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Dining for couples only?

Boston_Otter Nov 11, 2011 06:19 PM

A member of Davis Square LiveJournal posted today that he was turned away from Foundry on Elm after asking for a table for one. He was told that they don't seat single diners or take reservations for them, and was told this was a standing policy at the restaurant.

I've never heard of anyplace doing this, but I know a lot of restaurants have kooky policies depending on who's running the floor that night.

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  1. t
    treb RE: Boston_Otter Nov 11, 2011 06:26 PM

    Scratch them from my list, I normally would sit at the bar.

    1 Reply
    1. re: treb
      hotoynoodle RE: treb Nov 11, 2011 07:49 PM

      as a frequent solo diner i would never take a table and always dine at the bar. if this is your preference too, why the boycott? the place is an absolute zoo, so i don't begrudge them trying to maximize seats.

    2. Locutus RE: Boston_Otter Nov 11, 2011 06:38 PM

      Wow! scumbags. i would let the whole area know. tweet it, post here [o yeah] facebook and whatever else. i bet even a local news would cover it.

      1. kobuta RE: Boston_Otter Nov 11, 2011 07:39 PM

        Certainly nothing on their website that reads or suggests they only seat parties of 2 or more. Odd.

        1. m
          Madrid RE: Boston_Otter Nov 11, 2011 08:18 PM

          I often eat alone, and I don't always want to sit at the bar...I've never had any trouble as a woman getting a table for one, though I'm often asked if the bar is ok. I usually say I'd rather have a table and I've never been told no. However, this is usually before prime dinner time. There are some folks who'd prefer to sit alone and read rather than watch TV or sit at the bar. If they don't want to give me a table for one, I don't want them.

          1. pikawicca RE: Boston_Otter Nov 11, 2011 08:21 PM

            Never heard of such a thing, and I've eaten solo in restaurants around the planet. I would take my business elsewhere.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pikawicca
              opinionatedchef RE: pikawicca Nov 12, 2011 12:27 AM

              i agree completely. tweet away. get the masses to speak and get them to change their policy.that's really disgusting.

            2. libertywharf RE: Boston_Otter Nov 12, 2011 04:00 AM

              I always sit at the bar. I think the restaurant is right in enforcing this policy, especially during prime time.

              5 Replies
              1. re: libertywharf
                Alcachofa RE: libertywharf Nov 14, 2011 10:00 AM

                Ridiculous. What about parties of 3? 5?

                I really doubt this is Foundry's policy. Probably just an over-zealous (in a bad way) host.

                1. re: Alcachofa
                  Science Chick RE: Alcachofa Nov 14, 2011 10:19 AM

                  Ha-Ha great point! They should have asked the host if it would be more acceptable to fill-in the empty seat at that nearby table of 3!!! ;)

                2. re: libertywharf
                  Science Chick RE: libertywharf Nov 14, 2011 10:18 AM

                  A solo woman diner may not want to eat at the bar and attract unwanted attention. Sometimes it's just nice to sit alone and have a lovely meal.

                  1. re: Science Chick
                    hckybg RE: Science Chick Nov 15, 2011 06:05 PM

                    Or maybe you don't want to sit amidst alcoholic drinks. Or maybe you don't want to watch TV. Or maybe you don't want to risk sitting next to someone who will want to talk. I am sympathetic to restaurants not wanting to seat parties of two at tables for four, but it's pretty rude to not seat one person at a two-top. If you treat a solo diner well, you are pretty much guaranteed future business, so this is a mistake in more ways than one.

                    1. re: hckybg
                      brandywiner RE: hckybg Nov 16, 2011 01:51 PM

                      Exactly. Often, the solo diner is the one who's inclined to scope out new places, and suggest them to friends, co-workers, etc. Treat him/her well, and the multiplier effect can kick in. Treat him/her shabbily, and the negative word will spead.

                3. C. Hamster RE: Boston_Otter Nov 12, 2011 06:50 AM

                  Repugnant. Asshats.

                  I eat alone frequently too and though I generally sit at the bar there are times I'd prefer a table.

                  I've never been there and now never will.

                  1. g
                    grant.cook RE: Boston_Otter Nov 12, 2011 09:19 AM

                    I'd be curious if they'd seat a party of two at a four-top if that's all that was available.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: grant.cook
                      Allstonian RE: grant.cook Nov 12, 2011 11:15 AM

                      Heck, I'm curious whether they would also be unwilling to seat parties of 3, 5, etc. (*IF* any of this is true - see below.)

                      I often find bar or hi-top seating physically uncomfortable, so prefer a normal chair at a table even if I'm dining solo.

                      BTW, it's not entirely clear that Foundry really is refusing to seat solo diners - there are several posts on that LiveJournal thread from people who have said that they have eaten there solo, some quite recently.


                      1. re: Allstonian
                        kobuta RE: Allstonian Nov 12, 2011 11:59 AM

                        I'm with you. I do dine alone now and then, and being under 5 feet, hi-top seating is annoying and uncomfortable. I should not need to climb in and out of my seat to enjoy a meal and/or to use the rest rooms, if there is more appropriate seating available for my meal.

                        1. re: Allstonian
                          phoenixy RE: Allstonian Nov 12, 2011 03:23 PM

                          I went last night in a party of three, our table was this awkward two-top set in a corner with a bench seat to allow seating for three....we had to keep shifting around our food and drinks in order to get them to fit on the table.

