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From: [an eater]
Date: Friday, September 17, 2010
To: eater complaints dept.
Subject: Given the Late Night Bum Rush at Fatty Crab
This is to discuss factual events that occurred Thursday night, September 9th, at Fatty Crab, the delicious Malaysian fusion restaurant on the edge of the West Village and the Meatpacking District. We will remain anonymous, but we are seasoned restaurant industry workers in a highly regarded NYC restaurant, but obviously feel free to take that for what it's worth. We only share this as not to appear as un-savvy jaded guests that just had one bad experience.
Fatty Crab advertises a late-night happy hour and special half- price food menu until 2AM Thursday-Saturday, which is great news for us industry people as this gives us a chance to get those amazing fatty sliders, pork buns, and a beer or two after a long night of work. Unfortunately we learned that fatty crab doesn't want us there. “We’re a rockstar bar, we just went to get drunk and high and smoke weed”, is the direct quote I received from the general manager as he unwelcomingly crashed our table.
There were four of us heading to fatty after work. Two of us were finishing earlier than the others, and to be respectful to the staff at fatty, we made sure that the first two to get there would order for all four of us, even though all we all would have been there by 1:30, a good half hour before the happy hour and kitchen closed up shop. Now granted we understand that guests showing up a half hour before close is a thorn in the side of any restaurant employee, we still felt comfortable going there for two reasons:
1. It's a late night happy hour with half price food. We would think that such a deal not only attracts but targets people like us, so obviously we would feel welcome?especially because we have been there for this many times before.
2. Were there to eat good quick food and get a beer or two, we know we would be out of there by 10 after 2 at the latest. Were there to take advantage of the discounted food and get some quick bites, not to party.
Two of us got there around 1:15 and proceeded to order for themselves, as well as the other two of us who would be getting there a short while later. There was another foursome of people next to us inside and another foursome of people outside. They officially got the order in at 1:30 (three orders of pork buns, two orders of sliders, and an order of veggie buns). The other two of us showed up at 1:40?understandably late, but with the intent to eat quick and run, and be out the door a little after 2AM. The server approached us and asked what we wanted for last call. We ordered two tecates and the bartender hastily brought them over. The server then came and dropped the check for all the drinks as well as the food that hadn’t even come, at 1:45. We had every intention of closing our check by 2AM or earlier, but we decided to wait a few minutes to close the check as we were being billed for things we have not even received yet.
Then things got real weird real quick?
Two guys with drinks in hand came from the kitchen/employee area and posted up at the bar, hanging out with the bartender and server still in service. Within clear earshot of us, one of the guys said, “We have to GET.THEM.OUT!” (Punctuation reflects his actual inflection) The other guy than gets up and says, “Well let’s turn that shit up!” He then proceeded to crank up a speed metal band on the sound system to the point where we would have to scream to hear each other talk. The first thing I did was look at the foursome adjacent to us. They were finishing their drinks and paying the check as their ears started to bleed. I saw the guest, horrified, mouth to the server “What are you doing? Why would you turn it up like that?” Ok, I admit it was kind of funny. The four of us didn’t REALLY care about the music?although maybe not our choice after a long night of getting screamed at by people at work ourselves, but no big deal. After all, those sliders that were on the way are just SO fucking good we wouldn’t have cared if Marilyn Manson was on top of the bar singing whilst sodomizing a pig.
Another minute or so later, I heard one of the guys that came from the back say “Let’s just stare at them, I’m gonna stare at them until they leave.” He then proceeded to stare at us so obnoxiously with a look of, “Yup, I’m staring at you, what the fuck are you gonna do about it?” that it almost seemed liked he wanted to go toe to toe with one of us. Not more than a minute or two later, the guy staring at us made his way over to our table. He opened with “Guys, what’s the problem here? I am the general manager.” He was slurring, had a drink and hand, and appeared to be coked up. Before we could even answer, he says, “I hear you guys are in the industry. Look, we are a rockstar bar here, we just want to get drunk and high and smoke weed.” Excuse me sir, why are you sitting next to me and telling me this? Does esteemed chef Zak Pelaccio know that his drunken general manager is having staring contests with his guests and approaching them while they are waiting for their food and rambling incoherently about nothing relevant to us at all? We could have sworn you were a food-driven restaurant. We did not even flinch with the speed metal or the staring, but we got the message, you want us out ASAP. But we can’t leave when our food didn’t even come yet. After rambling incoherently about being a rockstar bar and providing lame excuses when asked why he was staring at us, we decided it was time to go and we asked them to just pack the food to go when it was ready and we would be on our way. The general manager began to shift his tone and tell us he was going to comp our whole check as a “DNO” comp, standing for “Did Not Order”, and not to worry about. He also began to yell at his staff in front of us. A few things bruh: #1 We DID order, well before the kitchen closed, and we are happy to pay for things that we ordered. #2 Just because we are “In the Industry” do not undermine us and think that because you are going to shadily comp our check that we are all buddy buddy now and everything is cool. #3 Your staff was very rude and always is but YOU are the real issue here, don’t deflect it on them. YOU fucked up by talking to us as the general manager even if you were done working for the evening.
We told him we didn’t want the check comped but just wanted him to leave us alone and pack our stuff to go. He then proceeded to argue with us, insisting on comping it as a DNO (making us feel like high maintenance guests). It was starting to get ugly and we decided it was time to go, told them to cancel the food. We threw money down for the drinks and walked out thanking them for our lovely evening and telling them that we wouldn’t be back. He made sure to tell us that the check was getting comped either way so if we left money it was going right in their pockets.
Fatty Crab advertises a late night Happy Hour with food. All we did was try to patronize them. In regards to the “Rockstar Bar” tag?look, we get it. We were not heading in there at 1:30 AM expecting nor wanting the dining experience one would get at Per Se. We just wanted a quick beer and some Pork Buns and we would have been outta there by 2:03, but I guess Fatty Crab didn’t want us there nor does it want to be known for its food. Oh well, there are tons of other spots to give our money to. In the meantime, we’ll just be sure to do some public relations for them, for FREE! It’s convenient that some of us work in PR during the day and we will be sure to enlighten all the magazines, newspapers, food-critics, bloggers, and our entire network of restaurant industry people in New York, that the General Manager of Fatty Crab wants us all to know of their rockstar status.
P.S. Closing at 2AM in NYC is pretty pussy for a “Rockstar Bar” if you ask us ; )