Thursday, February 14, 2013

El Sombrero (The Hat)

Recently, we've been hearing about a flood of losses on Ludlow. Places that came up in the 1990s--early gentrifiers certainly, but before the hyper-gentrification of the Bloomberg era--are dropping like flies. The Pink Pony closed, then we got the news about Motor City, the Living Room is leaving, and we know Max Fish is on borrowed time. Many people are asking, "What's left?" And answering, "The Hat."

Now we hear from the grapevine that the Mexican restaurant is "on its last legs" after serving the Lower East Side since 1984.


1988: Michael Horsley, flickr

I reached out to Regina Bartkoff, an actor, artist, writer, and a waitress at The Hat since 1988. She gave me the scoop:

"They are not closing yet! They are trying to stay open! The rent has been steadily going up and they have a lease for a few more years, but in 2012 we took a nose dive. We have been losing our regular customers steadily, due to them not being able to pay the rents on the LES and being forced out. It just keeps going down.

Most Mexican restaurants on the LES are very chic now with a smorgasbord of a million kinds of tequila and fancy appetizers. El Sombrero was famous for their frozen large pints of margaritas that packed a wallop. They are still $8. A big burrito with rice and beans, heavy with cheese is still $9. It was cheap and you could get wasted quick. We waitresses were never told to sell anything and we never hurried anybody out, even if people were lined up and waiting outside. Everybody was relaxed. The waitresses would dance with the customers at any given moment (to the annoyance of some tables waiting for their orders). Working class, artists, gang bangers, and their families mixed together. Writers would write there. Actors and directors met and worked on their plays. I put everybody's posters on the windows and walls. I gave out cards to my shows and got asked into shows all the time.

As the neighborhood started to change around me, I thought the NYU crowd coming in would still want good cheap food. But the character of these new people coming in was weird. They didn't come in curious or wanting to find a place to call their own. They didn't try to fit into the neighborhood. They were rude and obnoxious. They would not leave a tip, and I can't tell you how many times we had to run down the block after them for trying to run out on a check. This had never happened before. Then even they started to disappear. (I guess after we would catch a lot of them, they weren't coming back.) They are probably finding places were you can down a $2 shot and not have to tip the waitress. The others want those chic places. El Sombrero doesn't fit either one. It was a working class/poor neighborhood place. I think that's the sad fact, we don't fit in any more."


Today: furcafe, flickr

As we're all asking "why Ludlow Street's last bastions of Bohemia are closing," and finding the answer in skyrocketing rents and a vanished culture of artists and outsiders, The Hat remains--but likely not for long. So go get some burritos and knock back a few of those powerful margaritas. Put some salsa on the jukebox, dance with the waitresses, and tip them well.

It's not too late to keep something real and alive on glassy, gasping Ludlow Street.


New York Magazine

52 comments:

EV Grieve said...

I was actually thinking about The Hat with all this news this week. Glad that they still have a lease... but can they hold on? Been wondering about El Castillo de Jagua on Rivington as well.

Marty Wombacher said...

Will someone please organize a cash mob at The Hat? I love this place and would like to visit it when I come back this summer. I'll send my donation to whoever steps up to the plate and does this.

maximum bob said...

It's a douchebag infestation.

Anonymous said...

Haven't been to the The Hat in about a year or so. First time I remember going was about 20 years ago and loving it. I don't get it. Back then I was in my mid-20s and I was grateful and pleased that a place like The Hat existed. Young people in New York today? They have their heads so far up their asses it's unbelievable. It's like they're already middle-aged before becoming middle-aged. Remember all those clueless obnoxious white kids in the pre-counter culture beach films of the early 60s? That's exactly what these kids are like now.

Meanwhile, I'll see you at The Hat. Let these spoiled a-hole children have their snooty overpriced faux luxury lifestyle. Glad I'm not them.

Spike said...

Their margaritas seriously do pack a punch. And used to be able to get them to go!

10:28 am said...

That second pic fits with its preceding emphasis. I guess I'm not alone in those sentiments. Nowadays, people go to Caracas, La Palapa, Yuca Bar... to get their "authentic" Latino or Mexican cuisine. Rude and obnoxious is the new real and alive.

AL Unique said...

It is sad, I recall when the area was part of the bargain district, now the area is rife with small, overpriced boutiques. There's even one boutique that only sells 5 articles of clothing, literally 5 dresses on a rack. Working class, and Bohemian no more...I do enjoy Piano's though, I cannot lie.

AL Unique said...

