A Note To Restaurant Owners

Here’s the thing.  There has been a long time Gloucester bar/restaurant that I’d long ago given up on.  Not because the food was terrible.  Not because the ambiance was nasty.  Not because the prices were high.  Quite the contrary actually.  They served some of the best chowder in town.  The prices were reasonable and it’s one of the greatest rooms in town.

The reason I stopped going there over ten years ago and hadn’t gone back was because every single time I went in there I didn’t feel welcome at the bar.

I consider myself a “bar” person.  When I say this I don’t mean barfly type of person.  What I mean is that if the Mrs and I are out for dinner at a place that has a bar and table seating we will 90% of the time sit at the bar because we enjoy the social aspects of interacting with the bartenders, servers and other patrons.  It’s not that we are there to get hammered and as I get older I find myself drinking booze less and less.  It truly is all about the social aspects of it.

This particular place which will go unnamed was open last night and as the Mrs told me as I was leaving work that she wouldn’t have any dinner for me, she asked that I pick something up.  So I ordered take out and told Ed to meet me for a beer while I waited for my take out to be ready for pick up.

Well we went to this joint that I had long ago sworn off and wouldn’t you know that same vibe that existed ten and twenty years ago still was right there same as it ever was.   Not very busy and it took about five minutes to get a beer, whatever no big deal but asking what I’d like to drink was about the extent of the interaction I had with the entire staff despite sitting right at the end of the bar where the waitresses were passing by to pick up drinks one after another.

Let me just explain it for the owners of these places.  I may be the exception and not the rule but I can deal with so –so food.  I can deal with slightly above average prices IF you just go a little teeny tiny out of your way and make me feel welcome.

I’m not asking for a hand crank.  I’m not asking for a blowjob.  Just make me feel the slightest bit like you appreciate my business or want me there.  Because you know what?


It’s part of the hospitality game.  I don’t care if you’ve been tending bar for 30 years and am burn out.  Act like a professional or get another job.  Or if you are the owner of this type of place and notice your staff isn’t interested in making your guests feel welcome, you might want to do a little motivational speaking and if that doesn’t work replace them.

This place should be doing at least double the business they are doing.

It  had been ten years since I’d stepped foot in there and it will be a whole lot longer til I go back.  I can assure you.

Thank you.

About Joey C

The creator of goodmorninggloucester.org Lover of all things Gloucester and Cape Ann. GMG where we bring you the very best our town has to offer because we love to share all the great news and believe that by promoting others in our community everyone wins.
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45 Responses to A Note To Restaurant Owners

  1. Rock on Joey !! Maybe you should out them ??? No,they are not worth it !!

  2. John Wheeler says:

    When I go out to eat with my wife, and teenage son, which I do rarely, I like to enjoy myself and relax. If you sit me at a 2 foot round table with stools, for three to eat dinner, don’t have an attitude, when I ask if we can sit at the open table near the railing with chairs. Sorry if I’m only going to spend $70.00, at a four person table. It will be the only $70.00 they get from me.

  3. Lori Thorstensen says:

    You have a great website with a vast array of talent and local info and while I agree with your view on hospitality in restaurants I also think that you need your knuckles cracked with a ruler and your mouth washed out with soap. You have ladies, gentlemen and children of all walks of life following your blog so I beseech you to please make it “G” rated.

  4. Toby says:

    Joe, you are not alone in your feelings…I love a place that has a great bar to dine at, I refer to it as the “Common Table”…a great place to interact with other patrons and hopefully, the staff…bartenders can’t escape their patrons, they have to remain and prepare the beverages for the other service staff, that is why good ones are worth their weight in gold…too often owners, believing that the only qualifier should be “how attractive” the individual is miss the point, knowledge of the food being served, the beverages being offered and local knowledge are a must have qualifier, and it doesn’t hurt to have good knowledge of the sports teams that are often on the TV…I remember an evening when I was invited to join a friend, whose wife was travelling, at a restaurant in Man-Cha-Cha…we sat at the bar, and when I was approached by the bartender asking what I wanted for a beverage, I asked what wines they were pouring by the glass, was responded to with “we have everything from everywhere”, when I responded with a “really?” and asked what French wines she was pouring, she said that they had none…at that point, the older, clearly more experienced bartender, who had obseved the interaction brought me a wine list that indicated which wines WERE being poured by the glass…too bad that the other bartender was not properly trained, if she was unfamiliar, she should have offered the list…I am not a snob, but like you expect the staff to be properly trained. Thanks for allowing me to rant in response to your rant.

