Went with my boyfriend on Labor Day weekend to have lunch overlooking the river at Flatwater.
I guess many Chicagoans were out of town/holiday and it was early (11:00 AM,) so the place was 10% full.
We noticed that all the tables for 2 were in the hot, direct sunlight, so asked for a table in the shade (with an umbrella), since it was too sunny.
Hostess refused b/c "all the tables in the shade are reserved for 4 people."
I looked around at the nearly 10 EMPTY shaded tables in amazement. The entire place was practically empty, ghost town, and she refused to seat us at a shaded table? Who was she reserving it for? at 11AM? imaginary guests that would magically arrive any second?
She basically stated that we had no choice but the table for 2 in the hot, direct sun, and couldn't do anything about it. "Their policy."
Duly amazed at this incredulous display of bad customer service, i asked to speak to the manager, Janna (or Jana, not sure how you spell it). I also told her i was visiting from New York and came specifically to dine at Flatwater. Janna came over, unsmiling, surly-looking, and
matter-of-factly repeated the same thing in a --- if we wanted to sit in a shaded umbrella table, we would need a party of 4. And then walked away.
Now i understand if this place is operating at full capacity, but it was 90% EMPTY!!!
my boyfriend was just shocked at this inexplicably quizzical response.
the attitude of Janna and the hostess were so impolite and rude it just shows that management lack of ethos and service and its trickle-down effect on its employees.
Instead we walked over to Smith & Wollensky next door to Flatwater, which also was pretty empty but they immediately put us at a shaded table upon request. That's what service is about and that's what gets repeat customers. I will never attempt to dine at Flatwater again. i hope they go out of business.
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