From the bargain district, to a cool bohemian hangout now Ludlow is becoming engulfed in Bloomberg's Luxury city. I can't lie though, Piano's at Ludlow and Rivington is easily one of my favorite hang outs...

Anonymous said...

And I guess that's it in a nutshell. Something I have been trying to understand myself since NYC is a city in constant flux. Why is it different now? It's the replacements. In New York we're used to the old being done away with, but I don't think ever before has the new that replaces the old been so horrific.

Brendan said...

From that VV article: "Brooklyn is kind of a brand."

This very silly and wrong. How can someone live in NYC so long and understand it so poorly?

Jeremiah Moss said...

Marty, i'm working on that cash mob.

Romy Ashby said...

If you do a cash mob, be sure to do it on a Sunday or Monday evening so people can enjoy the greatness that is Regina Bartkoff in her role as waitress. Today in NYC, a waitress in the same place for 30 years is about as common as a sabertooth tiger. Her presence is part of what makes that place so wonderful.

Goggla said...

You almost gave me a heart attack, Jeremiah!

I was just talking about The Hat last nigh, saying it's one of the very few old places left that I enjoy.

I made the mistake of having one or twelve of those margaritas on a Monday night once...can't remember anything about the rest of that week except that I was happy.

Long live The Hat!

FormerLES'er said...

About 2 years ago, I was living in the neighborhood and walking around with a friend. I've eaten from the San Loco across the street, but wanted to go the local route of The Hat. My friend and I were seated and given menus, chips/salsa and water by the waitress and then abandoned for about 15 minutes. There were 4 other customers in the place. The salsa was more watery and very bland. When we couldn't find the waitress to try and order, we got up to leave. At that point, one of the bus boys must've called to her because she came running after us. She stopped us just outside the door and said we didn't pay. Apparently, the chips and salsa which we hadn't ordered and assumed were complimentary, were actually for pay. Needless to say, we went across the street to San Loco and I never went back to The Hat.

Dave said...

Brendan, you're half wrong. While Brooklyn itself as a city is not a brand, with various neighborhoods like Gerritsen Beach and Bay Ridge that aren't part of Brooklyn's cultural cache, it's utterly indisputable that the Northern parts of Brooklyn have been transformed into a worldwide brand. The Barclays Center and the Nets cemented this brand name recognition completely. I'm curious to hear your assertion as to why you don't find this to be true.

Uncle Waltie said...

Very soon I'll be out of here myself.I'm thinking of moving to Peoria.

Uncle Waltie said...

Wish I could help you...alas...I'm still pining for the Orchidia.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to think this blog/jeremiad by Moss is a valuable counter weight against inexorable development, but in reality it's more like a selfish and impotent kvetch. Affordable, artistic and trangressive habitats can't be curated like a museum or mummified in amber to sate someone's memories -- real or imagined -- about a neighborhood and its past. Such places evolve out of poverty, neglect (often high crime) and or high concentration of immigrants/ethnicity to insulate it from corporate endeavors/tentacles. For you to bemoan every dying watch shop or 99cent pizza joint is the giveaway here. The New York you believe you are pining for evaporated a decade or so ago. How about visiting neighborhoods in Queens and Staten Island and reporting on these thriving untouched metropolis; how about visiting upon the living not the dead? Probably because endless moaning and mourning and nostalgia gets more pages hits. name it: Jeremiah's Manhattan mom and pop shop necrophilic longing.

laura said...

i always said that "J" should visit the outer boroughs. he may find some interesting things. most of my manhattan friends live in brookyn. what is queens like? we never hear about it? whats up in the bronx? staten island? someone mentioned (anon 9:05am) that the newer kids on the LES are like "pre counter culture" 1950s beach movies. did it occur to you that the better people are NOT THERE?? (on the les). & they are someplace else? & you are just not cool enough to know that place? btw, i lived through the counter culture. guess what? there were very few interesting people or cool people in the world. yes the LES had them for sure, but @ that time, this was the places to go. not now. in general this counter culture has been romanticized, as some giantic movement. in reality the majority of kids who went to woodstock concert were just straight boring people. & they are now really uptight obnoxious baby boomers. same w/most communes, ashrams. in general there were not more cool people in the 60s than now, trust me on that one. now since there is so many college kids, you are going to get so many more UN cool people. also i prefer pre hippy culture. jazz, beat poetry, chic fashions. back to the present, things shift, things change. downtown may be turning into a college town. & i ask again after 4 yrs, FIND THE NEW PLACES!! n.y.c. or anywhere u.s.a

Jeremiah Moss said...

it's called Vanishing New York, not New New York and not What's Still Here New York. and most of that vanishing is happening in Manhattan. it's not very complicated.

laura said...

