Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh of Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi | Ask Your Questions Now ›

Restaurants & Bars


Final night at Grange Hall - what a disappointment


Restaurants & Bars 9

Final night at Grange Hall - what a disappointment

papayagirl | Feb 24, 2004 08:05 AM

I’ve always been fond of Grange Hall, and I was bummed to hear they were closing, so some friends and I decided to go for dinner one final time last night. Big mistake.

The five of us arrived and were seated promptly. Friend #1 ordered a captain and coke, and was told they had no spiced rum. Okay, it was their closing night – not a big deal. He then ordered the butternut squash appetizer, and the waiter came out a short while later to say they didn’t have that either. Again, nothing we can’t overlook, given the circumstances.

The rest of the dinner progressed fairly smoothly, although it took an unusual amount of time for our entrees to be served. We were almost to the point where we wanted to ask the waiter if there was a problem, but we held out, and our food eventually did come as ordered. Here’s where it gets sticky.

Four of us then ordered coffee – 3 regulars and 1 decaf (I’m pregnant). They were all served, but mine was cold. I flagged down the waiter, who apologized and said he’d make me a fresh pot as he walked away. I realized that everyone else would be finished drinking theirs by the time my new pot was done, and my inclination was to tell him not to bother, but he was gone too fast. Besides, we already had the check, and having him remove the $2 charge didn’t seem worth it.

All at once, my friends finished their coffee, my new cup was served, and Friend #1 got up to use the men’s room. Friend #2 was in the process of figuring out the tip to put on her credit card, when one of the restaurant employees came and watched over her shoulder for a moment (at first we thought he was just an extremely nosy customer). He then walked away, when another woman (the manager?) came to our table, smiled, and said “I’m sorry, but we have a big crowd of people waiting, so we’re going to have to ask you to leave… is that okay?” We all looked at her very surprised – it’s not as if we’d been sitting there for an hour nursing our drinks, and we were very obviously finishing up. I turned my head to take one or two first and last sips of my coffee, and as I did so, a hand reached over my shoulder and whisked the cup away as the woman and two other employees stood over us to make sure we put on our coats and left. We were practically escorted out, and we weren’t even given the opportunity to wait for our friend to return from the men’s room.

So I’ve learned my lesson about going to restaurants on their closing night. I had many enjoyable nights there, and it’s a shame that all of those memories are tainted by being kicked to the curb in the final hours.

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound