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Frances Reservation

What is up with Frances? I have been using Open Table to test the reservation system so that I know exactly when I can get a reservation for my upcoming trip. I am able to find reservations for 5:00PM, 6:15pm and 8:15pm and later but never at my preferred time of 7pm. Do they block that time period for the restaurant to make reservations? If they ever answered their phone that would be okay but I have only read complaints about the fact that they do NOT answer their phone EVER. Just for kicks I call consistently during the period they claim to answer the phone and they have never once answered. Does this mean that only locals are able to walk into the restaurant and make a reservation for the coveted 7pm time slot? What's the secret?

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  1. What about getting the 8:15pm reservation & showing up early?

    I hope to read what others think about the Lumberjack Cake that's in the 7x7 Magazine 100 best things to eat in SF.

    1. Open Table is a helpful tool, but not the only resource. They seem have reservation availability based on what the restaurant gives them, but not the full spectrum. As an alternative, I've had a lot of success calling restaurants directly when I strike out with OT.

      Frances, I understand, is small and popular, so the general rule may not apply; but I'd certainly encourage you to contact them directly if you're not finding what you want on-line.

      1. I'm honestly impressed that you've been able to see reservations at 5, 6:15, and 8:15, since it's been difficult to get any reservation for Frances -- most people search on OT and it says that there's no reservation available for 8 weeks. If you really want to eat there, make the 6:15 reservation just to get one, and then call to see if you can alter it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JasmineG

          "and then call to see if you can alter it."

          "they do NOT answer their phone EVER."

          Cool Hand Luke(1967)
          Captain, Road Prison 36: What we've got here is... failure to communicate.

          1. re: wolfe

            Yes, I read that, thanks for the copy/paste. But that is still the only option if the OP is unable to alter her preference by 45 minutes.

        2. If you live in the city, then I would advise you to try walk in. If however you live in the burbs like me, just wait until the spotlight is on some other hot spot. There are too many great places to eat to get hung-up on one cool kitchen. If they can't answer the phone, they don't need your business.

          4 Replies
          1. re: budnball

            While I certainly agree that a restaurant's reputation should be damaged by their unwillingness to answer the phone it has now become a challenge. I do not live in California so going into the restaurant is not an option. I will ultimately take what I can get but I have a two day window. Although 45 minutes does not seem like a lot, when you are trying to pack a lot of site seeing into each day it makes a lot of difference. You essentially have to be done touring and then get ready for dinner. I just want to capitalize on eating at great places for my visit.

            1. re: PrincessMaea

              I went through the same thing that Princess did. The answering machine states "please do not leave any reservation requests". I left a message and asked them to call me back..............and they did!!!

              1. re: tito

                So Tito did you leave a reservation request or just a message? Did you get a reservation?

                1. re: PrincessMaea

                  They did not have the time I was looking for so I passed on it. The person that called was very nice and as a matter of fact, they called twice rather than leave me a message, which I thought was nice.

                  It ends up I will be dining solo so I am just going to chance it and try and grab a seat at the bar.

          2. I'm in the same boat! I've been looking for decent reservations since it first opened!

            Off the bat, it got rave reviews and quickly grew to be a popular neighborhood hot spot. Then the national food mags and blogs caught on touting it as best new restaurant in US or something. Then adding fuel to the fire, it gains a Michelin star in its first year!

            Frankly I am amazed you found a 6:15 & 8:15 pm opening! I would have snagged those easily. I recall the same hype surrounding Spruce. I would check OT religiously and they were booked for months on end and they're still pretty booked most of the time.

            Like someone said, I'd suggest a walk in. All restaurants reserve a table or two for walk-ins... just don't try to do so during on a weekend.

            1. I've eaten there twice at undesirably early times, including once shortly after all the hype hit. Honestly, I'd take an early reservation and then go do something fun like see a movie at the Castro or some live music afterward. It is a small, small dining room, and we were glad to have a bit of elbow space, lower decibels and attention. At least the times we were there, it never felt dead even at six because people were enjoying cocktails in the bar space.