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Feb 23, 2012 02:32 PM

Restaurateurs please think - Example: I won't be eating at Pork Barrel in Alexandria

I really REALLY wanted to try it. There's even a door right off its (rear-situated) parking lot! And the staff are so nice!!!

But I went in and, sadly, went right out.

There's not a seat I can sit in. I'm old, and use a walker, and I can't get into a booth or sit on a high bar chair/stool ... and that's all the seating there is. So I won't be eating there, and neither will my family.

I've noticed this trend elsewhere. For instance, Lost Dog has only a very few tiny tables, mostly booths and stools. There are other examples.

Don't forget us fat, weak old folks!

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  1. So I won't be eating there, and neither will my family.
    Is this some kind of warning to restaurants or do you actually dictate where your family can eat based on whether you can eat there? I'm just wondering why you would say such a thing. What if your family wants to go out for BBQ at Pork Barrel? Are you going to stop them?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Worldwide Diner

      What kind of overbearing tyrant have I given the impression that I am?

      If my wife or kids want to go, I certainly have no problem with that at all - but, given their culinary preferences they will almost certainly go to their already-favorite places (wife to ABI or Jerusalem or Athens or Cheesetique, boys to Hong Kong Palace or Tempt Asian or fast-food).

      My intention in this post was to try to convey the message that failing to provide for the widest range of your customers costs you (restaurateur) not just a few handicapped customers, but also their usual dining companions. Don't write us handicapped old fat guys off as worthless, either. If we came, my companions wouldn't be ordering a tiny appetizer while I slowly gum my mush - I LOVES me some barbecue and so do all of us! So I'd go if I had any place to sit, and I'd try to convince them to come along with me, but without me they're given to frequent their own favorites.

      1. re: Worldwide Diner

        Actually, Worldwide Diner, I hope that Wayne does have a say in where he and his family eat. Would you rather they leave Wayne in the car while they go into the restaurant, or, maybe, not include him at all and leave him home, alone.

        I believe that Wayne was just trying to raise awareness in the restaurant industry that there is a group of people that they are missing out on and that by providing regular table and chair seating, the restaurants would increase the number of diners and thereby, profits.

        Also, my mother had mobility issues. For each restaurant that didnt' have suitable accomodations, there were dozens that did, so we would turn around and leave. I would let the manager/owner know the reason.

        As to returning to that restaurant at a later date without my mother, why would I want to go back and give them my hard-earned money when my family group was not made welcome?

        1. re: Vidute

          Let me add that we "crips" need to be flexible as well ... I go to Tempt Asian and feel like it's so cramped that my "parked beside my chair" walker is in the way, and indeed it is. But the friendly staff always asks, then spirits it away behind the scenes somewhere, then brings it back when needed. They thought of it, not me. And I'm grateful (and we're all regulars there).

      2. Did you talk to them about pulling a regular chair up to the end of the booth? We take my mother in law, who has mobility issues, out and find staff usually eager to try to help.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tcamp

          bump to hear an answer to tcamp's query as to performance of a reasonable accommodation request.

          1. re: Buffy Despres

            I would give you an answer, but I'm not going to bother going back to find out what happens. If I wanted to sit out in the middle of the floor, blocking everyone else, I might think differently, but I didn't think anything they offered on the menu would be worth that embarrassment (or being that much of an annoyance to others).

            I know I'm being grumpy and a bit particular - At TemptAsian the food is, IMO, totally worth being an annoyance, and the staff has (as seen above) totally taken care of the issue.

            PS - Was it Yelp where I read an even grumpier review about the staff here? Totally not my experience, as far as it went - I got a genuine welcome and friendly smile from everyone when I ventured in. I'm sure they'd do their utmost to accommodate me. But I looked around, and really truly didn't see even a single regular chair - it was between "booth" and "way high".

        2. fyi, wayne, lost dog in arlington has plenty of chairs -- at least as far as i recall -- in the back room.