The “O” Bar Redux aka “The Annoying Guy”

So, yesterday I wrote about the “O” Bar, and low and behold, it made me want to go to the “O” Bar again. Luckily, we had a Travelzoo voucher that we had been saving for just this moment. I like Travelzoo, I get their emails, I like the format, and they send out some really great deals. This was one of their so-called “local deals,” and it was good for 4 cocktails (up to $15 each) and 2 tapas plates (up to $15 each) for $35, a hell of a deal. Well, as soon as we sat down, I noticed the guy sitting 3 seats down was a little “off.” There were maybe 10 people total at the bar. He was loud, he kept asking for things, and we weren’t sure if he was drunk or not. Having been in the restaurant business for almost 10 years, I have seen this customer before, but not so much in the swanky-hotel bar setting, usually in the sports bar setting, where you almost expect it. I overheard the bartender telling the manager that he had only served the guy 1 drink. So, of course the guy wants to chat with everyone, including us, who are trying REALLY hard to keep to ourselves. He was about 70, nothing strange looking about him whatsoever, other than he had the “aura,” that unseen-but-felt force-field around certain people, that causes the dynamic of the entire room to change as soon as they enter or leave. He told us 5 times that he was European, he was visiting from Spain, and it was his first time here. And he kept asking what we were having to eat, etc etc, just weird and awkward. We tried to be polite but it was just difficult. It is tough for management in this case, who stood at the end of the bar and watched this guy like a hawk. You know he is disruptive and making other guests uncomfortable, but if you haven’t served him (or her), he is not cursing or saying anything inappropriate, he is not rude to the staff, and he is paying his tab, then there is really nothing you can do other than wait for the person to leave, which, eventually, this guy did, and when he left, the fog lifted, the food and drinks tasted better, the bartender came over and chatted us up, and the mood became happy and laid back again. It was like the music was flipped on. I had a guest named “Joe” at the Duffy’s on Hypoluxo and Congress (he probably still goes there, but I’m not scared, I’m sure he doesn’t read my blog…actually he may not be able to read). “Joe” was a big, scary looking dude in his 40s, but he had the mind of a 15 year old. He would drink too much and yell and scream and be very obnoxious during games, and we tolerated that. It was after the game, or when there was no game on, that it became a problem. “Joe” was like a big kid, he couldn’t censor himself, and he liked to “roughhouse” and push guys around a little bit. When there are couples and the bar and the atmosphere is more subdued, you cannot have this guy in your establishment. He literally would chase business away. We had to ask him to leave 2 or 3 times per week, and every time we did, he would hang his head and say “sorry guys it will never happen again” (just like a kid!) and he would leave. You can’t ban him from the restaurant. He was harmless, and he spent thousands of dollars per year at Duffy’s. It was just one of those things. When he walked in the mood changed, and we knew we would have to kick him out before the end of the night. Well, thanks for listening. Please feel free to tell me about your customer service horror stories in the comments section, I would love to hear about them. As for last night at the “O” Bar, we ordered the ceviche and the patty melt, of all things. Both were delicious, as were our drinks, a “Dark and Stormy” for me, and a strawberry Mojito for Stef. Our bartender was a class act, as usual. And we will definitely be back again-

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