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Longman & Eagle...5 p.m. on a Saturday...what to expect?

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If our strategy is to hit Longman & Eagle at 5 p.m. on Saturday, do you think we’ll still be waiting a while for a table?

Trying to gauge how hungry we should be when we show up.

Thanks in advance for you thoughts.

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  1. That's been my strategy at Longman & Eagle. I go early and have never waited more than about 10 minutes - just enough to order and start a beer. I love the food there.

    1. Just make sure you don't get there much later than that. The article in the Tribune about always-crowded restaurants says it's full by 5:30 on Saturdays and the wait is two hours by 6 pm. http://chicago.metromix.com/restauran...

      5 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        I know they don't take reservations and I know what the Trib said, but my experience doesn't support all of it.

        We were there between 5:30 and 6 pm (which I consider early for sure) on the Fourth of July for their Pig Picnic and had no problem getting seated at all. There were empty tables around us for a good half-hour after that and I didn't see much of a line.

        Who knows, maybe the article scared away enough people that those of us who still showed up benefited well. And even if there is a wait, the beer- and whiskey-tasting and waiter/patron chatting is good enough that it doesn't feel like a problem.

        1. re: chicgail

          If you mean this year, July 4 was a Monday. The advice I quoted from the Tribune was for a Saturday, and presumably a typical one that's not a holiday when lots of folks are at picnics or out of town or headed to fireworks. Big difference. You may find waits to be higher OR lower than normal on holidays, as well as due to other factors like weather.

          Also, it sounded like most of the advice in the article came directly from the restaurants themselves.

          If you're not sure what waits are likely to be, you can always call the restaurant to ask. I've found the most accurate way is to call them at about the same time and day of the week you plan on going, and asking them what the wait is right at that moment.

          1. re: nsxtasy

            >> I've found the most accurate way is to call them at about the same time and day of the week you plan on going, and asking them what the wait is right at that moment.

            Today is Saturday. I called them at 5 pm and just now at 6 pm, and both times they said that a party of two could be seated immediately. At 5 pm they also mentioned that their kitchen had just opened. So I think it's safe to say that at 5 pm you will almost certainly walk right in, and that even at 6 pm the wait might not be a problem either.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              Yep. That's what I said based on my experience.

              1. re: chicgail

                To follow up: Went yesterday at 5:15 and we were seated immediately. It didn't seem to pick up until about 6.

                Enjoyed the experience. I was worried with the reputation of them being crazy busy that we would be rushed through our meal, but the pacing was perfect.

      2. Has anyone been there recently? Is it still necessary to go early? What might we expect if we want to go on Saturday at 7pm?

        3 Replies
        1. re: felipeochoa

          I would go early, especially at prime time on Saturday, but 5 pm shouldn't be a problem. If there is a wait, the bar is great and the bartenders do chat really well.

          1. re: chicgail

            Thanks for the advice! I thought I'd report back our experience:

            We went there last Saturday (the 8th), arriving right at 6. The wait was 1.5h for a two-top, and it was already very lively. The couple arriving immediately after us I think just ate at the bar and didn't seem to have a wait. We used the time to check out Scofflaw (awesome fries and drinks) while we waited. We got a call around 7.10 and were sitting down around 7.30. As we were coming back in we heard the hostess tell another couple that the wait would be 2.5h for a two-top.

            1. re: felipeochoa

              I was just there for lunch and while we got seated right away, there wasn't an empty seat in the place. It was still buzzing when we left around 2 pm.