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Shopsins? Is it True about getting kicked out?

I grew up in the Essex St. Market when it was a total dive. I had the chance this weekend to peruse it for the first time in many years and came across Shopsins which I recalled seeing on the Food Network for their ebelsivers (please forgive my spelling!) When I came home, I looked it up on the internet to see what their offerings were (HUGE extensive menu) as we already had lunch plans but put it on our list of places to eat, I read horrible reviews of people getting kicked out and even cursed at for not following the rules. Now I cannot imagine with my 6'3" hulk of a husband that I'd be kicked out of anywhere but I'm curious...are these Yelpers exaggerating or is it true?

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  1. It's true. The reports of how frequently it's true are probably exaggerated, though. I've eaten there a few times and seen one person get told to leave. Because that person was acting like a ninny. So don't act like a ninny, and you won't have trouble. Probably. This old thread has lots of good info:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/639527

    8 Replies
    1. re: small h

      Thanks for the info and the link! I don't make it a general habit to act like a ninny so I should be good! :)

      1. re: nyfoodie718

        i always felt that kenny gets a bad rap. if you have manners, you'll enjoy your meal...if you can deal with the wait.

        1. re: sam1

          I have now eaten there three times. I have never witnessed a single person getting a hard time (the worst was "No. . .we only have fat milk!") and I have enjoyed wonderful experiences, sitting next to interesting people, eating delicious food. I have no doubt that Kenny has his days, but the overall experience has been wonderful for me and my kids.

      2. re: small h

        i probably wouldve used more colorful adjectives, but yeah, dont like like a ninny and you will be fine. As long as you have no more than a party of 4 (cant really fit more that that really), everyone orders food, making a lot of subsitutions and dont linger, you will be fine.

        1. re: jester99

          i'm a little unclear as to why this thread was revived, but i would like to add if you are interested in shopsin's, and have time to kill, go to youtube and search for "i like killing flies". . .it's a good little documentary about kenny.

          fwiw, my experience at shopsin's was like ruben's--no real attitude, nice laid back vibe, and solid food. yeah, the menu is crazy large.

          1. re: afong56

            I Like Killing Flies is available on NetFlix instant queue. Worth a look.

            1. re: grampart

              After seeing the movie we decided we did not need the Shopsins experience.

            2. re: afong56

              Kenny's book is a fun, interesting read, too. I saw his daughter Tamara just put out a book, too - not sure it relates to the restaurant but I haven't had a chance to read it.

              We were just there yesterday and had a great meal, as always. I'm consistently amazed to hear about the reputation since I've gone there for years, back to the old Bedford Street location and never had issues. Yesterday's meal was fantastic and the only yelling was between Kenny and his son. Used to go there a lot and they gave me a t-shirt when I headed off overseas, so I'll always be a fan, but just don't be a jerk, be prepared to wait in line, know what you want to order and it'll be a great experience.

        2. I had never heard of Shopsins before and I've lived in NYC my whole life! My friend suggested it for lunch last week, telling me that she heard it was one of the best breakfast places in NY. We ended up waiting in line for 2 hours. The server was extremely surly and the antithesis of hospitable. Instead of helping direct me to something Id like to eat (when he told me he couldnt take cheese off of my first and second choices), he just walked away. The owner himself was friendly (he told the cook to make my first choice sans cheese), albeit plopped in a chair while staring into space during the duration if our meal:) The food was tasty and fresh, but by the time we ate, my friend and I were starving. My food also came out 10 mins before hers. I assume it was due to the small kitchen, but a friendlier establishment would have warned us. While Shopsins is very creative and unique, I would not recommend this place to anyone unless they like to be made to feel uncomfortable.

          2 Replies
          1. re: NicoleFriedman

            no one goes to Shopsins expecting good service. if you're cool, they're cool, but that's about the best you'll get.

            1. re: NicoleFriedman

              I'm surprised they didn't kick you out for asking for something without cheese. Kenny must have mellowed.

            2. Sometimes the shtick gets so offensive that you end up self-deporting. We did.