I know that Mercadito's "reservations only" policy is new, and they're probably still getting used to the mechanics. But on Friday our simple party of 3 (with a reservation) had an awful interaction with the host that really ruined an otherwise really good meal food- and margarita-wise.
Two of the three arrived early for the reservation by about 20 minutes. Although there were no people waiting inside at the bar, they weren't permitted to wait inside and order a drink. (Yes, it was cold, but thankfully not raining). Plus, throughout the 20 minutes, the host would repeatedly peek out from the restaurant to check on the third, threatening to "take away the table." This was BEFORE the reservation time. Predictably, the third was late, by about 10 minutes. Mea culpa. But after being seated (in the worst table in the restaurant -- okay, perhaps we deserved that), the host invited some other groups inside to wait for their tables. One was even asked "what are you drinking?" and placed their order. They could wait in the warmth even though the front room was now getting crowded. Predictably, some other not so lucky groups had to wait outside as we did.
What's next? red velvet ropes and bouncers?? Hopefully they get it right -- it'd be sad to lose a good kitchen for a club-like door policy.