"J" once in a while you do feature an aspect of new york that is still here. we like that, as we dont want to always be depressed. ok, i get manhattan is "vanishing" & that is the main point! (yes n/brooklyn is vanishing too). heres a suggestion: i know you dont have alot of time for different blogs. (as "grumbler" was neglected). but it may be interesting & very cool to explore the outer edges of the boroughs. report on some old business which have hung on. since its mostly ethnic: arab, indian, asian, russian, jamaician, i have a feeling that the music/ art can be amazing. (like the south bronx in the 70s & 80s). the music from flatbush avenue is incredible, i hear things via youtube. also the gay clubs must be really out there. gay muslims anyone? arabic house? theres a gay scene w/hasidics in brooklyn. i myself would be doing this but i am not there. ("new new york"). my feeling is the wave of the future is not all white, its eastern african latino. since most of the LES is full of frat boy creeps, well.......its not happening. i love the "vanishing new york" blog. but a good counter blog needs to be done. just saying......

Anonymous said...

Eight buildings on Ludlow have been bought by investors with deep pockets recently. Some building residents were bought out, some forced out. Either way, there goes the neighborhood, literally. My landlord recently left a message for everybody in my bldg ( on Ludlow) that "insurance inspectors" needed access to our apartments. One tenant opened his door when the " inspectors " knocked. Four guys in suits and sunglasses were in the hall. He asked for some identification. They turned and left. Word is they are the same group who bought the building 3 buildings down from me. Yes, things change, but the question that must be addressed, is how this change is accomplished, who benefits, and who doesn't.

Anonymous said...

I don't find it all that surprising that a generation of yelping junior foodies isn't taking a shining to the terrible food at The Hat. I'll be sad to see it go since I'm from the generation that had a shallow preoccupation with a place's vibe rather than in making qualitative assessments, but it isn't a good restaurant. And I'm not so sure that it speaks any better of us to posture as though it was than for these kids to not want anything to do with it.

Anonymous said...

ah the irony the neighborhood you changed "changing around you" sorry but el sombrero has been hipsterville for a good decade or so, I have nothing against this woman but she needs to realize she is part of what pushed people out of the neighborhood. Gangbangers??oh please

Ed said...

Commenting on the last few posts, and ignoring the restaurant.

I find it more accurate to think in terms of "core" and "periphery" instead of "Manhattan" and "Outer Boroughs". Manhattan vs. Outer Boroughs itself is sort of old school New Yorkish thinking and never really that accurate even before the 1990s.

Anyway, New York has moved to the Paris model of organizing a city, wealthy people in the center, working class on the periphery. This is becoming increasingly prevalent over the post-World War II doughnut model, which arguably was an aberration.

Core is basically wealthy people, who live and act like wealthy people everywhere, though they are not as car-bound as their suburban counterparts. Periphery is middle class and working class, residential areas filled with people working for the government, retirees, people on welfare, people working in the various industries to service the wealthy, people working retail, and their children.

Because New York is now the destination of choice for the wealthy, not just from the rest of the U.S., but around the world, the core has been expanding. Periphery retreats as the retirees die and their children sell their houses. The core in the 1970s was barely noticeable, just the Upper East Side, Wall Street, maybe Brooklyn Heights, and a few places in between. The core now is much bigger, though the periphery has always had a majority of the people and land area of the city. Most of the northern part of Manhattan is still in the periphery. The core has always had a toehold in Brooklyn, but its expanded aggressively and is pushing out following the G, L, and R lines.

Both the core and the periphery are culturally dead. Bohemian culture flourishes wherever the border is. Bohemian culture has died, but that has happened across the US and its not in good shape across the world. New York is different in that the wealthy component are unusually large. Bohemia can't get a footing along the core-periphery boundary because the core has been pushing out the boundary too fast.

There is also the issue, which I've been pondering personally, of why live in New York if there not much in the way of culture in the city besides museums, and you have to live way out in the outer boroughs anyway. Why not someplace like Peoria? Its basically the same lifestyle, though you have to deal with a car, but less expense and hassle.

Anonymous said...

"There is also the issue, which I've been pondering personally, of why live in New York if there not much in the way of culture in the city besides museums, and you have to live way out in the outer boroughs anyway. Why not someplace like Peoria? Its basically the same lifestyle, though you have to deal with a car, but less expense and hassle."

Exactly!

