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First seating question

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We have one restaurant in particular that we prefer the first seating. Their specials are fantastic and we have missed out on seasonal favorites as early as 7:30 reservations.

They open their doors at 5, which is our reservation time. My question is this: Is it wrong to go to the bar to have a cocktail before we sit down to eat? I don’t want to hold up the table for the server’s second seating, we generally have pretty leisurely dinners but would LIKE to have a cocktail at the bar and chit-chat with the bartender before we eat. Sometimes after we eat, the bar is too crowded to go for an after dinner drink/chat.

I would love to hear CH’ers opinions.

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  1. Reservation is the table time. Some restaurants open the bar 15-30 minutes before the first seating. As it sounds like this is not the case, I would make the reservation for 5:15 or 5:30 and go 15-30 minutes early for your bar time. Then once you are seated you will still be ok for a two hour or so dinner.

    1. Yes. You are reserving the table, not the whole meal experience. Having a drink is the same as showing up late for the reservation.

        1. Just make your reservation for 5:30, then enjoy your time at the bar. Problem solved!

          1. be available to sit down at your table at the time you reserved the table.

            1. That is what happy hour is for.

              I think you should show up to be seated at the table at the time you reserved it for.