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Oct 8, 2007 07:21 AM

inconsiderate patrons and/or restaurant?

The s/o and I were invited to Louisville, KY this weekend for the St. James Art Fair and afterwards joined our friends(2 other couples) for dinner at L&N. This was my first visit to both the city and the restaurant. L&N appears to fill the niche of a middling-eclectic, moderately-priced bistro. We arrived on time for our 8:45 reservation to be told that our table was just starting dessert. No problem, we offered to have cocktails and app.s on the patio; it was a pretty night, not too warm, and, while the inside was apparently bustling, outdoor seating was plentiful. About twenty minutes later we're relaxing into our evening and inquire as to the status of our table...still on dessert. problem.

We continue to ask after our reserved table throughout the evening. An hour in...the harried owner comes by and mentions that the kitchen's backed up. Cut to the chase; we're not gonna get our table, we ask if they could squeeze together a couple of inside tables...nope...we then offer to place some tables together ourselves and take our meal outside...go ahead, she says

Food was an afterthought, thankfully the company was convivial and enthusiastic.

Come 11 o'clock or so(we didn't receive entrees until after 10) the restaurant's shutting comes "our" table wandering out. How incredibly rude! These bores took over our reserved table and *the restaurant let them*...they had plenty of opportunity to boot them out before we aquiesced and agreed to eat outside. Insult on top of injury, the waiter wrote in an 18 percent gratuity on the three checks(one per couple)...I don't recall the menu stating a factored-in gratuity for parties of a certain size...and, hey, you want 18%?, well, you certainly aren't going to receive our median 20%.

...bewilderingly, as the mother of our host and I get up to leave the restaurant, a busboy whips around and shouts at us, "we're closed!"

as if we hadn't just spent two hours at a table right outside the entrance
as if the restaurant weren't at fault for dragging out our repaste(we enjoyed a quick coffee after our no means lingered)

anyhow, what would you have done when you realized the restaurant was too cowardly to "offend" the rude table by booting them out(or moving them to the bar etc with free drinks or whatever)

oh...and I appreciate that the owner mentioned the weeded kitchen(even though it was said in a tone that implied we were just making it worse by honoring our part of the reservation and omg ordering food)...I found it declasse' that they didn't comp us drinks or a dessert: I mean, we cooperated the entire night...they're the ones that hassled us.

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  1. All the fault lies with the restaurant. Unless that table was told that they only have the table until a certain time, they are free to occupy it as long as they want. There is nothing rude or borish about staying as long as one wants to. It's the restaurant's job to make sure your reservation is honored by whatever means possible. They didn't put you at another table, they didn't offer the outside as a possibility, they didn't comp you at all.

    Bottom line, I would send a copy of your write up to the owner, minus the part about the other party. Again, it's not their fault (unless they were told to vacate ahead of time).

    1 Reply
    1. re: PeterL

      I appreciate your line of thinking vis a vis the other party. And I am intending to send a letter to the restaurant.

    2. This makes no sense. Does this mean that they had a particular table assigned to you? You get table A-7 and if someone comes in for a later reservation, they can get seated if "their" table is ready, but you have to wait until A-7, "your table", is ready?

      1 Reply
      1. re: yayadave

        I was thinking the same thing. why would they designate a specific table to your group? It sounds like they took advantage of the fact you were accomodating enough make up an outdoor table, order some drinks and wait, and wait, and wait. Once you were there they decided to keep you there. Definitely a restaurant I would never return to!

      2. I'm not sure why, at some point , you didn't just get up and leave? As for "booting out" the other party, as PeterL pointed out, that's not the way to go either,. I'm not sure why they were only able to seat you at one specific table (Did they only have one table for 6?) but if the other patrons were lingering over coffee, or even conversation, a savvy Mgr would have politely told them that their table was needed but that he/she would be delighted to have them continue their evening at your outside table, with a drink on the house. They took advantage of your easy going, nature. I agree. Send a letter to the owner. If you get no aplology, feel free to detail your experience in an online review. You must be lovely folks.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Tay

          It's my understanding there was only one 6-top.

        2. Wow. Were there others seated for reservations while you waited?
          This is unacceptable on the part of the restaurant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Barbecue Joe

            it's unacceptable if there was anywhere to put them. The OP's party was 6 people--many restaurants don't have a ton of places to put 6 people.

          2. I guess my post is a tad obfuscating: the waiter and owner kept referring to our reservation as "our table"---i.e. "your table's not ready yet, your table's still having dessert, etc." I was so focused on this absurdity that it didn't occur to me until now that they were obviously honoring other reservations. So, I emailed the restaurant. I'll post back if I hear anything. I'm not looking for freebies. Just an apology and/or explanation.