've been eating at the bar and asked to move down a seat to make room for a couple. Twice I was by myself, another time with a DC, once asked by the staff and the other two by the couple that wanted to sit.

Is this not totally inappropriate and down-right rude? Even if I was only having a drink I would be a little put-out but when I'm actually eating a meal? What happened to couples getting tables? I've not noticed this in other cities or remember it from past history. These were fairly nice places, (Chez Henri for one) and while I have offered to slide down before I have not once been requested to do so before lately. Am I overreacting or do I have more than a right to say "no, sorry" and not be dick because of it?

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  1. StriperGuy RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 04:58 PM

    I have no problem with it, particularly in a tiny place like CH.

    I will move for others is a second, and don't hesitate to ask if I am in the opposite situation either.

    Happy customers and a good vibe for all.

    1. LindaWhit RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 04:59 PM

      I think you're overreacting. What does it hurt to slide down one seat? I do it all the time at Dali (and I almost always eat at the bar unless it's more than 3 people in my party), and people you are moving for are usually very appreciative, as is the Dali staff. You've just opened up another "bar two-top" for the restaurant vs. leaving one of them standing. Perhaps by moving, the staff might thank you with a drink or a comp'ed dessert. Perhaps not, but isn't it just a nice thing to do for another dining couple?

      I do have to say that my DCs and I usually try and choose seats at the bar (when we have a choice of several in a row) whereby we won't have to move. For instance, if there are 5 seats in a row available, we'll chose the end two vs. picking the 4th seat, leaving 3 and 1 free.

      I'm curious - why would you NOT want to do it? Just because you got there first?

      1. Chrispy75 RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 05:03 PM

        So, you're the guy that I am standing behind, spilling my drinks on every time that I have to reach over because you can't move over a seat. It's sooo hard to move that place setting a couple of inches.

        1. ScubaSteve RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 05:07 PM

          wicked over reacting. i will always move down and have frequently been rewarded with free drinks. seems like a no-brainer to me.

          1. MC Slim JB RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 05:10 PM

            Well, they shouldn't make you if you're really determined to keep your seat, but it's a nice gesture. I know many couples, myself and my SO included, who often prefer dining at the bar in certain restaurants.

            I actually wrote about this very topic is my first-ever piece of published food writing, for Stuff@Night. My reasons why bar dining is often better than the dining room included: a) it's often quicker and cheaper (think burgers at Union); the food's sometimes better in the bar (you can't get Chez Henri's Cuban sandwich in the dining room, for example); b) sometimes the best server in the room is there (with Joe C at Caffe Umbra as my example); c) it's more sociable and fun if you're dining solo (though some women friends have contested this, as solo women sometimes receive unwanted attentions).

            So please, please, if you don't mind, shuffle on down one.

            6 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB
              p
              PDXpat RE: MC Slim JB Dec 14, 2006 05:45 PM

              "So please, please, if you don't mind, shuffle on down one."

              I think the OP is saying he does, in fact, mind.

              1. re: PDXpat
                l
                Leonardo RE: PDXpat Dec 14, 2006 10:54 PM

                While it's certainly true that he minded, he did in point of fact ask the opinions of others, and he is now receiving them.

                And yes, he is way overreacting, provided that he was asked politely and had the option to move the other way to a comparable seat. It's just a bar, for pete's sake, not a formal table in a dining room, where such a thing would be unacceptable.

                1. re: Leonardo
                  s
                  silence9 RE: Leonardo Dec 15, 2006 05:04 PM

                  Hi Leonardo... Quite right, as you say, it's just a bar for pete's sake. However, to play the devil's advocate, isn't it also 'just a bar' for those patrons who are doing the requesting (to the patron already ensconced in his grub and/or drink). As you say, the bar is not a formal dining situation, so why would the arriving new patrons wishing to sit together expect to do so as if it was a dining room table? The bars the I've frequented, finding any seat is a miracle and one is generally lucky to find a spot to stand without getting your martini jostled out of one's hand. To find a seat to drink much less eat is, well, an unexpected luxury in my experience, i guess...That said, i too don't see the big deal in scooting down a stool, if others are made more comfortable in doing so...

