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FW: Why Aren't There More Bar Waiting Lists?

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Thank you for visiting the Eater Complaints Department, your unedited platform for voicing poor dining experiences, gross restaurant trends, and general underhandedness. Have grievances? Operators are standing by.

From: [an eater]
Date: Friday, October 28, 2011
To: Eater Complaints Department
Subject: Why Aren't There More Bar Waiting Lists?

Why is it that many nicer, not necessarily upscale, but otherwise well run restaurants that serve full menus at the bar, don't keep a list of who is next to sit at the bar? Why must we hover over other patrons while they are eating (only to have the same done to us once we sit) in order to jockey for a seat? It's so simple for a bartender to keep a list and when one party gets up, set the space for the next and tell any other person trying to squeeze-in that someone else is next. Gotham Bar and Grill and Otto do fantastic jobs at this. It lets me enjoy my drink and wait for a seat instead of ignoring the person I'm with while i am constantly scouting those at the bar to see who is about to pay. Recent trips to Osteria Morini, Tertulia, and DBGB reveal they don't bother with this. They tell you, "those people at the end might be getting up soon so go stand over there." Then, as soon as they begin to move I'm squeezing in before the space is even clear. Or even worse, someone else gets up that you're not hovering near, and someone else grabs it. Then the bartender gives you this look like "oh man, just missed it, better luck next time." Its really frustrating.