R.I.P. Tonic Grille 2010-2010Are we bad people? One would assume that if you were present for the recent Young Professionals of the Alleghenies (YPA) happy hour at the Tonic Grille in the Galleria. Why bore you with any more introduction, I'll just break it down right now.
I arrived to the Tonic Grille around 5:30PM on Friday, November 5, 2010, 30 minutes after the happy hour started. To my delight, there were already around 20 YPA members in attendance. I quickly recognized a few of my friends sitting at a table and walked over to them. Their table was full, so I do what anyone in my situation would have done. I pulled over the table next to them, which was no more than 16 inches away, and sat down. This, unknown to me, was the second bad move of the night.
So let's take a step back to the first bad move. When our officers called to schedule our happy hour they told the Tonic Grille to expect anywhere between 20 and 50 people. The number of people who can make any particular event varies immensely, and each venue is told to expect the larger number. Apparently this didn't sink in with the Tonic Grille's management. We were "reprimanded" for having approximately 45 people show up. Apparently the restaurant lost $1000 because of the amount of people we brought. Really? Maybe it's just me, but I always thought that more people equals more money. Especially since a lot of people will order appetizers and supper and mass amounts of alcohol.
So back to my table... The head waitress came over and told me and three of my friends that we could not sit at that table. Why, you ask? Apparently there was a row of tables reserved for the YPA and we weren't at one of them. Furthermore, she says that the tables are zoned and each waitress won't have an even number of tables if we sit at that one. Apparently their table diagram is chiseled in stone. Someone needs to show them Visio... or a dry erase board. We never understood this, just send us the waitress who is supposed to have our table and she can take our order. We wanted to order supper, we weren't just taking a table away from other paying customers. Whatever. So we get up, confused, and don't really see any other places we can move to. Lucky for us, our very nice friends who weren't eating supper gave us their seats. Thanks guys!
As if that wasn't enough, more rudeness followed. My friend and his wife decided against eating there after the table debacle. When they were done with their drinks and ready to pay their bill there was no waitress in sight. This went on for quite a while. So he did what anyone in a bar would do if he wanted to pay his bill, walk up to the bar and ask to pay the tab. This was a bad move. The bartender got into an argument and yelled at him because apparently if a waitress takes your order you can only pay the bill with that waitress; not at the bar. Again, no one understood this. Any bar I've ever been at lets you pay your bill anywhere, with your waitress, with not your waitress, at the bar, no one cares as long as you pay it. All of us YPA'ers are decent people and my friends were trying to pay their bill instead of walking out.
You'd think it ended there, but you would be wrong. I, along with another friend, ordered supper and ate. When we were finished, we paid our bills and were getting ready to leave. We had our coats on and were standing next to our table talking. At this point, one of the owners came over and asked us if we were getting something to drink. We said that we had just finished eating and the next thing to come out of her mouth was, "Ok, seeya later, bye." That wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't accompanies with the shushing hand motion. We were shushed out! SERIOUSLY?!?! We were paying customers. Who does that?
So there you have it, my first experience at the Tonic Grille. There were other bad things that happened to other YPA members, but I'll let them tell their own stories. We all came away with the same thought, we will never go there again.