                  1. re: silence9
                    r
                    RiJaAr RE: silence9 Dec 16, 2006 11:22 PM

                    but if you're alone and they're together... would you like to take someone out, and then have to sit seperately, and not see them all night.. or sit one on each side of the guy who won't move... and just a question.. but if you refuse to move down for a couple and they DO end up sitting on either side of you.. you'd be in the middle of their conversation and they would be talking over your head. pardon me, but i would find that a bit too crowded and be glad to move.

                    he's waaay overeacting here. slide down and don't ruin someone elses evening, or your own.

                    1. re: RiJaAr
                      yayadave RE: RiJaAr Dec 17, 2006 12:13 AM

                      Actually, the OP reconsidered his reactions about two days ago after getting the input from this thread.

                      1. re: yayadave
                        r
                        RiJaAr RE: yayadave Dec 18, 2006 08:51 PM

                        i'm just saying...

            2. m
              ML8000 RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 05:11 PM

              A bar is usually considered more of a high turnover/temp, casual, communal, ad hoc seating arrangement and the rules (if there are any) differ from a formal seating. People can be at a bar for anywhere from 4 minutes to pound down a brew to 30 minutes for a quick bite to 2 hours nursing a drink/killing time and none would be inappropriate. If they asked rudely then it would be rude but otherwise I think the request was fair but perhaps a minor hassle.

              1. hiddenboston RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 05:11 PM

                I find that people automatically move for me and my S.O. when we are looking for seats at a bar outside of the Boston area (people were especially nice about this at the Shannon Door Pub in Jackson, NH recently). Around Boston, I find that people often won't move. If someone doesn't move, though, I generally won't ask them to do so (especially if they are bigger than me!).

                It's just common courtesy, that's all. If I were alone at the bar at Chez Henri enjoying one of those amazing, incredible, stupendous, glorious cubanos and a couple wanted me to move down, why not? It's no big deal, plus they might buy me a drink!

                1. HaagenDazs RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 05:12 PM

                  Yeah, I'd say move. There's no reason not to be accommodating. It's not a big deal. What are you missing by moving down a seat? Now if you're going to be pushed into the corner next the kitchen door, it's one thing but if you have room it's common courtesy.

                  1. p
                    Pegmeister RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 05:17 PM

                    If your eating, I won't ask, but I do routinely ask people if they would mind making room when they're just having a drink. I then always buy that person a drink. You would really hate it at my usual place, when it gets busy there the owner always makes sure there is room for everyone! I've had times when I started at one end of the bar and ended up half way around the corner.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: Pegmeister
                      p
                      PDXpat RE: Pegmeister Dec 14, 2006 06:00 PM

                      I'm inclined to agree with this common-sense approach. If someone has no more than a drink in front of them, it's a pretty small imposition to ask them to move, after inquiring whether the vacant seat is occupied. It's still an imposition though, and the bar is normally first come, first served. Why expect someone else to move just because you got there late?

                      However, if they have a plate of food in front of them, it's another matter entirely. I think it's very presumptuous to ask in that case. I'd decline to move myself, responding instead with "No, I'm eating" and a hard stare.

                      There's also the related question of just how often you should expect a person to move. Suppose one party asks you to move left, and you do. They leave. Must you then get up and move again when the next party asks you to move right? This quickly becomes annoying.

                      1. re: PDXpat
                        m
                        Missmoo RE: PDXpat Dec 14, 2006 06:23 PM

                        I think it's common courtesy to move.

                        1. re: PDXpat
                          lvmanager RE: PDXpat Dec 18, 2006 09:13 AM

                          Lets say that you were sitting at a bar that had only 6 seats. You were sitting pretty close to the middle and nobody else was at the bar. Someone asked if you would move down ( whether it be the bartender or a manager ) to accomodate a party of 4.

