The manager and host at Eureka Restaurant and Lounge in the Castro has used the restaurant’s May newsletter to yell at his loyal customer base about the increased attitude he’s been getting about not being able to seat people upstairs when they request it. Chef Gaines Dobbins, meanwhile, weighs in to say he’s had it up to here with special requests, particularly when they amount to customized dishes created by the customer. “YOU CAN DO THAT WHEN YOU BUY YOUR OWN RESTAURANT!” he shout-types.
Attitude, to many, is as necessary to life as water in the Castro, and one loyal customer who forwarded the newsletter to Grub Street notes that its author, manager Matthew Walker, has been noted for his “Matt-itude” toward some guests who step through Eureka’s doors.
The small and rather popular neighborhood restaurant features a cramped downstairs dining room that seats about 30, and a more spacious upstairs bar and lounge, formerly known separately as The Whiskey Lounge, where Eureka diners by and large prefer to eat.
Walker used April’s newsletter to express his distaste for public displays of affection in the dining room (“Nobody, gay or straight, wants to be subjected to having to watch two people sucking face and performing a dental exam on one another. Honestly, it’s not appropriate behavior and even though we are in a ‘liberal’ neighborhood…”) and he uses the latest newsletter as a platform to air some more frustrations, hoping that his stern reprimand reaches the necessary ears:
I have said it before and I will say it again: Seating requests are ONLY requests and not a guarantee or a promise of seating. The food is exactly the same upstairs as it is downstairs and frankly, the attitude John and I get when we are unable to grant a request is getting a little ridiculous. Seriously, some of our patrons behave like a 7-year-old that has been put in a “time out” when they are not able to be seated upstairs…. Here are some options we have had to consider:
1) No longer allow requests for upstairs and seat the upstairs on a first come, first
2) Turn the upstairs back into lounge and only serve dinners downstairs
3) Add an additional charge to the bill for upstairs requests
…Believe me, I feel embarrassed even putting this in writing, but I think it is important enough and I care enough about our faithful and loyal clientele to let you all know where we are coming from. These are only options. No decisions have been made and you, my muffins, will be informed if and when we decide to do anything.
In other news, Chef Dobbins announces some new menu items, including Creole Bouillabaisse, Lamb Stifado, and the return of the iceberg wedge. And after he vents about the customers using “vodka sense instead of common sense” and designing their own dishes, Matt breaks back in to concede, “apparently both of us need to go take our ‘Bitch Be Gone’ medicine,” and to remind everyone to stop in on Pink Saturday.
Earlier: Chefs Fed Up With All Your Special Requests [Grub Street]