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Old 03-07-2007, 02:08 AM   #1
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Default Rock Bottom Sucks!

Three strikes and you're out!

My girlfriend likes beer. I like beer. We like good beer. Her favorite is Spaten Optimator. My favorite is Goose Island's Boubon County Stout. We like beer. We go to bars to have tasty beverages from time to time, but we live 50 miles apart.

The most convenient place between us is Rock Bottom Brewery. Oddly though, as luck would have it, I usually wind up going there alone after she gets busy or has to go to work or whatever. Or sometimes, I just have a crappy day at work (near where she lives) and I stop by Rock Bottom on the way home. Or, at least, I used to.

Tonight I went to Walter Payton's Roundhouse in Aurora, IL, but I was parked a mile away and when I got about halfway there, the thought occured to me that they are going to be crowded as hell. Now, I was in a bad mood already from work, so I decided I didn't want to deal with crowds anyway, so I just left and went to Rock Bottom.

Rock Bottom was unusually crowded for a Tuesday, but no matter, I just needed a single seat at the bar and I got one. Then a minute passed. Then two minutes. After five minutes passed, a bartenderess came up and asked if she could get me anything. "Uh.. yeah. I said. What do you have on cask?" She replied, "Nothing." Confounded why a brewpub with two beer engines would have nothing on cask, I said, "Oh." Then I looked up at the chalkboard with their beers on it and, as I was looking, the bartender walked away. I turned back, and she was gone to wait on someone who had just walked up to the bar.

I saw two beers that I really wanted to try on their chalkboard, but last time I was there, I was advised that they were out of both of those and they only had their usual beers on tap.

And the time before that, the bartender was a royal bitch. This is the third time I waited over 5 minutes for a beer. This is the second time they had nothing on cask. Last time I was there, I had three beers and the time between an empty glass (or no glass) and a full glass was in excess of 5 minutes every time. And what are the bartenders doing? Washing glasses. Where the **** are their priorities?!!!

Did I mention that last time I was there, the bartender walked by my empty glass, asked me if I wanted another, I said yes, and then she proceeded to walk away from behind the bar and I didn't see her for another few minutes??!!!

Yes, last time I was there, when there were 3 people at the bar and I was waiting in excess of 5 minutes for a beer, I tipped poorly. I mean, wouldn't you? 3 patrons, one bartender, and it takes you 5 minutes to get a damned beer.



I go to about a half dozen bars in the city. Each of them has hotter bartenders. And each of them has friendlier bartenders. And each of them has bartenders that work harder and try to get you a beer in a timely matter. I kid you not, when I was at rock bottom, I pulled my cell phone out to watch the time. 5 minutes is NOT an exaggeration.

Piss poor service. Their beers are mediocre (I'm too pissed off at their service to even THINK about discussing their beers). I go to Goose Island, see three times as many patrons for each bartender and yet they manage to remember you, talk more to you, and get you your beer in a timely manner.

F'in suburban waitresses suck. They think they're supposed to get tipped well for being cute, but 9 times out of ten, they're not even all that cute.



Anyway, sorry for the rant. I've just been burned one time too many by Rock Bottom in Aurora. They suck. On a brighter note though, I would up going next door to Max and Erma's. It's just your typical Bennigan's-style Irish restaurant and they had a Two Brother's Farmhouse Ale on draft and it was FANTASTIC. I'm actually glad I didn't wait around on the crappy service to give me more of the same beer at Rock Bottom. The Farmhouse Ale was great.

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Old 03-07-2007, 02:20 AM   #2
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I missed the part about you talking to a manager about this.

That seems to light a fire under the asses of the help. I suggest you try it!

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Old 03-07-2007, 02:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude
I missed the part about you talking to a manager about this.

That seems to light a fire under the asses of the help. I suggest you try it!
Why? So I can get an apology and feel compelled to remain at a place that promotes poor service? When I can walk next door and be greeted by a smiling face and a "whacann I gitchya?"

Why should I go through the effort to complain? What's in it for me when there are simply other places that will give me a decent beer? It's not like I live in southern Indiana with only 1 decent bar in a 100 mile radius. Heck! I live within 40 miles of 6 different brew-pubs and I am well-regarded in 4 of them! Why would I want the uncomfortable and lingering feeling of having to discuss an issue with some manager when I can simply go elsewhere?

As you can see, my evening ended with a very pleasant surprise, not because I went through the buzzkill of complaining, but because I simply walked out. Why should I have to be a whiney biotch to get good service?

I mean, I would do that in some circumstances, but being alone, I was much more able to get up and walk out, and a lot less able to leverage the "we have a lot of people hanging on your decision, Mr. Manager" angle. So I bailed. I'm sure if I was with a few people, I would have reacted differently, but all in all, my single puny beer wouldn't have meant much to any manager and I was happy to just get out of the environment that was being a major buzzkill.

You're right though. I should probably write a letter or something. If I like the bar or the owners, I definitely would. I would consider it a courtesy. But what have they done for me that would compel me to waste 15 minutes of my life writing them a letter? I know people who have worked as consultants. They get paid big bucks to tell people what is wrong with their business. Why do you think I should do it for free? What tie do I have to them?

It would be different if I loved the place, if I was a loyal customer, if I knew someone there, but I don't. I walked in as an anonymous parton and walked out, three times, thoroughly disgusting by their service. I never had a good experience there. So why offer consturctive criticism? If they wanted it, they could solicit it, but I never saw an 800 number for comments. I saw no suggestion cards or anything of the sort. Why should I go out of my way to tell them something that is important to their business when they can't even be bothered to pour me a beer?
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Old 03-07-2007, 02:00 PM   #4
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Excellent!!! I do the exactly the same, when I encounter bad service or bad product for that matter. I don't bother to tell anyone I vote with my feet. I feel that if they don't care about my patronage than I just don't care to tell them about the poor service or bad food!!!

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Old 03-07-2007, 02:11 PM   #5
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I've only been in Rock Bottoms twice & wasn't impressed with the brews either time. I rarely toss a pint out, but both times their cask conditioned ale tasted like stale bread dough. Service was ok, probably because in both cases, the joint was empty. I wonder why?

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Old 03-07-2007, 04:55 PM   #6
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Maybe the manager of the place doesn't know this is going on. Can't fix a problem if you don't know about it.

Sounds like you are taking the 3 year old approach vs. the adult approach. Have it your way! Thanks for the rant, noted!

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Old 03-07-2007, 05:03 PM   #7
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We used to eat at the Rock Bottom in Des Moines years ago when we lived in Iowa. Their food was definitely more impressive than their beers, IMHO. Pretty-good large-scale commecialized homogenized pub fare.

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Old 03-07-2007, 05:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
We used to eat at the Rock Bottom in Des Moines years ago when we lived in Iowa. Their food was definitely more impressive than their beers, IMHO. Pretty-good large-scale commecialized homogenized pub fare.

Agreed. Food is better than the beer. Rather odd for a brewpub, wouldn't you say? Well, unless they are just some trendy crap yuppie trap.
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Old 03-07-2007, 05:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
But what have they done for me that would compel me to waste 15 minutes of my life writing them a letter?

How long did you take to write this post... monitor this thread?

C/P My friend.
http://www.rockbottom.com/RockBottom...s&SiteID=10000

Maybe they'll send you a gift certificate that you can give to your Uncle Charlie or your crazy Aunt Phyllis.
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:54 AM   #10
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Toot, please say how you really feel about this. I sense some hesitance on your part to really open up.

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