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Mar 12, 2013 08:55 PM

State Bird Provision wait... how long on a Wed. night? [SF]

Since I've been unsuccessful for the past several months at getting a table at SBP, I'm going to take my fate in my hands and try a walk-in tomorrow night. But we're old and can't stand around waiting. I've heard waits at opening time on weeknights aren't bad... true? And how long is "not bad"? And is there somewhere for two old f*rts to sit while we wait?

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  1. You might find this post from bbulkow helpful though no specificity to day of the week,

    1. Hi waldrons,

      There really isn't anywhere to sit but the ground. If you're uncomfortable with the ground you'll have to bring a chair.

      My experience was for a sunny friday afternoon.

      People who lined up by about 4:45 or 4:50 got seated in the first round. Anyone in the line was given a time before 8:30. You can go elsewhere and come back, you just have to leave a cell phone number.

      If you're comfortable coming back 3 hours later, you should show up almost exactly at 5:30. You will get in you might just go have dinner somewhere else for 3 hours.

      PS. We left _STUFFED_.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bbulkow

        how is state bird for solo diners?

        1. re: majordanby

          I saw a solo diner there. They have a bar area but it's kind of "couples-y". They will seat the solo diners there, I think it's a fine place to be solo.

          As I mentioned in my longer writeup, there were comments about carts coming by empty and not getting some of the good looking dishes, when seated at the tables.

          At the counter we got all the dishes and they were hot and tasty. Essentially, there is a chef for each two people at the 6 person "front bar" and bar on the other side of the kitchen were they put the one solo diner. That area has back to the "room" and front to the street, perhaps the best view of the entire kitchen, but slightly more removed from the kitchen than the main area.

          SBP is very good about taking people in order, they wouldn't put you off because you're a single.

        2. re: bbulkow

          Oh, that is not good news. I'd hoped that the new new thing had worn off by now and the lines would be bearable. Well, we'll give it a shot, with our backup plan to go down the street to 1300 on Fillmore if it will be too long a wait. (Unfortunately, with no-where to sit, that would be about 15 min. Wait, why am I even trying this?)

          1. re: waldrons

            There was another New Yorker magazine article between when I went and now, so I don't expect the lines to get shorter.

            Was it worth it? "kind of". I liked going to such a "buzzy" place, but honestly it's the concept that's great, not the food. I was hoping for more explosive tastes, more combinations, more bang for my wait. It's one of those having-gone-there is better than going there.

            I always thought the apps at Yoshi's were good but I've never tried 1300. Dosa and SPQR are in the other direction, I think Dosa has a lounge area (SPRQ didn't last time I was there). A nearer place to sit down is the Boom Boom Room, as long as you nurse your drink.

            1. re: waldrons

              So, did she or didn't she go for it . . .

          2. Can guests with 5:30 reservations request the counter or is the counter reserved just for walk-ins?

            5 Replies
            1. re: PorkyBelly

              Porky, we had a 7:30 res last weekend and were seated at the counter.

              My micro-review: some hits and misses (was not crazy about the hamachi or the veggies with romesco), but given the fair prices and mostly friendly staff I would return. If I could get a reservation with no hassle.

              1. re: Leely2

                thanks for the info. did you request to sit at the counter or is that just where you ended up?

                1. re: PorkyBelly

                  That's just where we ended up. They asked us if we would mind sitting at the counter and we said no problem.

                  Have fun!

              2. re: PorkyBelly

                Reservations can request the counter, but not in a "reserved" way.


                At 5:30, reservations are handled first. There's still a "first come first serve" among the reservation people. People are asked if they want counter or table, as they present themselves. Then the line is handled. When each person is to be seated, they're given the choice of what is available. When you're told you'll be seated at 6:30, they won't tell you what will be free then (because they don't know). I bet you could ask then for counter, and only get called when they have counter seats available (or table).

                In general, they like seating couples at the counter, and more than 2 at the tables (my mind's eye says the tables were mostly 4 tops, I don't remember 2 tops but they must have had them).

                1. re: bbulkow

                  I was able to secure a 5:30 reservation for two and requested on the reservation to be seated at the counter.

                  I've read it can be a bit chaotic when the restaurant first opens, can I assume when I arrive at the restaurant around 5:30 there will be two lines, one for walk-ins and one for people with 5:30 reservations? How many seats are at the counter? Should I arrive earlier than 5:30 to get in the "reservation" line to have a better chance at the counter?

              3. The Seattle Weekly critic weighs in on the standing-room-only non-seating two-top at SBP:


                1. Just checking to see if all this remains true. I'd like to go tomorrow for my birthday and have no problem waiting in line. It sounds like I should get there at 4:45 if I want to eat at 5:30-ish?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: debbie421

                    I did it on Wednesday but since I failed last time by showing up at 4:30, this time I showed up at 3:30. The next guy behind me was a TaskRabbit hire who showed up at 4:00, trying to get 7:00 reservations.

                    Since the restaurant opens at 5:30, I would recommend you get there by 4:00/4:15 at the latest.