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Earth Bread Brewery just lost a customer

I have to start this off by saying I love Earth Bread Brewery, my husband and I used to go there all the time, their seed pizza is to die for and I love their beers. We have a little one in tow now so have not been able to go there in a while, but the planets seemed to align today and we were able to get out for an early dinner, and I was so excited to go there. They open at 4:30, we arrived at 10 minutes before 5:00. We learned from the hostess that they were not seating for dinner until 5:00, we had no idea about that because everything we saw said it opened at 4:30, and were informed that we could sit at the bar. Since we had a one year old with us, we asked if we could just sit at a table for the ten minutes, we did not need to be served, just wanted somewhere to sit with our baby and not disrupt the other patrons at the bar. The restaurant was empty, the tables were set and it really was not asking alot. The hostess refused, so we were stuck standing in the foyer. I asked the hostess if she could at least seat us as soon as 5:00 hit. She said fine then left. So we waited and waited and waited. At quarter past five we just left. I know 25 minutes does not seem like a long time but it is an ETERNITY when you have a baby. And what makes it worse is that when you have a baby you never get to go out and when you do you have to time it perfectly around naps, etc. We really put alot of effort into that visit, looked up what time they opened, arranged my daughters nap schedule around it. And we were not asking for anything unreasonable at all, just to sit at one of the empty tables while we waited, instead of sitting at the bar disrupting the other patrons. I understand if we arrived before the restaurant opened or were asking for somehing unusual, but it was not alot. And we were just treated with absolutely no care or consideration.

As a Plan B we walked over to Wine Their, we treated so warrmly by the staff, had some wonderful wine ($3 happy hour can't be beat), and my daughter had a great chldren's meal with the best homemade applesauce I've had. So that made up for it.

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  1. That really sounds like an awful experience but instead of boycotting Earth Bread contact management. I get upset when I hear people say that because you don't give managment a chance to make up for a bad employee. If you enjoy the place, contact the management. I am sure they will bend over backwards to help you and make you feel welcome again. Just be polite and they will probably welcome feedback, especially from someone who has visited before, I have been restaurant managment before and I was loathe to lose a customer to bad service. Now, if managment blows you off then feel free to boycott and publicly shame them but give them a chance to make it better.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jparson

      My husband is going to contact management, hopefully they will make this better. I was just really disappointed because normally this is a great restaurant. The hostess was not rude or anything, she was just acting like it was restaurant policy and she could not do anything about it.

      1. re: AmblerGirl

        AmblerGirl I am really sorry you had such a poor experience at EBB. You should call and ask for either Tom Baker or Peggy Zwerve who own the restaurant. Tom and Peggy have been brewing for years, and this restaurant is their life. I am sure they will want to hear about and want to make sure you are taken care of. You might also send them a message on their facebook page. Glad you had a good meal at the Wine Their!

        1. re: AmblerGirl

          Still I have to assume the extra 15 minutes after 5 was her fault?

        2. re: jparson

          In this day of age of online bloggers, chowhound, and various electronic media available etc, bad news carries 10 times faster than the plague, EBB better wise up, If not I'll probably not visit also, it concerns me that you visited before and loved it, and now this treatment, I would call the owners, I used to be in restaurant management, not the easiest of professions, I would profusingly apologize, probably offer you a comped meal, but once you get a bad taste in your mouth, hard to go back, I wouldn't go back

        3. Wow that seems really strange and unnecessary. I would have been tempted to just seat ourselves when she disappeared.

          1. That is a shame AmblerGirl. Glad you had your time out anyway and had fun. I would expect more of this kind of stuff to go on around this time of year, as the college students quit their summer jobs for a bit of fun before going back to classes. If the managers are in vacation mode, it can leave things in limbo until after labor day. Over and over again I see problems that could be avoided if a vigilant manager was on duty. I had a big problem at my local Giant today, and when the courtesy deck tried to call the manager they were hung up on. The staff figured out that the big boss who could have helped me had gone home. This was at five pm on a friday. The place was like a rudderless ship.

            1. That's a shame Amblergirl. Poor treatment and lousy service leaves me totally cold to a place. That happened to us at Lacroix of all places the last time we were there. We had booked our reservation through Open Table and I left a scathing review and was contacted by the General Manager. He claims we will make our next experience flawless. The food is so good there so we will go back. I hope the owners of EBB take your comments to heart an offer you a good reason to return.

