Friday update: Spindini, new sports bar on South Main, festivals

Tonight I met a friend at Spindini for a drink after work… first time I’ve ordered anything there, although I did walk through and check the place out right after it opened. I had heard the service was a bit “iffy” and was relieved when the bartender walked up within 10 seconds of my sitting down. She offered me a wine list, and about 3 minutes later was back and filled my order immediately. Off to a good start. But…

Five minutes later, my friend arrived, and we decided to move to the comfy chairs by the front window. She hadn’t ordered yet and assumed a server would be right over. For the next 15 minutes we watched as a manager and two waiters stood by the computer and talked, occasionally looking over at us – but not one of them bothered to come over and see if my friend needed a drink, given that they could see she clearly didn’t have one.

Finally my friend walked up to the manager and asked who was serving the chairs/couches near the window. She told me that his reply was, “Well, I guess we could send someone over, but it isn’t much of a section.”

1) At the places I frequent regularly, it’s the responsibility of EVERY employee to make sure the customers are well taken care of. If you see a customer without a drink, you go ask if they’ve been waited on at the very least.
2) We come to your restaurant/bar to eat, drink and have a good time. Not to fill your section. Downtowners tend to tip very well, but not when the servers cop the attitude displayed in the above response. The last time a server downtown got that snotty with me, she got $47 and the change in my pocket on a $48 tab. No kidding. And I normally tip 30%. If you expect the people who sit on the couches and chairs to go to the bar for drinks, fine, but say “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there’s no server for that section, but the bartender will be happy to take care of you.”

Seriously doubt I’ll be going back there.

Down the street, there’s better news. The Memphis Business Journal reports that the space next to The Cheesecake Corner on G.E. Patterson, most recently a convenience store, is being converted to a sports bar. The bar will seat about 80, will have pool and darts, and will be a place where they know your name when you walk in. They’re viewing the condo and apartment dwellers within walking distance as their clientele. Very good thing for South Main. I told one of my friends who lives there, and “ecstatic” would describe his reaction very well.

Early evening tonight. Had a couple of beers at the Saucer on the way home, regretted not being able to stay for more of Ten Mile Bayou’s show, but I really need a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow I’ll be at the Highland-Walker Festival out by the U of M. Should be there no later than 1. If it’s good I’ll stay all day; if it sucks I’ll stay a couple of hours. I expect to be there all day though. I think this could evolve into the spring equivalent of Cooper-Young if done right.

And of course Sunday I’ll be at the Majestic for brunch from 11:00 to 11:59, and the Rajun Cajun crawfish fest noon to 6. I tend to be a wanderer at festivals… some of the gang are planning a cookout on the rooftop of Barton Flats, but I plan to spend very limited time there. I want to be on street level, hanging out and talking to people I haven’t seen in a year, and talking to future good friends I’m just meeting for the first time.

Off to bed… I can barely keep my eyes open.