                          Are you saying that you wouldn't move because of principle?

                          That's pretty pompous if you ask me.

                          1. re: lvmanager
                            yayadave RE: lvmanager Dec 18, 2006 02:32 PM

                            But it all depends, doesn't it? If you're sitting at the bar in the middle of a full dinner service, it wopuld be rude of the people coming in to be so inconsiderate as to expect you to move. You might choose to move, but they have no entitlement. All they really have to do is move one stool to be sitting together. You don't have to have your belly up against the bar in order to be "sitting at the bar."

                            1. re: yayadave
                              toodie jane RE: yayadave Dec 19, 2006 12:29 AM

                              "Belly up to the bar" that made me laugh! How often does a 'couple' sit that way? they sit facing each other. I think sometimes couples feel entitled, period.

                              I would never presume to guess why someone wouldn't move if they seemed aware that my party needed seating. That's the job of the host or manager. The diner is there to enjoy the meal.

                              1. re: yayadave
                                lvmanager RE: yayadave Dec 20, 2006 06:24 PM

                                I agree that they have no entitlement, but to not ask just because is silly. The patron may refuse and that is their right. Then again, it's my right to opinionize that patron as rude and inconsiderate.

                                1. re: lvmanager
                                  yayadave RE: lvmanager Dec 20, 2006 07:38 PM

                                  So the question is, "Who is being 'rude and inconsiderate?'"

                                  1. re: yayadave
                                    lvmanager RE: yayadave Dec 20, 2006 09:33 PM

                                    IMO, the patron at the bar who refuses to move ( whether in the middle of a meal or not ).

                                    1. re: lvmanager
                                      a
                                      alliebear RE: lvmanager Dec 20, 2006 09:43 PM

                                      Why is it rude for someone not to move out of a seat? If they got there first and if it's not a situation where a young man won't move for an old woman or something, I don't think that's rude.

                                      1. re: alliebear
                                        DanaB RE: alliebear Dec 20, 2006 09:59 PM

                                        It is a simple matter of common courtesy. It makes everyone better off and more comfortable. It's better for the business of the restaurant, and all patrons involved, including the person being asked to move, who would be less inconvenienced by moving than by having a party of two sit one on each side of him/her.

                        2. hrhboo RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 05:40 PM

                          I think it rude to not automatically offer to move when people are obviously hoping for a seat. It's the gracious and polite thing to do.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: hrhboo
                            HaagenDazs RE: hrhboo Dec 15, 2006 01:54 PM

                            I agree. I'm surprised at how many people aren't aware of their surroundings. I'm not sure if it's ignorance or if they just don't care. Either way it always surprises me. Maybe I'm just smarter than most ;-) I would move even before being asked. It's not like they did anything wrong.

                          2. sailormouth RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 05:50 PM

                            OK, I'll relax!

                            I guess I'd add that one of the reasons I'll choose a seat at the bar as opposed to a table for one is that I prefer to be social and the too cute couple doesn't really add to the ambiance, (though I have been that guy before).

                            I'm very aware of the the staff wanting to seat as many as possible but on one of the three occasions mentioned I really felt like I was being shooed into the corner.

                            My most genuine thanks for your input!!!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: sailormouth
                              LindaWhit RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 05:54 PM

                              Re: being shooed into the corner - move the OPPOSITE way if you feel that, then. Let the askees take the corner seats and you stay in the social center of things. :-) A simple "How about I move this way and you can have those two, more private seats to my right?" should suffice.

                              1. re: sailormouth
                                j
                                JudiAU RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 06:14 PM

                                You aren't required to move to a worse position at the bar, just to make room for others. If the seat you are being asked to move to is notably inferior offer to move the other way.

                              2. r
                                Rick RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 05:55 PM

                                By not sliding down to the next seat there is NO WAY you can avoid being a "*ick"!

                                1. a
                                  alliebear RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 06:01 PM

                                  I would never think to ask someone to move so that I can sit down. If management wants to ask someone to move, that's not my business. If the person who is preventing me from having a seat with my companion moves, then that's very generous and a thoughtful thing to do. Otherwise, I'll just wait.

