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