After a mediocre day at the beach, CK and I made our way back to Hoboken for dinner. I had a Groupon to use up, so we decided to head to 1Republik. Earlier in the week, we were turned away from the place because we were wearing shorts and flip-flops. This time, we knew better.
When we got in the door, I searched for the hostess. I couldn’t find her. There were plenty of staffers milling about, but no one was offering to help us. Finally, I went over to one girl, who was heavily distracted and flirting with one of the big bouncer dudes, and I asked her if she wouldn’t mind assisting us in finding a table. She looked around for the hostess with an annoyed expression on her face before taking down CK’s number so she could text us when a table was ready.
In the meantime, we grabbed a stool by the bar and ordered beers. We were nearly finished our beers when his phone started vibrating. We weren’t ten yards from the front of the bar where the girl took our number, so we quickly walked back over there. She was nowhere to be found. After another five minutes passed, she walked past me. I asked her about our table, and she looked at me with the most confused look on her face. She told me someone else was responsible for tables. When I explained to her that she took down CK’s number and we just received a text, she finally agreed to get us a table. I couldn’t believe the incompetence already.
We got a table right by the front door, but at this point we didn’t care. We were hungry, and we wanted to eat. Naturally, it took a solid ten minutes before someone came to wait on us. When I explained to her I had a Groupon, she pointed out to me it had expired. When I told her that Groupons don’t expire, she took my phone to her manager to show her my digital certificate. Five minutes later, she came back with my phone and told me the manager agreed to honor the Groupon. Because two beers were included she took our beer order and was off. After some time, she came back with our beers, and before I could tell her our order, she was off again. This was the last we would see of her for quite some time. When another ten minutes passed by, I grabbed another waitress and asked her if we could order with her. I explained everything, and it turns out she was the manager as well. She was responsible for the laxed staff aimlessly wandering the restaurant. She agreed to take my order, and from then on, we were on our own.
I knew this was a bar/club at night as well as a restaurant, so I wasn’t expecting fine dining. However, we weren’t expecting the music to be so loud we would have to shout across the table. After some time, we realized it would be easier to text each other. I was laughing hysterically at how bad this date was turning out already. While we waited for our food, a bus boy came by and took my beer away. Granted there wasn’t much left, but I still wasn’t done with it. I just laughed more and more. I felt like we were living a sitcom.
Just when it couldn’t have gotten worse, some of our food arrived. You would think the first thing to arrive would be our salad. It was, but it was also accompanied by our dessert, apple pie a-la-mode. CK and I looked at each other and burst into laughter. I started in on dessert because the ice cream was going to melt. He was much more traditional and wanted to start with the salad. We weren’t two spoon/forkfuls in when our steaks arrived. At this point, we didn’t even have room on the table for all our food. We had to start piling food on the table next to us. Just then, as a girl was leaving the bar, she placed her empty bottle on our table. Again, we both looked at each other and began cracking up. How could this possibly get any worse.
Just then, our original waitress returned, but not to wait on us. She got a new table with fat men stuffed into the corner next to us. One had he chair pushed basically up against our table. I texted CK, “Don’t be rude! Offer Cletus some food!” The waitress passed by our table without saying a word. We were getting quite full, and couldn’t eat anymore. I was tempted to ask for a container to take some of the leftovers home, but I didn’t want to spend any more time at the place. CK texted asking what we do about tip, and I told him we leave nothing. We had no waitress and no one waited on us and our meal all came at the same time. If anything, they should have been offering us another free meal, let alone expecting any sort of tip.
When we were finished, we picked up and left without a word. I had never been served so poorly in any restaurant. It was ridiculous. The only redeeming quality was that we got an awesome story to retell. This was textbook poor hospitality.
Some friends were drinking at my local watering hole, so I proposed to CK grabbing a drink on the walk home. He wasn’t feeling it, so we walked straight home and hopped in bed for the night.
Had I been at that restaurant with anyone else, I would have gone insane. The fact that he was so cool about everything really made me fall in love with him even more. We took lemons and made lemonade. There is no one with whom I’d rather be sippin’ on lemonade than CK.Follow @onegayatatime