                                  I do think though, that if someone asks you to move and you refuse, you'll seem like a jerk. But it's within your rights to refuse. If you feel you're being singled out or really like the seat you have for some reason, keep your seat and don't worry about what other people will think of you.

                                  1. j
                                    JudiAU RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 06:13 PM

                                    People asked you to move because you didn't offer. Offer to move and they won't ask.

                                    It is a very minor thing to move, even while eating. And although I would usually wait to ask someone until they are done with their course, usually I don't have to because they offer.

                                    1. e
                                      emilief RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 07:15 PM

                                      Well, just think about it. You have been standing up for a while, waiting for a seat a the bar. Someone gets up and leaves a seat on one side of someone and on the other side.Person sitting in the middle doesn't move. There are two empty seats one on either side of person. You look around and notice that everyone is either beginning their drink or beginning their meal. Should you have to wait another 1/2 hour to sit when there are two seats at the bar, albeit not together. Wow, if your only problem in life is that you are asked to move, you are one very lucky person. For goodness sake, move and thank goodness that you are physically able to move, to go out, to eat, to drink, not confined to a wheelchair, not in the hospital, not deaf, blind etc. Life is too short. Be nice.

                                      1. g
                                        Grubbjunkie RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 08:43 PM

                                        If there is no other place for the people asking, there's no real difference from one seat to the next, they ask nicely, and seem appreciative, then yeah move your butt.

                                        My girl and I eat at the bar very frequently. If we were the ones asking and you refused to move for no good reason, I would sit on one side of you and she would sit on the other, and we would proceed to have the same (perhaps intimate) conversation we would have if we were sitting together - loudly, with you in the middle. Sound fun?

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Grubbjunkie
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                                          alliebear RE: Grubbjunkie Dec 14, 2006 08:52 PM

                                          Just because you asks someone nicely for something and they refuse, whether they have a good reason or not, doesn't mean you have to reply by being rude. Either wait for two seats together to open up, ask someone else to move or sit apart.

                                          Asking for something doesn't guarantee it will be given. And people do not need to give reasons for refusing to accomodate someone else, in the process inconveniencing themselves.

                                          I agree that it's nice of someone to move down a seat so a couple can sit together. But if it doesn't happen, I think it's worse for the person who is told no to act like a child about it.

                                          1. re: alliebear
                                            p
                                            PDXpat RE: alliebear Dec 14, 2006 09:22 PM

                                            Exactly. A seat in a restaurant is a privilege, not an entitlement. The fellow *already* in that seat has the same privilege, and he got there first. He has the right to expect to enjoy his meal in peace, just as you do when/if you are seated. Ask nicely; if he declines, as is his right, wait your turn politely.

                                        2. jfood RE: sailormouth Dec 14, 2006 10:38 PM

                                          Think you over reacted big guy. Let's set the stage. Suddenly a seat opens to your left and there is also an empty seat to your right. Couple wants to eat together and your at a bar, a fairly high turnover, don;t own the table for 2-hour sorta place. Unless you can not see the TV or are being placed next to a wait station, good idea to move. No biggie.

                                          1. yayadave RE: sailormouth Dec 15, 2006 01:47 AM

                                            Suppose a person alone goes into a decent resto and sees only four tops available and, noticing a pleasant looking bar, chooses to sit there, rather than selfishly taking a table. Doesn't that person have the right to enjoy a peaceful meal with-out being harased by the management or, worse, by other patrons who are going to out rude his "rude" behavior.

                                            It seems that we already have a thread asking when is it acceptable to be asked to move.

                                            1. w
                                              wayne keyser RE: sailormouth Dec 15, 2006 02:32 AM

                                              It's a BAR, fella! If you can't be neighborly, you don't belong in a bar. Whether it's attached to a restaurant or not.

