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JK Wine Bar, New Reservation Policy-A Joke!!

r
robb Sep 23, 2007 07:51 PM

Was very excited about the newly advertised reservation policy at JK Wine Bar. I love the place and made plans last week with another couple to go htis coming Saturday (29th) who have not been. We both have young kids so we need to make plans around a babysitter. I called last Tuesday and spoke to reservationist, Ryan, who was very nice but informed me that reservations are only taken a week ahead so to call back this pat Saturday(22nd) at 10:30 am. I called at 10:15 yesterday and also spoke to a very nice female reservationist. I asked for an 8:30-9:00 reservation for 4. She informed me that the 8:30 table had already been taken. I'm like, "what about the other tables in the restaurant". She's like "we only offer 1 table for advanced reservations". I asked for 7:30 or evern 9:30 and was told, very nicely I may add again, that only the 1 8:30 table is reservable. I explained about the young kids and the babysitters but I may has well have been banging myhead agianst the wall. I could sense her sympathy and almost disgust for this new ridiculous, falsely advertised new policy but she would not budge. Hung up-called Trevor and booked a 9:00 reservation. a good $400-$500 JK said goodbye to!!

  1. e
    EarlyDrive Sep 24, 2007 05:27 AM

    Okay, that is just plain stupid.

    1 Reply
    1. re: EarlyDrive
      m
      millygirl Sep 24, 2007 06:07 AM

      I'll say.

    2. t
      tartiflette Sep 24, 2007 06:23 AM

      Well, I suppose it's a step up from their previous policy, which allowed you to make a one time reservation in exchange for a rather substantial donation to a charity of JK's choice (I believe for a table of two it came to $100 or so).

      JKWB definitely likes to cultivate an aura of unattainabillity. Personally, it's a giant turn-off... I refuse to eat there.

      1. pinstripeprincess Sep 24, 2007 06:36 AM

        i called the night of to see if i could get in a quick reso. nevermind that they never told me about this 1 table reservation... but apparently you have to make these reservations exactly 1 week in advance. no less and apparently no more with regards to robb.

        then the hostess went on about how it would be best to show up at 8 since 8:30 starts to get really busy these days (this a sunday no less) and when we showed up just past 8:30 to try our luck.. the place was only 1/4 full. considering the essentially "no reservation" policy... they're ridiculously awful at estimating table availability at all. i recall earlier on being told that we would have a 45 minute wait.. and no sooner had we dropped into another place and ordered premeal drink... they immediately called us to say something was ready... no less than 10 minutes later. ridiculous.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pinstripeprincess
          l
          lolo Sep 24, 2007 07:30 AM

          last time I went to JK Gardiner, I had to call a centerlized reservation line that took all the bookings for (at the time) all three of his restaurants. Is it still the same or can you call JK Wine Bar directly?

          My expierence at JK Gardier was some what the same and I credit it to the fact that you are not calling the restaurant directly. We called the morning of and were told that they were completly booked and that we need to call three weeks in advace. We were trying to make an 11:30am or noon reservation(I can't recall exactly). I found it quite amazing that they would have no tables mid week and early to boot. So we just showed up, three of us and we were seated without any issues and had lunch, left around 1:30pm and the room was never full, I would say half full at its peak. I mentioned to a manager that I was told they were fully booked and he sayed he would look into it.

        2. pescatarian Sep 24, 2007 08:25 AM

          I agree that it's a crazy policy.

          Have you been to Trevor before? I am not a fan.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pescatarian
            r
            robb Sep 24, 2007 08:43 AM

            Been to Trevor a couple of times but only sit in the bar area and order off the bar menu. Good, not great but fun and not crazy expensive. Any other recomendations?

          2. syoung Sep 24, 2007 09:26 AM

            This set time for reserving is not uncommon for high end restaurants all over the world such as Per Se in Manhattan (exactly 3 months in advance) or Tetsuya in Sydney (exactly 1 month in advance) to name 2 off the top of my head. The difference is in these restaurants, all tables are open to reservation and not just one, and JKWB is not high end.