              1. I like EBB, but we havent been back in a while because it is often a struggle there to get a table. It is a crap shoot whether or not you will have to wait and whether you will be comfortable waiting there or stand the whole time squeezed in the entry way or near the bar.
                I like to relax going out and it has really never been a relaxing experience going there, even on a weeknight. One time we had 4 kids in tow and left to go to McMenamins because it was so packed on a weeknight and they dont take reservations.
                They need a more comfortable area to wait for a table. One time they let us sit on the couches upstairs at the upstairs bar, but that area can be packed on a busy night as well.

                1. that is so frustrating! seems she could have let you sit somewhere besides the bar. Where is EBB located?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jujuthomas

                    EBB is located in Mount Airy, on Germantown Ave. Wonderful corner location, two bars, one upstairs and one downstairs. Beautiful communal table made out of a single slab of wood that seats 12. Baker used to be the owner/brewer of Heavyweight Brewing in NJ until he closed it several years ago. EBB is his next venture. Great beer, great atmosphere.

                  2. My response honestly is Oh relax. I arrived there last Saturday with a 13 year old and a two year old between 4:30 and 4:45. I asked for a table and was told that they don't serve until 5PM. I was kinda surprised and asked could we sit at a table and again was told we couldn't but could wait at one of the front high tables. Within ten
                    minutes we were seated and had a great time as usual. I know for future reference to show up at or after 5 if I want immediate seating.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Chinon00

                      Chinon, telling people not to feel the way they feel rarely works, and it sounds to me like the original poster was made to feel very unwelcome. In today's economy if you don't treat your customers right, someone else will be only too happy to. I hope the management reads this post and reconsiders their policy.

                      1. re: givemecarbs

                        My comments were focused upon the "lost a customer" comment from the OP. My advise in this situation like other have stated is to bring the issue up to the owner. But to cut a place off (that you like) over something like this is in my opinion an overreaction. But its the OP's right.

                    2. 25 minutes with a baby is MORE than an ETERNITY. I am glad that you were so well received by the Wine Thief. Wake up EBB....one doesn't expect this type of treatment in Mount Airy!!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: gardens4me

                        I'm curious, why dosen't one expect this kind of treatment in Mt. Airy ? I expect it everywhere but am honestly pleasantly suprised when good service is the norm almost anywhere these days.

                      2. EBB is our standard haunt. I'm probably in there 2x/month - not a whole lot, overall, but enough to get a feel for the place.
                        When you told your story, a few faced popped into my mind... *most* of the people in there wouldn't have done that. And it is good to just move onto the 'bar tables' sometimes. Give it some time, then do try again... from what I can tell, they're one of the more kid-friendly places around.

                        1. We've been to EBB many..many times...and my feelings are that this is perhaps an unfortunate incident and not the norm. We have been to EBB with toddler in tow and they have always been accommodating. The upstairs is usually full of families and kids. My thoughts....there are some new faces there...perhaps an unfortunate misunderstanding. Speak to the owners..but never to return? not so sure.

                          1. had the same experience (minus the baby) getting a table there. i too showed up at 4:30 (after i'd even called asking what time they opened for dinner, since it's a long trek out there for me!) and was told to wait. ended up sitting at the bar and having a few beers first... but a simple explanation about seating beginning at 5 would go a long way.

                            1. They lost me too as well as a few other folks I know. Used to go there at least once a week. We were always very polite and tipped over 20%.Extremely rude service with owner looking on a saying nothing did it for us. In addtion, food choices are very limited and not that great. Better beer selection at Mc Mennimens with better bartenders.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: 18465

                                Sorry that you had a bad experience. I've always preferred the service at Earth to McM's, although McM's is what it is - not unfriendly, just friendly in a somewhat gruff way.

                                As for the limited food choices - i like that about EBB. They've got pizza, they've got beer. If that's what you want, go there; if not, not.

                              2. i'm really surprised. i've been there several times with my twins (as babies and as toddlers) and was always well-accommodated there. i wonder if the seating at 5 thing is new, as my husband, the kids and i definitely got there right as they were opening once a few months ago and had no problem being seated at a table right away, downstairs, giant double stroller and all.

                                if you care enough, i would call and let the management know for sure... sounds like a bad hostess issue... if it were my restaurant, i'd want to know about this person!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: missfunkysoul

                                  It's a shame that you had a dissapointing experience. We've been to earth too many times to count, while imbibing in too many beers to count, and have always received great service. While we've run into the same scenario, we've been content to sip on a beer until seated or stroll down the avenue to wile away a few minutes.