                                              1. yayadave RE: sailormouth Dec 15, 2006 02:45 AM

                                                It's a patron's DINNER,Pal. If they don't plan to let a person have a peaceful dinner at the bar, they shouldn't serve it there.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: yayadave
                                                  w
                                                  wayne keyser RE: yayadave Dec 15, 2006 05:46 AM

                                                  Nonetheless, if I'm assigned a table at a restaurant, I figure it's mine for the meal.

                                                  But a bar ... it's just different. If you were deep in your DINNER at home and your wife/sibling/parent asked if you'd kindly move over, would you say "but I'm having DINNER!" and refuse?

                                                  Ten to one, if someone needs you to move down, they couldn't get a seat in the dining room, just like you ... you're all probably in the same boat, so be a good fellow. What's it cost ya?

                                                  1. re: wayne keyser
                                                    lvmanager RE: wayne keyser Dec 18, 2006 09:21 AM

                                                    Not to start a differnt discussion, but "I figure it's mine for the meal" could mean a lot of things. First of all, table reservations are just that -- reservations for the table; not a "free pass" to sit there all night long just because you had a reservation. The restaurant is obliged to offer you goods and service for an appropriate amount of time to enjoy your meal. That DOES NOT mean that you may sit there for an hour after you paid your bill just because you may have had a "reservation".

                                                    Did not want to hijack the thread but I felt that needed attention.

                                                2. gina RE: sailormouth Dec 15, 2006 04:23 AM

                                                  It's good bar etiquette to offer to move over before you are asked. And you may find yourself rewarded with a round, either by the folks you moved over for, or by the bartender happy to have more customers at his/her bar. Plus, you could end up having great and valuable conversation with the person you moved over for.

                                                  1. w
                                                    writergirl RE: sailormouth Dec 15, 2006 04:30 AM

                                                    The original poster has said he'll relax from now on (see a few posts above.) Yay! We've convinced him...let's retract our claws. (mine were out before I saw his second comment...damn, and they were nice and sharp!)

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: writergirl
                                                      sailormouth RE: writergirl Dec 15, 2006 05:20 PM

                                                      Thanks, you've all convinced me (mostly). I should probably clarify that what kinda got to me was at the "eating a dinner" bars, vs. the dinner and drinks bar. Perhaps I was jaded because I haven't gotten that free drink yet.

                                                      1. re: sailormouth
                                                        lvmanager RE: sailormouth Dec 18, 2006 09:24 AM

                                                        Free drink? I've never been offered a free drink at a bar where I've moved seats OUT OF COMMON COURTESY. ( and it's happened plenty of times )

                                                        Perhaps courtesy is what you should focus on?

                                                        1. re: lvmanager
                                                          yayadave RE: lvmanager Dec 18, 2006 02:34 PM

                                                          Yes, but the "common courtesy" in this situation is a two way street.

                                                    2. hotoynoodle RE: sailormouth Dec 15, 2006 11:51 AM

                                                      working one night in the south end, and the restaurant and bar were packed. a group of women, some seated and some standing, were at the bar. other patrons wanted to sit to eat. the aforementioned ladies had their coats piled up on two barstools. in order to make those seats available i politely offered to check the coats. one of the women got in my face, saying, "WE ARE using those seats." i said, "no, your coats are using those seats." i was astonished she could be so selfish. the waiting guests were mortified.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                        MC Slim JB RE: hotoynoodle Dec 15, 2006 02:55 PM

                                                        Hmm, maybe you could have said, "Well, your coats are going to have to order some drinks, then." This is better than punching the person, which would have been my first impulse.

                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                          HaagenDazs RE: MC Slim JB Dec 15, 2006 03:36 PM

                                                          What a bitch. I hate people like that. That's when you get a nice glass of hot chocolate or something thick and creamy, and... whoops! drop it on their coats. Ok, maybe that's sinking to their level, but it would be pretty funny after a few beers ;-)

                                                      2. a
                                                        andlulu RE: sailormouth Dec 15, 2006 12:33 PM

                                                        I would move, no problem.