  5. Joanne McKinnon says:

    Gloucester house?

  6. Ellen Byrne says:

    Please don’t make the blog g-rated..

  7. B.Nelson says:

    Wow…potty mouth

  8. Lori Thorstensen says:

    Who asked for politically correct? There’s a huge difference between politically correct and vulgar. You post a beautiful sunset, a sweet video of an amazing little girl talking about Christmas, you give great coverage to incredible local artists and musicians and then bam! trash. Thanks.

  9. Sue says:

    you can’t make em all happy Joey~~~only 99% of us are happy I guess. If you don’t like whats on TV, change the channel or shut it off. If you don’t like what you are reading, find some bland blog~~

  10. Anonymous says:

    Joey, glad you aren’t willing to compromise who you are as a person to satisfy someone so easily offended. Wouldn’t it be a shame if everybody morphed themselves into what other’s wanted of them. To each their own! I enjoy reading your blog! :-)

  11. Joanne McKinnon says:

    You should take this post down. Really takes away from your credibility and is not hot.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It is something that I struggle with, Ken and I own a restaurant that has a very small bar (5 seats). We allow people to reserve bar seats. Intrinsically it feels wrong, the reserving of bar seats. After having kids and a restaurant, I enjoy a place that I can saddle up and have a beer.

  13. halfadolla says:

    Don’t need the foul language! I know its 2011 and some people think it’s cool to talk dirty, but many families enjoy this site and you detrack from it by using this type of talk.

    • Joey C says:

      I’m sorry if you don’t like the language I use at times.

      I am who I am. Not the most polished writer but I’m pretty passionate about this site and won’t be changing who I am or how I write when I get going.

      Personally, swearing and cussing has been a part of my life for better or worse. It isn’t conscious, it’s just me. I personally don’t understand how people get so worked up about swear words. To me they are only words used for emphasis. But obviously there are sensitive, more educated types that freak out over the use of a swear word.

      I can understand people getting absolutely upset about derogatory words intended to hurt people’s feelings. In my opinion that is far more offensive to me than using a swear word.

      Like calling a black person a nigger and using it as a derogatory term to me is one hundred bazillion times more offensive than using the word fuck or or fucking.

      • Lori Thorstensen says:

        Joey you get passionate and drop a few swears but sex acts that you don’t want performed? You say in your blog that it’s the hospitality game and that they should act like professionals but you shouldn’t? I’m just a working schmuck born and raised in Gloucester and I for sure am no saint, but you wouldn’t want a man talking that way to your daughter and neither does my Dad and he’s 80. You are talented beyond and this is by far the best website for locals to enjoy and you can go on the way you are and don’t change a word (because all of your anonymous friends enjoy this) and I’ll just write it as my loss.

        • Joey C says:

          This isn’t a job. Being a server at a restaurant is. Writing a blog from someone’s perspective is not running a hotel or running a restaurant AKA Hospitality.
          I appreciate your comments even if I don’t agree with them.

  14. Paolo Noci says:

    WOW…21 comments…way more than usual. I would say that the subject matter was very important to address. Thanks for keeping us on our toes, and speaking of feet, holding the bar/restaurant owners feet to the fire.

  15. Lisa says:

    Don’t clean up your act – your blog is the best out there. We return for the honesty! As for the customer service – or lack of it……..I am sure they know who they are, as do alot of the locals reading this. Keep it up Joey!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I can appreciate you not wanting to name the restaurant in question. Maybe sending this post directly to the owner/manager and let them know?

  17. starsquiggle says:

    telling a blogger to censor their blog is most offensive to me…
    just turn the page ladies…or close the book all together.

