This restaurant has the worst service I've had in the entire city. Don't waste your time going here. You will have to flag down the servers to try to get drinks and have your order taken. Our appetizer, entree and dessert took over 2 hours to get and we missed our movie because of it. Just awful. If I could give the service a negative review I would. Avoid this place at all costs!!!
oh boy did this place drop the ball!
My friend and I wanted to go somewhere that there was jazz or a live band....we had a reservation for 8:15. Our table was ready when we arrived and it seemed like a good spot until the table of 8 to our right showed up and then table of 20 in front of us showed up.
Needless to say we were completely forgotten-shoved in a corner. We didn't get any bread on our table, our waiter (who apparently was new) didn't ask if we wanted more drinks, our food was brought out after the table of 8 and table of 20 got their food...we got the wrong dish (alligator when we ordered calamari), and then the calamari never came. The table of 20 kept adding people to their table so eventually our table for 4 became a table for 2 (the other person that was supposed to come out with us didn't show up in time, which was probably a good thing).
I spoke with the manager who took our calamari off our bill-we ended up paying for our drinks and the salad with 4 little tiny shrimp in it. Oh, and the band was still tuning up when we left at 10:00pm. BLAH.
We will NEVER go back.....
What an incredibly disappointing first impression we had received from Alleycatz’s service and staff members last night. My friends and I had never experienced such disorganized, disrespectful and uncommunicative staff like we had last night for my friend's birthday.
I had made reservations about a month and a half ago online, and the staff who communicated with me (John C.) had said that the e-mail was sufficient to make the reservation for seven people on April 24th at 7:30pm and that no call was necessary. On April 23rd, I received a phone call from a male confirming the reservation for the next day and of course, I confirmed it. No other information was exchanged.
On April 24th, my friends and I arrived at Alleycatz (for all of us, it was our first time making reservations to eat there). One of my friends and I walked in to the lounge/restaurant and asked one of the servers if we could place our cake in their fridge for our friend’s birthday. Here is where the lack of communication comes in between staff members:
Waitress #1 says sure, but there would be a cake-cutting fee. (?!??!!)
So I explained that it was okay, because our cake didn't need to be cut since they were mini bite-sized cakes, we just wanted to know if we could put it in their fridge.
Waitress #2 comes by and was nice enough to say sure, you can put it in our fridge, that should be fine, and we’ll just take it out to your table once you’re ready. (Great!!)
Waitress #1 cuts in saying “but there’s still a cake-cutting fee." (?!!!??!)
A random male staff member standing several feet behind them says yes, there’s a $20 cake-cutting fee applied regardless (I heard "$20" as he was far away and didn’t bother taking a few steps closer to us to explain it clearly).
So, annoyed as we were, my friend and I said “Fine, then we’ll just leave it at our table instead.” They said okay. I also explained to them that their website did not show any dessert menu, and they defended by saying that their desserts are different every day (which was also not stated on their online menu).
A minute later, Waitress #2 follows us to our table (as we place the cakes down) and tells us that they cannot even let us EAT the cake in their restaurant due to their policies/rules. Meanwhile, most of the party had already arrived.
Even MORE annoyed than we already were, my friend and I had to bring the cakes outside and dispose of them. Just to reiterate, I had to dispose of the cake that I had bought my friend for her birthday because Alleycatz would not allow us to eat it in their restaurant.
We were already quite disappointed at this point. However, reservations were made, people were sat, and it was our friend’s birthday, and we wanted to make sure that she was happy and having a good time. So we try to let it go.
We return to the restaurant and the manager came by several minutes later attempting to appease us by offering my friend a complimentary piece of cake for her birthday. She explained how this was a 7-year policy and that they only get desserts from this one bakery. Now, I understand that some restaurants have contracts with certain bakeries and stores from where they purchase their desserts, but to not be informed of this beforehand and not given flexibility for our first time being there was ridiculous. Now that I think of it, why were we told that there would be a cake-cutting fee if no cakes were allowed to be brought in from outside of the restaurant to begin with? I guess that was something that I had missed as I was too frustrated at the time. She continued trying to smooth-talk with us as if she remembers what it’s like to turn 27 and ‘how exciting it is’. This woman had very poor interpersonal communication skills as a manager and we felt her approach was very insincere, artificial, and dissatisfying. She left after talking with us for about 3 minutes.
Afterward (by this time, it was about 7:55pm or so), our table was annoyingly approached by our waiter several times to see what we wanted to order. We finally decided and a friend of ours ordered the Apple Salad from the appetizer menu because she had already eaten dinner earlier. The waiter explains that there’s a policy/rule that we MUST order either two appetizers or a main course if reservations are made. Ridiculous?!? YES, that is just absolutely beyond ridiculous. NO WHERE did it say on their menu or were we informed of this absurd money-grabbing restaurant policy! This was definitely the last straw for us. Our friend, the birthday girl exclaimed, “That’s it, we’re leaving.” The waiter couldn’t care less, and said “Okay!” We stormed out of the restaurant while passing by the other staff members, including the manager who just watched us leave. We ended up going to Sushi Rock down the street, which had great food and service.
Let me tell you: My friends and I have been to many restaurants in the city, and never have we experienced an evening like this, especially for a friend’s birthday. A couple of us had been to Alleycatz before for drinks and dancing, but never had to encounter the staff members other than the bartenders.
If we had known all of this information beforehand, I would’ve made reservations elsewhere. OR, we may have eaten there anyway, but at least we would've known all of their little intricacies to not bring a cake, and ENSURE that everyone has to order a maincourse or two appetizers (and not on a diet). We could not justify giving them any of our money after that incident. It wasn’t even so much their ludicrous policies, but the fact that they were springing this on customers at the last minute. Just a reminder, I made reservations over a month and a half early, and was never informed of these rules.
We are definitely not returning to Alleycatz, that’s for sure.
The staff is INCREDIBLE. They usually have an amazing live band playing....the entertainment is absolutely fantastic. A bit pricey, but completely worth it for the atmosphere and service!
Alleycatz has a great martini list that is a bit pricey but given the atmosphere provided, it is well worth it. There is live Jazz music nightly and the food is good. The vibe of the place keeps you coming back over and over again. Great to go to on a Thursday night or on a weekend.
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.