            Since you wanted a Sat night reservation and JKWB is usually very busy on Sat nights, I don't think they will have problems filling all the tables and then some, so losing your business isn't really going to hurt them, but they'll take a hit in the Customer Service dept.

            Hmm... $500K is a lot to spend for 4 people for JKWB. That's the cost for 4 maybe for Susur or Splendido. You must plan on drinking a lot of not-so-cheap wine!

            8 Replies
            1. re: syoung
              e
              EarlyDrive Sep 24, 2007 09:36 AM

              $500 at Susur or Splendido for 4 people?? Not a chance.

              1. re: EarlyDrive
                s
                Snarf Sep 24, 2007 09:55 AM

                I think that must be for the bread basket

                1. re: Snarf
                  h
                  hungry_pangolin Sep 24, 2007 11:20 AM

                  $500 at Susur? Two light drinkers.

              2. re: syoung
                OnDaGo Sep 24, 2007 10:29 AM

                I was at Perigee last week tasting menu for two with wine pairing and nothing extra added was $660 with tip.. and that is TWO people.. Susur would be similar...

                JK 4 people 4-5 dishes each with reasonable wine and you will easily hit $500 (But not $500K!!!)...

                1. re: OnDaGo
                  skylineR33 Sep 24, 2007 01:41 PM

                  It is very easy to calculate how much you are going to spend at Susur because it only has a ~$120 tasting menu. Add your glass or bottle of wine on top and here you go !

                  1. re: skylineR33
                    OnDaGo Sep 24, 2007 02:03 PM

                    Then it is not a that easy as I assume he has a full wine list at differing prices..

                    Perigee was easy 10 course tasting $135 + $100 for wine pairing..

                    1. re: OnDaGo
                      skylineR33 Sep 24, 2007 02:19 PM

                      There are many restaurants with a full wine list with different prices and many of those also have a full food menu at different price (at least I have been to many of those). Susur do not have a food menu.

                      The $135 + $100 for wine pairing in Perigee is no brainer.

                2. re: syoung
                  d
                  David W Sep 28, 2007 03:39 PM

                  Just a small note-per se is two months in advance, and it's not a requirement-it's just that you have to call that day if you want any chance of a table...
                  Of course, if JK is offering one table, I guess you'd have to call at the right time!

                3. p
                  pgfuzz Sep 24, 2007 02:27 PM

                  I agree that this reservation policy they told you about is absolutely ludicrous. I'm going to forward this email to all of my friends -- they won't believe it either.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pgfuzz
                    b
                    Bigtigger Sep 24, 2007 02:43 PM

                    From the JKWB web site:

                    "Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar accepts lunch reservations Monday through Saturday from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm. - A limited number of dinner reservations are accepted seven days a week from 4:30 pm to 11:00 pm. Sunday Brunch reservations are accepted between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm."

                    IMHO no reasonable person would think that "a limited number" meant one table.

                    I do recall someone from JK announcing with some fanfare on this board that they would be taking reservations - don't remember his mentioning any such draconian and absurd restrictions as other posters have encountered.

                    Simple solution: I stopped going there in the supposedly bad old days when told I would need to wait 2-3 hrs for a table one Sunday night. There are lots of good restaurants in Toronto. Who needs this sort of nonsense ? I won't try going there now - or I might sidle up in my car, send in a friend to see if the walk-in and be seated situation obtains - and if not, go to any number of establishments (from Romagna Mia and Barberian's to Batifole and Petit Dejeuner or Town Grille) at all of which I will be given a warm welcome and seated within 30 minutes at the worst.

                    1. re: Bigtigger
                      c
                      cupcakez Sep 24, 2007 03:08 PM

                      I called and tried to book a reservation and they said there were a limited number of reservations taken and they had been all booked up. eventually she said there was only one table they took reservations for. She said it would be good to get there before 630 if we didnt want to wait, yet two of us worked until 6 that day.

                      Later I tried online, and every reservation for a saturday until mid october was booked. I think I will also go and just hope for the best, and wait at another bar if I have too.

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