  18. adambolonsky says:

    Keep being honest, Joey!
    You are who you are, and who you are is nothing if not honest!
    I know the place(s) you’re talking about, and I nearly bust a gut reading this screed!

  19. Susan LaRosa says:

    Hi Joey: I agree with you regarding restaurant service. There is a seasonal restaurant on Rocky Neck that I will NEVER go back to. Here was a huge HAIR in my dinner and nobody cared or apologized. The food and customer service were about equal. Never, never!!!!! We don’t eat out that much and would enjoy good food, ambiance and service.

  20. JaneMGibbs says:

    Great posts Joey. To thine own sell be true, as William S. said.

  21. tootalltony says:

    Joey my friend;
    You are a grown up professional person. The profanity makes you sound like a Masshole.
    It’s just not classy, my brother.
    As for your restaurant experience—remember this is New England. It is very hard for a lot of people to be friendly and sociable. They just weren’t raised with social skills—Its part of the New England culture. Many people are trying to change this, but it’s really hard if you were raised by grouchy people

  22. I can’t believe you ripped Micky D’s! Ronald has friends, lots of friends on the island!

  23. Lisa says:

    As someone who works in a service industry and takes customer service to heart, I get doubly offended by indifference or rudeness on the part of waitstaff or restaurant owners.
    I make it my mission to ensure the satisfaction of my customers on every shift.
    When I go out, it’s my turn to kick back and be served with a real smile, If the experience falls short… I never go back.
    This post should be a good wake up call to those who need to get over themselves and do their job graciously.
    p.s .I love GMG in any language! :)

  24. Anonymous says:

    It’s not about being a writer, Joe, you are fine with that. It is, that you have taken on the role of a community leader and like it or not, your audience is extremely diverse and represents all ages and backgrounds. No one is asking you to be anyone you are not, just to be mindful that you are no longer just a private citizen on your blog, but a community leader. Therefore, it might be in your own interest to be mindful of leading by example. Succumbing to the attitude that this is your blog and you can do what you like is fine and factually correct. It is however, irresponsible. Maybe your kids are not reading your blog, but I can assure you that others are.

  25. skip says:

    Would not have happened at LL since they have closed for the season…best bar eating in the city!

  26. Esther says:

    If you want to rant that is fine but clean up your language you have two beautiful girls and I’m sure that you don’t speak like that in front of them. Perhaps you should take cooking lessons from Felicia.

  27. arline says:

    your blog is a great gift to gloucester.
    glad you dont plan to change anything about it.
    lots of untrained help here in gloucester. that is why i like going to some of the chain restaurants over the bridge. good food and great service all because the help are TRAINED.
    keep up the great work !!!!!

  28. Marianne says:

    oh Joey..so disappointed..Just when I started to admire you for all the GOOD you are doing, you start talking with a trash mouth..I was sure you were more educated than that..opinions are the American right,but you need to be an example and an influence to all..hopefully you will take this and learn from it.

  29. Oh Please!!! all you people complaining about Joey’s “Trash” mouth. I hate to stick up for him again but it’s always been this way. “Life on the Dock” includes a few choice words during the conversations. if you don’t like it go to disney.com! and ENJOY!

  30. bowsprite says:

    no joints like that here in nyc, Joey.
    i keep coming back here because of the trash mouth.

  31. Judy says:

    Spot on re: restaurant attitude, it’s why I seldom eat out. Please do not even consider catering to overly sensitive types: it’s YOUR blog, if they want some prissy version they can write their own.

  32. The Seacoast Kid says:

    Disappointed? educated? Learn from this??? Yeah, learn that this is a blog and expect it to be real. No swearing in gloucester? What is your definition of a blog? It is an opinion piece and please get off the bloggers back or we will have to take you to the woodshed. Really you are pissing us off. oops.

  33. Heidi says:

    Joey, you tell it like it is, and allow us to respond in our own manner. Although I wouldn’t reply using the language others are complaining about, he did make his point. As a small food service business owner in Gloucester, I’d say 25% of our success is the food, and the other 75% is the staff. They always welcome customers, they know the menu, and they have knowledge of our city and can entertain visitors with history and personal experiences related to our diminishing fishing industry. This site is fine just the way it is!

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