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Glenn's Diner

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I have eaten here three times and every one of them has been great, especially on Tuesday with the all you can eat King Crab. But, the past few times we have tried to go, they have asked if we had a reservation, and if we did not they would not be able to seat us for the entire night. Even though the dining room and patio were half empty and each time we went it was around 5PM. One time we were lucky and talked the hostess into sitting outside, and the entire time we were there, the patio and dining room remained half full. After learning are lesson the hard way a few times we called to make reservations they said they were booked for the night and do not take reservations for times within two hours. The man who answered the phone even acted like we were crazy that we were calling to make a reservation. I understand the restaurant is small but I feel they are doing a poor job and are turning customers away. Wondered if any others have had problems with this issue. I think they have good consistent food, but do not know if I will go back if this issue continues.

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  1. I've been there twice in about the last month and have not experienced the issues you complain of. My first visit I had a reservation and the place was packed the whole time. The other time, I didn't have a reservation and had to wait a bit, but again it was also packed both before and after I got there. My second meal, I got there at 6pm and the place was packed, so to the extent they told you at 5pm that it was full, but wasn't full when you got there, it might be because they knew you would not have been able to finish dinner before 6pm reservations arrived. I should also note that I thought both dinners were excellent.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BRB

      Again, I do love the food. I Just wish they were a bit more accommodating. Each time I was turned away, I think they could have offered us to be put on a wait list. Instead they just told me they were booked and goodbye. Thanks for the feedback.

    2. Thank you for this warning. I have been impressed by posts to Yelp Chicago and had planned to take my family to Glenn's Diner when they visit next month. Now, forget it. There are enough restaurants in Chicago where the staff isn't snotty.

      There's an old Alec Guinness movie where his character, a modest clerk, believes he will soon die so he takes all his savings and books at an exclusive resort. The travel agent keeps trying to discourage him by saying that the result is "exclusive, sir...VERY exclusive". Finally Guinness explodes, "Do you mean to say that they meet you at the train and tell you to go back home?".

      3 Replies
      1. re: Querencia

        I don't doubt for a minute Crazy Oyster's negative experiences. It happens . . . everywhere. But I'm amazed that one person's review will keep you from trying a restaurant you otherwise planned to visit.

        I happen to really enjoy the food at Glenn's and I have never experienced anything but the friendliest and most laid back service (2 dinners and several brunches).

        1. re: BRB

          Ditto.

          You'll be missing out on one of the best places for a simple seafood dinner (at least at their prices) in Chicago. I could definitely see why a bad service experience would prevent you from ever returning to a restaurant, but these things are occasionally transitory, and certainly somebody else's bad experience has never dissuaded me from trying out a place, altho it might make me overly attentive to such issues.

          1. re: jbw

            I actually had a similar experience with the reservations, and a rude hostess, but i agree with BRB and JBW. I sat down angry, but as soon as the food came, I completely forgot what I was mad about. Totally worth going to.