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Ageism is Calgary restaurants

Over the last several years, I've had my share of "fine dining" and it really irritates me when I get treated like a kid (mind you, this year I had turned 22 which I think is a rather decent age). I've always appreciated good food and you just can't get a mouthwatering, blue charred steak at Chili's or whatever other restaurant chain you want to insert here. Agegism doesn't apply to all waiters but I've had times where they look down on me for being younger than most of the other people at the establishment. Granted, I wont know what vintage that certain bottle of Merlot was particularly good in, but I do appreciate good wine with my meats. But some waiters just give you that look, that "what are you doing here, I'm too good for you, or the I can't believe you ordered Cabernet Sauvignon with pasta (I'm still ok in this department) look. Is this is common theme for most young people when you visit places like Rush, Bears Den, etc... Its not like I walk into a nice restaurant with jeans and a t-shirt, listening to my ipod or whatever. I adhere to dress codes, dress appropriately, well groomed, am generally laid back and not shouting or being obnoxious. Whats wrong here, Is it just me or is that just how things are?

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Bears Den
254028 Bearspaw Rd NW, Calgary, AB T3L 2P7, CA

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  1. I think it is more just fine dining snobbishness than actual ageism. Even us middle aged guys feel like we're treated that way sometimes.

    Calgary has gotten a lot more relaxed in terms of restaurant attitudes, but there are certainly some old school hold outs who seem to think that the customer should feel intimidated to be dining there. I, personally, try to avoid those places....

    1 Reply
    1. re: tex_in_yyc

      Well said Tex - I wholeheartedly agree. With the competition and volume of restaurants out there...if I ever am made to feel "less than or intimidated to be there"...I move on and enjoy other fine dining establishments. The food industry is a service industry and there are some who do forget at times.

    2. Just wait until you are older, have money to eat out, but choose to dress like a schlep and get treated like one, even though the so called fine dining restaurant you just ate at is sub standard at best. One of my son's who will be 18 this week is a very smart and savvy eater as he is well traveled and he too get written off by the so called high end places.

      1. This is how things are. In every city.

        Be happy that at 22 you can AFFORD Rush- I sure as hell couldn't, not as a poor PhD student with barely two nickels to rub together.

        3 Replies
        1. re: John Manzo

          Might be the funniest thing I have read today "poor PhD student". As for ageism, I think this is every place that wants their customers to buy $100+ bottles of wine.

          1. re: 300rwhp

            Why is that funny? You're usually carrying a load of undergrad debt, and you are being paid a pittance and working so hard it's not easy to take on another job. Grad students tend to be quite poor.

            1. re: Pipenta

              Agreed. I definitely don't find it funny as I'm currently a poor PhD student. It's worse than being a poor college student!

        2. Put me into the dress like a schlep and older category.

          There's one word for servers who treat people based on appearance...untipped.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sharonanne

            It has only happened on rare occasions where I didnt leave any tip and that was only because of a misunderstanding between the people in my party and myself. But I hate the idea of leaving no tip. Tip is supposed to go to all of the staff, and not just the waiter, so just because the waiter was being a snob doesnt mean that the rest of the establishment should have to pay.

            I wish I could go out to Rush every weekend but being a student away from home REALLY limits that.

            1. re: Roarasaur

              I'm with you. I was just saying that from the server's point of view it would seem to be in their best interest to treat everyone well. It's shortsighted of them to go for the immediate pleasure (?) of putting someone down rather than the long term reward of making someone happy.

          2. Some restaurants are obnoxious like that. I guess my only advice is, act like you're supposed to be there.

            Two places I dined at when I was 22 that are still around are Divino and River Cafe. The service was always excellent regardless of my age.