                        2. re: grant.cook
                          phoenixy RE: grant.cook Nov 12, 2011 03:16 PM

                          Not last night, they wouldn't...they wouldn't even put a party of three at a four-top (which meant we had to wait 45+ minutes for a table after being told it was a 15 minute wait...). However I have eaten there as a party of three at a four-top when it was less busy.

                        3. s
                          SimplyMarie RE: Boston_Otter Nov 12, 2011 10:13 AM

                          I normally sit at the bar when dining alone, but I would not frequent a restaurant that turns away single diners, especially if this policy is not clear. Now, there have been times when a working lunch is required and then it is better to have one of the smaller tables. I guess Foundry must be doing okay if they can afford to turn away diners. Something tells me the poster should probably confirm this policy with management.
                          I can understand not taking reservations for a single diner. Most places have a minimum for reservations.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: SimplyMarie
                            yarm RE: SimplyMarie Nov 13, 2011 01:08 PM

                            I would amend that to turning away single diners when there are open tables (that probably won't get filled). I definitely understand that if there is a wait for tables, a table for one is half the profits. Then there are open tables, a table for one is extra profit. I have not had a problem doing this going early before the rush, late after the rush, or on off nights.

                            Although I do agree that single diners should opt for the bar if one is available and open.


                            1. re: yarm
                              femmevox RE: yarm Nov 13, 2011 06:49 PM

                              I'm actually wondering if this is even legal.

                              I think the poster should check with the management and find out if this is an actual policy, or just some off-the-cuff policy devised to maximize income the other night.

                              1. re: femmevox
                                opinionatedchef RE: femmevox Nov 13, 2011 10:02 PM

                                i don't think there are laws about this issue. unless one could claim racism /sexism.

                                1. re: femmevox
                                  hotoynoodle RE: femmevox Nov 14, 2011 06:35 PM

                                  it's a private business. they may reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, as long as it is not based on gender/race/handicap, etc.

                                  since others have dined there solo, it's not policy 100% of the time, but they likely were just balls to the wall. it's one of the busiest places i have seen in a long time.

                              2. re: SimplyMarie
                                galleygirl RE: SimplyMarie Nov 15, 2011 08:06 AM

                                Perhaps management needs to confirm _their_ seating policy with an aggressive FOH staff...

                                1. re: galleygirl
                                  brandywiner RE: galleygirl Nov 15, 2011 09:18 AM

                                  Because nothing says "Welcome! Eat, drink, and be merry!" quite like "an agressive FOH staff"!

                              3. l
                                LeoLioness RE: Boston_Otter Nov 14, 2011 06:47 AM

                                After reading the LiveJournal entry, it's still unclear to me what happened and the original poster making the complaint never returned to clarify. There's an enormous difference between a restaurant refusing to seat someone and a restaurant refusing to give someone a certain table.

                                1. yumyum RE: Boston_Otter Nov 14, 2011 07:24 AM

                                  Just wanted to chime in to say that no matter what really happened with the single seating at Foundry, no hound should be too disappointed to skip the place. After an early-on promising meal (v. good spaetzle) I've been back a handful of times and have been underwhelmed by the food. So, if you choose to boycott the place, you wont be missing much.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: yumyum
                                    Boston_Otter RE: yumyum Nov 23, 2011 12:10 PM

                                    I've returned in the past month and had some of the best food I've had in Davis Square. I guess your milage must vary... both in food and service... depending on who's working.

                                    1. re: Boston_Otter
                                      opinionatedchef RE: Boston_Otter Nov 23, 2011 02:06 PM

                                      otter, if you posted about a good dinner here, i must have missed it. Plse do tell what was excellent. thnx much. (do i remember right that you liked gargoyle's?)

                                      1. re: opinionatedchef
                                        Boston_Otter RE: opinionatedchef Nov 23, 2011 03:07 PM

                                        @opinionated: I had very mixed experiences with Gargoyle's. My times eating in the dining room seemed gimmicky and very underwhelming, but I had many tasty burgers, wings, and cheese plates in their bar -- and I always enjoyed their excellent bartenders.

                                        My first visit to Foundry wasn't long after they opened -- I had their poutine, which was pretty bland and mediocre, and a surprisingly excellent banh mi. Since then the menu seems to have undergone an upgrade from bar snacks to more upscale. The night I went, they had a pork belly dish that was really nice, a really outstanding cheese plate, and a potato-bacon soup that knocked my socks off with deep smoky richness. The place is pretty inconsistent in its service and quality though... their cocktails can be excellent or mediocre depending on who's behind the bar, the place itself can be either cozy and friendly or an unbearably noisy place with snooty, eye-rolling servers. So it's hard to recommend.

                                  2. BobB RE: Boston_Otter Nov 14, 2011 08:55 AM

                                    I had this happen to me in London once but never in the States.

                                    1. Veggo RE: Boston_Otter Nov 14, 2011 07:07 PM

                                      When I sense that I am about to be turned away for being a single, I tell them that MPD is the least of my disorders, and I want a two-top... NOW.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Veggo
                                        SEH RE: Veggo Nov 15, 2011 09:31 AM

                                        What is "MPD"?

                                        1. re: SEH
                                          Veggo RE: SEH Nov 15, 2011 10:20 AM

                                          I think it's multiple personality disorder. I'll go ask myself......Yup, that's it.

                                          1. re: Veggo
                                            opinionatedchef RE: Veggo Nov 15, 2011 03:14 PM

                                            YOU! YOU!
                                            That is the loudest laugh I've had all day. Thnx much!

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