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Dispatch from Steerage: McNally Nixes Civilian Primetime Reservations at Minetta Tavern [w/MCNALLY UPDATE]

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It's no secret that getting a prime time table at Minetta Tavern, the current crown jewel of the McNally Kingdom, is nearly impossible. Resy line calls tend to net results like, "we would be happy to take you at 5:30 or 11." But, if the dialogue we just had is to be believed, it is now, literally, impossible for a civilian to book a prime time table at Minetta. Those who read on will hopefully have room in their schedules for head explosions. With thanks in advance to the one and only Jesse Oxfeld for doing the people's work here:

3:08:11 PM ENY: you probably shouldn't have yelled at them
3:08:45 PM Jesse Oxfeld: i didn't really yell at them.
3:08:54 PM Jesse Oxfeld: i just expressed my astonishment
3:09:07 PM Jesse Oxfeld: and, not to worry, it was to public numbers, on a res made as a civilian.
3:09:12 PM Jesse Oxfeld: untraceable to you, my friend.
3:09:20 PM ENY: when on the phone with minetta tavern, one must be extremely careful about tone.
3:09:54 PM Jesse Oxfeld: well, i'd just been told i'd never again be permitted to make a res between 6 and 10. so questions of tone seemed a bit moot.
3:09:55 PM ENY: so you had a res at 8, tried to exchange it for another res at 8.
3:09:55 PM ENY: you should probably be able to exchange a resy for a SAME TYPE resy.
3:10:31 PM Jesse Oxfeld: i still do think it's amazing to simply say, "we'll no longer accept primetime reservations"
3:10:41 PM ENY: they said that?
3:10:43 PM Jesse Oxfeld: rather than just telling me the date i wanted was fully booked
3:10:45 PM Jesse Oxfeld: yes
3:10:47 PM ENY: no fucking way
3:10:50 PM Jesse Oxfeld: yes!
3:10:55 PM ENY: wow.
3:10:58 PM Jesse Oxfeld: this is what i'm trying to say, that i'm so amazed by
3:11:47 PM Jesse Oxfeld: "so you're telling me," i said in amazement, perhaps with the volume of my voice heightened by my incredulity, "that if i call at 10 a.m., 30 days out, you will have no primetime seats available?"
3:11:58 PM ENY: and she said...
3:12:00 PM Jesse Oxfeld: "i'm sorry to say that's the new policy, sir."
3:12:11 PM ENY: #mcnallywins
3:12:15 PM Jesse Oxfeld: "so essentially, a civilian will never get a primetime reservation?!"
3:12:28 PM Jesse Oxfeld: "we're very busy, sir, and that's unfortunately our new policy."
3:12:50 PM ENY: what happened next?
3:13:13 PM Jesse Oxfeld: i said something to the extent of, "well that's amazing" and then hung up.
3:13:21 PM ENY: also, did you try to exchange it, or did you first surrender the 8, then try to make a new resy?
3:13:47 PM Jesse Oxfeld: i called and said that i had a reservation for monday night i needed to cancel, but that i'd then like to make a new one.
3:13:53 PM Jesse Oxfeld: we did the cancel
3:14:01 PM Jesse Oxfeld: then i said, you do 30 days out, right?
3:14:03 PM Jesse Oxfeld: yes, she said.
3:14:14 PM Jesse Oxfeld: i said, ok, 30 days is sunday, october 10. what can you do then.
3:14:37 PM Jesse Oxfeld: i'm sorry, we're actually no longer booking tables during primetimes.
3:14:52 PM ENY: what happens if you cold call the vip number?
3:14:56 PM Jesse Oxfeld: i had to rephrase the question a few times before i understood what she was saying.
3:15:00 PM ENY: HA
3:15:19 PM Jesse Oxfeld: i didn't bother trying the private
3:15:24 PM ENY: pride?
3:15:29 PM Jesse Oxfeld: because i'm now irritated with the establishment
3:15:38 PM Jesse Oxfeld: not pride so much as principle.
3:16:03 PM Jesse Oxfeld: which is actually a distinction: it's not that i'm mad that i'm treated this way; it's that i'm mad they treat people this way.
3:17:08 PM ENY: right, 6:30 instead of 6 kind of thing?
3:16:48 PM Jesse Oxfeld: also, when we were trying to make this res in teh first place, pvt number did me little good.
3:15:55 PM ENY: on the other hand, it's Minetta Tavern.
3:17:18 PM Jesse Oxfeld: they always ask who you are before attempting to accommodate you at pvt number, and obv they're aware i'm not much of anyone.
3:17:52 PM ENY: they do always ask. sometimes for balth they'll just give you a resy. but not at Minetta.
3:17:59 PM ENY: not at sweet perfect Minetta.
· All Minetta Tavern Coverage [~E~]

UPDATE: The McNally on cross:

I just investigated the Jesse Oxfeld claim and discovered that most of what he said is quite true. However, according to Hannan, the reservationist who took his call, Mr. Oxfeld was so pushy and aggressive on the telephone that she took it upon herself to distort the reservation policy to ensure that someone as unpleasant-sounding as Mr. Oxfeld would not be eating at Minetta Tavern. 

I'm personally so upset not to have someone as unpleasant and aggressive on the telephone not eat at Minetta Tavern that I'd like to now take this opportunity to offer my sincere and heartfelt apologies to Mr Oxfeld.

Keith McNally

Minetta Tavern

113 MacDougal Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 (212) 475-3850 Visit Website

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