After 27 years here, I've been throwing the idea around of leaving here for at least the last 3 or 4 years. Why is it hard to leave? I make a living here, and what I do (media) really only exists in a few cities in the U.S. only one of those cities I would consider going to: Los Angeles. But the other part of that is facing the expense and adjustment of the move. Would it be a good change? I don't know, and there's alot riding on it. In a perfect world I would have left by now, but there's too many variables. Some I don't want to deal with. One thing I will say though, that if there was some kid who wanted to come to Manhattan for the same reasons I did back in the 80s, I would strongly advise them NOT TO DO IT. Aside fron all of the old stand-by cultural institutions, museums, and stuff like that, unless you're super wealthy don't even think about it. Don't even try. There use to be tons of reasons to be here, now there are few.

Brendan said...

Ed, I suppose it depends what you mean by culture. There is capital-C "Culture" and there is the everyday culture of how life is lived. Queens is the most culturally diverse place on Earth. I'd say there's a lot of culture there. I also don't agree that the periphery is culturally dead. Hip hop, perhaps New York's most significant cultural export, came from the periphery, not from bohemia.

Ivan said...

Ugh. I understand that people like to keep things as they are, but The Hat is terrible. Awful food. I would say good riddance, but I know that the replacement would be worse. And The Hat has been hipsterville for way over a decade.

Anonymous said...

@ Former LES'er. I've never actually visited El Sombraro, although I certainly will be, your remarks notwithstanding. I can't let your comments slip by without offering a few of my own. You should understand chips and salsa are "complimentary" based on your subsequent *purchase* of food. As a "former LES'er you must be a more or less worldly person who understands something as basic as that. Or perhaps not (based on your remarks it's clear that you don't). More to the point, your petty remarks tell us nothing about El Sombraro and quite a lot about you. Another lesson to be learned: one must *pay* for products consumed and services rendered. The polite and decent thing to do would have been to at least ask someone if you owed anything. Politeness. Consideration for others. They're good habits to cultivate. Give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Ivan, I don't know what "Hat" restaurant you visited, but my friend and I had a perfectly delicious meal, and the price can't be beat. We're going back and telling our friends; we want the Hat to stick around.

Anonymous said...

@maximum bob. Oh good heavens, I hate to thrown down with a maximum jerk like maximum bob. But seriously... "douchebag infestation?" That's the best you can do? I'd just laugh if this weren't a serious economic and cultural issue. There's a douchebag factor here, seriously, but it has nothing to do with El Sombrero.

laura said...

ed, that was beautifully written, & 100% correct. there are more multi millionares now in the world than ever before. especially mainland china, russia, india. they buy property in NYC & also visit & shop there as tourits. SO, yes the center expands. now in other parts of the world it is REVERSED! the center is the pits! a trashy downtown, poor people, govt agencies. no musuems, nothing. the rich live way out in the surburbs, & its all about retail. @ least NYC is still a city. & hasnt been torn apart for freeways & malls. the musuems in NYC are as good as it gets, other than boston. what scares me more than retail, is more NYUs!!

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking how weird it is that people persistently moan about how the city is being ruined by people from elsewhere when the fact of the matter is that NYC has been wrecked from within thanks to decades of horrible schools.

The city produces so many ignorant and uneducated people that it's a necessity that a constant stream of educated people from elsewhere come here and prop the place up. Essentially, it's no one's fault but the city's itself that the place is rapidly losing its unique identity.

Anonymous said...

I almost DON'T want people like Jeremiah and Grieve reporting on the outer boroughs, because then everyone will just fuck it all up for us with fro-yo places, and cutesy boutiques and more f-ing luxury condos! blech.
And to those who say "change is normal, stop whining" maybe you need to dig a little deeper: change that is gradual and organic is different from formulated change as public policy. This is orchestrated by a marriage of government and big business and is specifically targeted to satisfy tourists and the wealthy. It is the field of dreams approach- if you build it they will come. Build luxury condos and cupcake places and trite boutiques and they will come to consume consume consume

Anonymous said...

To the person comparing Paris- the difference is Paris still has artists and street vendors and incredible booksellers and great inexpensive foods and cafes, they value their history- it's is not all glass towers and tacky strip malls. Paris is painfully beautiful and inspiring and yes, it is true that the outskirts are where the low income people are, but it is nowhere near what we are doing here in NYC with our city center. Paris is quaint, NYC is becoming sadly garish and corporate and bland.
I think London is a better comparison- London with its cheesy ferris wheel (that Bloomberg wants to emulate on Staten Island)and out of place glass buildings with flashy lights and congestion pricing favoring the wealthy- that is more like NYC- flushing your history and reputation down the toilet for "development" and tourism.

