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Feb 20, 2014 10:42 AM

First seating question

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.