                                                        1. p
                                                          Pegmeister RE: sailormouth Dec 15, 2006 12:40 PM

                                                          Too funny, I was thinking of these posts last night while having dinner at Donovan's. I had asked someone if they would mind moving and then later someone asked me, then I offered for someone else. In the span of just a few hours, I moved three times!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Pegmeister
                                                            yayadave RE: Pegmeister Dec 15, 2006 02:24 PM

                                                            OK Maybe I've got this wrong. If you're hangin' out havin' a few, no problem. But I'm picturing, you have a place mat, flat ware, and glassware for dinner, a plate of rolls and maybe soup/salad in front of you and dinner coming. So someone thinks they're entitled to your seat?

                                                            1. re: yayadave
                                                              p
                                                              Pegmeister RE: yayadave Dec 15, 2006 04:45 PM

                                                              The first move was to have two seats together; the second move was to accommodate another patron; and yes I slid my placemat, plate and utensils along to the next spot and the last move I was just getting ready to leave and offered the seat to someone who had been standing and waiting.

                                                          2. wittlejosh RE: sailormouth Dec 15, 2006 12:56 PM

                                                            I think it's polite to offer to move, but I'm absolutely floored how many posters here could be so incredulous that moving might be a pain for someone in the middle of an entree. Get real: You can't wait 10 minutes for someone to finish eating? When someone takes a seat at the bar rather than the dining room, it's sometimes because they were conscientious enough to avoid taking an entire two-top for a single person---not that they aren't interested in finishing their meal in peace.

                                                            I almost always offer. But as soon as I hear someone ask in an entitled tone of voice, forget about it.

                                                            That said, nothing's more annoying to me than people who use coats to save "their" seats. I've seen that at Spire a few times, and it's absolutely maddening. Especialy when they've gone out for a 20-minute cigarette or two. Classless.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: wittlejosh
                                                              sailormouth RE: wittlejosh Dec 15, 2006 05:29 PM

                                                              How is the bar at Spire for dinner? After I drop $150 on a meal I'll save my seat for the pre-dessert smoke, it's something else all together for the $1.50 PBR though.

                                                              I must say I'm a little heartened by some of the later responses, I thought I was a monster based on the first few.

                                                              And yes, I do slide down, often offer to, I just grumble when forced.

                                                            2. thegolferbitch RE: sailormouth Dec 15, 2006 05:08 PM

                                                              I am going to be in the minority here, so excuse me in advance--maybe it's timidity but neither my DH or I would ever ask a patron who was sitting and eating or just drinking at a bar to move. In the cases were there have been only single seats available here and there, I've taken the seat and DH has stood behind me (so if he spills, he spills on moi...but he's good about keeping liquor safe :) ). If the single patron sitting there already offers to move over, great, and we'll thank him/her profusely. If not, that's fine.

                                                              It's the same thing, to me, as when I step on the subway. It would be nice if that teenager with headphones would offer to stand and give me his seat, but it's a gesture that I don't expect. He was there first, and can do as he pleases.

                                                              And, once someone is consuming something, anything, anywhere, and is seated, I feel it's rude to ask them to move. JMHO.

                                                              1. OrganicGal RE: sailormouth Dec 18, 2006 02:49 PM

                                                                I often eat at the bar when I'm travelling for work. Much better than dining alone in a dining room. However, there are times when, as a single female diner, I really DO NOT want to move. I've sat at bars when the dude next to me, felt it was appropriate to try to keep his hand on my knee while trying to talk to me after his about 15th scotch-and-soda. NOT fun, nor comfortable dining. So, I slid over, away from him, as soon as I could. A couple asked me to move about 10 minutes later, and I refused. Yeah, I felt like a heel, but I just wasn't comfortable next to this guy. Sometimes, the reason for not wanting to move is so much more than just being rude, or wanting to camp in a specific spot.