Anonymous said...

Are you even from NYC? Don't believe the negative press orchestrated by privatizers who want to take public money and put it in "charter schools". They hate public schools and have been skewering them and their teachers for years now- their true goal is to divert taxpayer funds away from public schools.

I went to public school and got a superb education, surpassing my "private school" friends.
My local high school offered every type of arts program as well as a gifted program where one could learn Latin, advanced Chemistry, Physics and Calculus and could earn college credits for many of these subjects.
I graduated in the National Honor Society with a regents diploma and and am very proud of my public school education.
Sorry if you didn't have that experience.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Look at the high school graduation rates - not college, even - in NYC through the years, moron. Facts are facts.Yopu look rather stupid being defensive about reality.

Laura Agustín said...

I am puzzled that the Pink Pony would be included in a lament for unpretentious, reasonable older places. I didn't dislike or oppose it but a billing of Café Littéraire and Ciné Club plus expensive *enough* menu really places it in the hipster category, not with El Sombrero.

Anonymous said...

Just went last night and it was mobbed. One reason NYU kids are running out on their tabs, though, is probably because it's cash-only and they don't tell you that until you try to pay with credit cards. And the ATM is broken.

laura said...

many years ago public schools were going downhill. i entered high school 50 yrs ago. there were a very few decent public schools those days. we moved to the neighorhood because the school had 80% of the students in academic programs. maybe 4 ok high schools were in brookyn. lets face it, now they are almost extinct. my left wing liberal parents dont want us & the same school as blacks. now most people send their children to private schools. public schools are dangerous, & also cater to 3rd world non english speaking populations. the gifted are forgotton. i dont know how we got from the "sambrero" to schooling? but still NYC has the highest education level & income level in the USA. boston is close. its not alabama. & yes NYC still attracts the brightest & the best. theyre not going to the city of mobile anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a clever response! If you know how to read a chart, look at this one that shows the real morons (according to your definition, not mine) are actually in the southern states which have the lowest graduation rates overall.
NY is just .4 percentage point below the national average, if you are able to wrap your head around these concepts.

http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?measure=23

Anonymous said...

Did you seriously link to a chart of state-by-state high school graduation rates? What argument do you think you're making?

Are you actually trying to suggest that Mississippi would be even more incapable of housing a functional and prosperous city of homegrown people than New York would be? That's undoubtedly true.

Of course, my argument is that New York City would be Detroit if a steady stream of well-educated people from elsewhere didn't come here, and that's not really debatable.

Giovanni said...

The Hat, Shah Baghs and many of the cheap Indian places on 6th street, Kiev and Christines and many others like it, Dojos on St Marks Place, they are all part of a major shift in our culture where college and high school students go to socialize. And the reasons for it are dark indeed.

Back in the 70s and 80s when these places were packed, the main point was eating ethnic food and exploring new foods and cultures with your friends.

Today it's about getting drunk and hooking up with strangers, texting your Facebook friends, dressing to get noticed, and ignoring as many cultures as possible beyond the rituals of your college football team or fraternity.

The suburbs have come back to the city with all of its blandness and sociopathic disregard for everyone else's culture, history or feelings. New York has changed for the worse many times before, but this time it's like an epidemic wiping out anything unique in favor of the familiar.

This truly is America at the end of an era and the beginning of something most people outside this current generation will never understand: the need to belong to a vast mob of virtual friends who all want the same thing they never got from their parents: attention.

Anonymous said...

Not to worry, they have the same stupid voting habits as previous generations of transplants to NYC. They're your people.

Little Earthquake said...

It displaced an Eskimo restaurant when it opened in '84. What goes around comes around, amigos...

Anonymous said...

"Today it's about getting drunk and hooking up with strangers, texting your Facebook friends, dressing to get noticed, and ignoring as many cultures as possible beyond the rituals of your college football team or fraternity."

Oh come off it. I don't know if you actually look around New York or you just base your silly little xenophobia around what the media leads you to believe but kids are more culturally and ethnically diverse in this city and country than ever before.

El Sombrero doesn't attract them because it looks like a POS. Kids want to feel like they're spending their money somewhere hip and modern. The same thing that either brought you to NY or keeps you here, as much as you might want to deny it.

And I don't know if you've realized it but adults are just as complicit in this social media-driven BS lifestyle we've come to witness.

Spare me with the psuedo-anthropology.

