This is a first for me, ladies and gentlemen. A negative review. No, not about a beer. It'd take a lot for me to have a purely negative review about a beer. No, this quick rant is about a poor experience at a resto/pub/bar/whatever you want to call 8 Locks Flat.
Backstory: It had been a long week and the girlfriend and I hadn't had much "us" time, so we decided to take this evening and go on a little date. We head down to Cornerstone in the market for dinner (which was a rather lackluster experience in itself, but not quite rant-worthy except for the waitress forgetting what we ordered not once, but twice. Once with the food, where she at least came back to reconfirm, and once with bringing me a beer, which I never got.) Anyway, we have dinner there, then decide to take a stroll up the canal to check out this new little hotspot called 8 Locks Flat. The place had been getting a lot of buzz, and from what I had heard it has a pretty decent craft beer selection, so I was looking forward to my first visit.
Expecting the place to be busy, we were pleasantly surprised to see that there was plenty of seating available with plenty of staff walking about as we walked up the ramp a little past 9pm. We were a little confused as to whether we were to seat ourselves or wait to be seated as there was no host/hostess and no sign that we could see indicating what to do. After waiting a solid minute and not being received by any of the staff, we decided to take a seat ourselves. On our way to picking a seat, we walked by a few of the staff who didn't even acknowledge us or look at us (except for one girl who was forced to when we made such blatant attempts to make eye contact as we were walking towards a table that she let out a small "hi.")
So we sit down at a table in the middle of the patio. We make a few comments about the location, the layout, and other little things that we liked about the place. Despite the having to seat ourselves bit, we were still impressed with the look of the place, and I was still excited to see the beer list.
A minute goes by. A couple of the wait staff are serving customers. A couple more are clearing tables from recently departed customers. A couple more are milling about doing little of anything (like I said, it wasn't very busy.)
Another minute goes by. Other customers are served. Wait staff continues to walk around us. No acknowledgement of our presence.
Five more minutes go by. My girlfriend is making strong attempts to make eye contact with someone - anyone - in order to subtly attract the attention of the wait staff without waving her hands over her head. Again, no acknowledgement.
At this point we've spent nearly ten minutes in this establishment without anyone coming by to welcome us or take our order so we decide to leave. We stand up, I take a moment to look around and still no acknowledgement of our existence from any one of the half dozen staff members standing or walking around neaby.
It takes a lot to upset or offend me. But this did it. I went out of my way to visit this place. I was excited to visit it because of all the great things I'd heard about it. This one horrible experience absolutely ruined it for me. I understand this could have been an anomaly, but guess what? It happened, and the frequency of that is irrelevant. All it takes is once to piss me off. If you're reading this 8 Locks Flat, all I can say is get your act together. You've lost me as a potential customer, but it's not too late to fix this issue and avoid losing more in the future, just simply talk to your customers and let them give you money in exchange for your beer. It's just that easy.