                                                                12 Replies
                                                                1. re: OrganicGal
                                                                  Scagnetti RE: OrganicGal Dec 18, 2006 04:16 PM

                                                                  Ah, I don't think you are a good candidate for bar dining. You will NEVER avoid those kind of problems in a bar. I mean, it's a bar where people who like to drink congregate and when people drink...

                                                                  1. re: Scagnetti
                                                                    sailormouth RE: Scagnetti Dec 18, 2006 08:24 PM

                                                                    Why couldn't they have just got a table? It seems like you're almost saying she was asking for it, which I hope you're not.

                                                                    1. re: Scagnetti
                                                                      jfood RE: Scagnetti Dec 18, 2006 10:57 PM

                                                                      You gotta be kidding me. She was sitting quietly having dinner by herself. Some thug puts his hand on her knee and you blame her for being at a bar having dinner.

                                                                      That guy should have been thrown out on his ear. She was a LADY by moving over. She should have told the waiter, but she just wanted to have a quiet meal.

                                                                      I hope your wife or daughter does not encounter this and youtell her, "Gee I guess you were asking fot it!" OMG

                                                                      1. re: jfood
                                                                        Scagnetti RE: jfood Dec 19, 2006 02:46 PM

                                                                        I'm not condoning the dolt's actions, no woman needs to tolerate that kind of behavior but don't you find it contrary that the poster doesn't "want to dine alone" and then gets upset when as a lone woman at a BAR she becomes a target of advances. Then if you don't want to deal with rude bar behavior, get a table. Nobody will hassle you there, nobody will ask you to move, nobody will be blowing smoke in your face, no loud generic businessman talk. Capice?

                                                                        1. re: Scagnetti
                                                                          d
                                                                          debbiel RE: Scagnetti Dec 19, 2006 03:59 PM

                                                                          There is a difference between not wanting to dine alone and wanting to be touched in such an inappropriate manner by a stranger. This is beyond rude bar behavior. By saying that she should basically expect and accept this behavior, you are basically condoning it.

                                                                          1. re: Scagnetti
                                                                            w
                                                                            writergirl RE: Scagnetti Dec 19, 2006 08:46 PM

                                                                            "if you don't want to deal with rude bar behavior, get a table. Nobody will hassle you there..." As a woman I can safely say to this assertion "HAHAHAHAHAHA." No one will bother you at a table, what a riot. I've had guys come over and SIT DOWN at my table. Not to mention the time honored bringing a drink over because I looked "lonely." The less oafish just send drinks over, or invite me over to their table. It doesn't matter if she's at a bar or not, there's always someone willing to be a lech.

                                                                            However, I would have told the couple in a quiet voice the reason I didn't want to move...

                                                                            1. re: writergirl
                                                                              Covert Ops RE: writergirl Dec 22, 2006 06:56 PM

                                                                              I would have asked THEM to sit between her and the offending dude. That way everyone's happy. (Except the dude of course.)

                                                                            2. re: Scagnetti
                                                                              jfood RE: Scagnetti Dec 19, 2006 10:03 PM

                                                                              no i do not find it contrary. since when is alone equal to lonely or target. she should absolutely NOT be the target of any advance and should not have to "hide" at a table. Maybe she should eat alone in her hotel then, OMG why can;t a woman go for a meal by herself, sit at a bar and not be fearful of the dolt. She's in a resto with a bar having dinner, not scrolling through match.com.

                                                                              I capice, comprende and understand.

                                                                        2. re: OrganicGal
                                                                          m
                                                                          Missmoo RE: OrganicGal Dec 18, 2006 05:36 PM

                                                                          Couldn't you have moved the other way?