Anonymous said...

I love this website. However, I lived on Ludlow for 15 years and do not like The Hat. I think it attracted a drug dealer crowd and the place was not clean. Festival Mexicano on Rivington and Essex, closed in 2012, was a significant loss.

giovanni said...

Anyone who hasn't noticed that the East Village has been gentrifying for decades, and is now much whiter/ less Hispanic and black, and thus much less etninically diverse, obviously doesn't live here. As condos and woo-hoo dwellers and upper east-siders who come down here to go slumming continue to rip the old ethnic fabric of the neighborhood away, the old Bowery of drunks is replaced by a more upscale but just as undesirable bunch of kids who don't care that others have lived here all their lives, and are much less diverse and much less conscious not only of ethnicity but of culture, history, and other people around them.

A long term study recently showed the lowest level of empathy among the current generation than any other, and the highest level of rudeness and narciissism, which you can clearly see from many of these comments.

Maybe it's the pills their parent were popping, maybe it's the nannies, maybe it just bad parenting, but whatever the cause the result is the generification of NYC and especially the east village.
Even if you didnt like The Hat or other places like it, if you dont appreciate what they added to the life of the neighborhood, then you probably came from Generica and suffered from the same bad parenting that has raised the biggest army of barbarians since Ghengis Khan.

Andrew said...

I consider myself a post-racial person, I don't think things like hair patterns, skin color or jaw/maxillary proportions have ANY relevance in one's character, morals, value, ideas etc.

This being said, I get really disappointment when people have this coveted self-hate by which every "ethnic" group would "add" to the "flavor" or a city or neighborhood, but Americans of Caucasian composition and Christian cultural background (regardless of whether they are religious or not).

Why is one group singled out as being a "negative influence" when moving into some place? It doesn't make any sense. If anyone here were criticizing, say, Asian-Americans moving in some place, there would be screams of "racism". So I think it is not less racist to dismiss influx of people who happen to be from White Caucasian-American background.

Something else I try to understand, but can't, is this reversed xenophobia displayed by some commentators on this site. Foreigners coming to NYC are seen as making the city more interesting, and even things that make interaction more difficult such as language barriers are sometimes lauded. So why just foreigners or minorities can be a "positive asset" to a neighborhood?

Though the actors and personages change, the narrative I read by some here is exactly like those living in Small Praire Town, Midwest State that get on the nerves because, God forbid, African-Americans are moving in "their" place.

I can almost feel the anger by which some complain of "Suburban kids" in a very condescending tone, almost falling in the escapist trap ("I left place xyz to escape lifestyle abc and I don't ever want my new place to resemble xyz")

Anonymous said...

Ed,
Brillant analysis of the situation, especially about gentrification happening too fast for bohemia to get a foothold. I've been ready to leave NY for years, and have been searching for a bohemia that fits my artistic temperament. Every place is at some class extreme and swings too fast or not at all.

I think it'll take bohemia organizing and collectively relocating to an uncool place and buying, very quietly, without the the usual lifestyle entourage that alerts the Wallets. I know people are doing this, or trying too, in Cleveland and Detroit. (Too cold, grey and flat for me, a SAD crisis waiting to happen.)

I think it'll also require that artists abandon The Art World®, which is more like day trading for the math-impaired using artists as migrant workers.

@FormerLES'er said...

@Anonymous Thank you for explaining to me the concept of complimentary and the expectation of us ordering food. Having worked in food service for 15 years, I had no notion of this concept. We fully anticipated ordering, eating, and paying for food... except we were abandoned for 20 minutes. For a restaurant that was nowhere near busy, that's utterly ridiculous. We asked for our waitress so we could order, someone went into the kitchen, and still she didn't appear. I don't understand how you think my "petty remarks" tell you nothing of the restaurant. It speaks to the customer service of their wait staff! And as for what it says about me, I think it says I value quality and taste of food as well as the atmosphere, cleanliness, and level of customer service. But you're more than welcome to have your own opinion of someone you've never met and know nothing about outside of a one-paragraph posting. We attempted the polite thing; we requested our waitress. When after 5min she didn't arrive, there was nothing more to do. When you're ignored in a restaurant, your only option is to get up and leave. I am polite; and I am considerate of others. And when I worked in food service, my customer service was among the best among my colleagues. Thank you for providing your own comments but you're completely uninformed. Enjoy you're visit to the restaurant. I hope it is better than my experience.

Tom said...

Check this out, about 25 seconds in you can spot it:
https://vimeo.com/54467520