Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A New Joint In Town

I am not a picky customer. I guess, as you can see from my WalMart rant, I do little for comfort, when it comes to commercial service… I am easy to please! But there are some things that disappoint even low maintenance, low expectations me!!! …
A group of friends of mine decided to check out the new joint in town, Rum Runners. I had no expectations of the place whatsoever. I need to remind you: I am not from around these parts, so I know nothing of rum, and who drinks it and where, nor about dueling pianos and all that “cosmopolitan” stuff! So, I went with an open mind (and somewhat wallet, too), to this new place, downtown Greensboro, in the Kress building.
Coming at the door and learning that the downstairs club is called “Inferno” made it sound pretty cheesy, since the place almost across the street (also a club) is called “Heaven” and is at the top floor … but I am not picky. I came there for … Run Runners and the pianos, not the Inferno…
The service seemed slow from the get-go, but I thought I’d be forgiving: this is their opening night, they’re still figuring out what sections are serviced by whom and how fast, and the waiters/ waitresses themselves are probably still shy, on their first job in their first summer break ever, as a college student to be … maybe?! So, I was listening to the music, and being patient, and forgiving, too …
That gave me a ton of time on my hands… I started (over)analyzing the décor: like many buildings downtown, the Kress, is also a historic building: incredibly tall ceilings and carved, arched walls are outlining the inside of the open space. And within the enclosing, a décor of beach straw huts and columns fill in the void… Palm trees murals and decorations adorn the white walls. My first instinct, trying to decide whether to have my eyes linger on the classic walls or on the Jimmy Buffett-like scenery, was: “this is cheesy”. The straw and the palms just did not mesh in with the classy walls and architecture.
The pianos were incredibly loud and the resonance in the overly tall hall was not the best one can ask for … Someone needs to work on their sound system, if they’re going to be a “live entertainment” place, I thought. Resounding in the void of the white walls was the various sounds of music that ranged anywhere from The Animals, and Creedence to Johnny Cash and Bon Jovi! I thought to myself: confusing! – I was not sure what the “genre” would be in this environment; if there should be one …
When we finally got our friends together and we got a waitress, we found out that although their “frozen drinks” menu was 2 full pages of complicated descriptions of various concoctions, they did not have any frozen drinks available that night. I am thinking: on your opening night?? A “beach bar”? No frozen drinks? – now, that’s a let down!!! They did have the “Rum Runner”, and one of my friends did get that. Thank God, they at least got their “signature drink”, right?! We all ordered beer, otherwise … Or water, of course.
When it came time to order the food, we also found out that the only fish dish on the menu, the “Sandy beach”, I believe, was not available, either. Again: disappointment: no fish food, in a “beach-looking” bar?! I was beginning to doubt them here!
Oh, and the surprises kept coming: our main course (or at least one of the two, because we didn’t get them at the same time) came before our appetizer, well, WAY before our appetizer. And my friend, who was lucky enough to get his Rum Runner, had his order (an individual pizza) brought when most of us finished paying for the whole damage … and he was starved and drooling, watching all of us devouring our foods. At some point, we were also offered a whole set of salads of all sorts of flavors, without a single one of us ordering any… And one of the couples had their ticket incredibly mixed with people from across the table’s orders in between, although it should have been pretty simple for them: one appetizer, one Margarita, and one beer! … We were so confused when we left, we were not sure what was worse: the music that was too loud, the waitress who was lost, or the chef who was definitely not ready for a whole season of cooking, and could not tell the difference between a salad and a burger?!
The food was pretty tasty, once it came out, but boy, did you have to learn patience in the two hours you were there, to enjoy it!
I have seen places scrambling for smoothness on their “grand opening” night, but none quite so lost as Rum Runners… It was a tad surprising, to say the least, and be polite, even for a Third World gal, that’s really, not that picky! But I’ll probably go back, if the mood for “iffy”-ness and loud music will return any time soon.

1 comment:

Kehaar said...

It'll be a while before I go back. Thanks for coming out!