                                                                          1. re: OrganicGal
                                                                            OrganicGal RE: OrganicGal Dec 19, 2006 03:17 PM

                                                                            Whoa, Whoa folks! I didn't mean to start such a heated discussion! Generally, I really enjoy sitting at the bar for dinner. I have great conversation with all sorts of folks I wouldn't meet otherwise (I can now say I've dined with the NPR program director for Billings MT, a shrimp boat captain in Surf City NC, and the guy that raised the steer that I was eating for supper in some small town in western NE). I actually never said that I wanted a quiet dinner, I actually generally prefer the atmosphere of and opportunity for conversation in dining at the bar in a restaurant. I don't mind someone talking to me. Heck, I don't even mind if someone is flirting, or otherwise making "advances" as you put it, Scagnetti. I just don't appreciate getting groped. Sheesh, who does? Scagnetti, come to some bar where I'm eating. Strike up a conversation with me. As me what I do, if I'm seeing anyone, heck, ask me what I'm doing later that night. You'll at minimum get a conversation, and might even get some good natured ribbing about picking up strange women at bars. Just keep your hands to yourself. If I'm okay with you touching me, believe me, you'll know it.

                                                                            1. re: OrganicGal
                                                                              DanaB RE: OrganicGal Dec 19, 2006 09:12 PM

                                                                              Why not just move in the other direction? The only reason the couple would have asked you to move over is because you were in between two empty seats. Let them sit next to the lecherous dude.

                                                                              1. re: DanaB
                                                                                Brian S RE: DanaB Dec 23, 2006 08:50 PM

                                                                                Or tell the bartender... and that guy will be out on the street faster than you can say "YOU are the weakest link... goodbye."

                                                                            2. b
                                                                              BRIANTHEFOODUDE RE: sailormouth Dec 19, 2006 12:39 AM

                                                                              That is Boston for ya...
                                                                              Move over, but I would suggest, strategically positioning yourself near the hot Broad. And if she is not so hot... Say No. Kidding
                                                                              Brian

                                                                              1. p
                                                                                Puddle RE: sailormouth Dec 19, 2006 12:54 AM

                                                                                This reminds me of a recent morning at Balthazar in New York City. My wife and I were at the bar, waiting for a bona fide table, actually, but obliging the attitudinal hostess and the very busy restaurant by buying a drink and being patient even though we had reservations. In the middle of our half-hour wait, some unshaven self-styled rock-star type in sunglasses and smelling of hangover made a bee-line directly for my wife's chair and said "Excuse me, that's my chair." A little confused, we moved, he sat down, and he then ordered breakfast. It became clear from his interaction with the bartender that he had just arrived, that he wasn't returning from the restroom. So my wife asked him how it was that he thought he had the right to ask us to move. He didn't start his reply with "Dude," but he might as well have: "This is where I always sit." We got our seat a few minutes later and managed to have a nice brunch in spite of being sojourners in the land of entitlement.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Puddle
                                                                                  MC Slim JB RE: Puddle Dec 19, 2006 01:49 PM

                                                                                  Not to threadjack, but... I'd always liked the food and atmosphere at Balthazar despite its onetime It Place status (long since expired), but the crowds it attracts have been insufferable for years. I can't be bothered with it now, which is too bad.

                                                                                2. katiepie RE: sailormouth Dec 19, 2006 11:44 PM

                                                                                  I use to hostess in a restaurant where we took resis at the bar because our place was so small and always crowded.

                                                                                  As a hostess, I was always very conscious of our single diners. Most were chowhounds on business travel. We would generally seat them on either side of the bar so if we had couples come in (or had couple reservations) there wouldn't be this problem.

                                                                                  I think it is, in part, the restaurant's responsibility to take care of it's single diners. Not many people brave going out to eat on their own, and in higher-end establishments especially, diners enjoy fine food and are looking for a relaxing, welcoming experience. I think having a single guest move his or her plate down during a meal is disrespectful and the restaurant should be making sure it doesn't happen.

                                                                                  Just my 2 cents!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: katiepie
                                                                                    adroit_minx RE: katiepie Dec 20, 2006 02:00 AM

                                                                                    Personally, I really appreciate your 2 cents... You bring up an interesting point in that lot of people don't realize that bar diners might possibly be feeling a a bit intimidated by the experience (although I understand most are not, but one never knows). I'm not proposing a resolution, just saying that it's an added point of awareness we can all have in this situation.

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