Skip The Boathouse on 29N

Wonder if The Boathouse is any good? It’s not. Amanda ate there so we don’t have to.  #

15 Responses to “Skip The Boathouse on 29N”

  • John says:

    I thought it was just me. I went there a couple of weeks ago, and got the same run-around about giving us the most awkward seating possible, even though there were plenty of nice tables and booths available. Even after we asked to be moved — same deal! We felt so uncomfortable that we left without ordering dinner. I’ve wondered how the food is, but been unable to get past the unwelcome feeling from the first visit.

  • Cville Eye says:

    Maybe the idea here is to sit where the host or hostess seats you or quietly leave.

    My tall friends always prefer tables to booths.

  • liz says:

    As someone who worked in high school and college as both a hostess and a waitress I have to comment on your version of what the hostess’ “proper” response should have been. Many times, when the restaurant isn’t full, that means there isn’t a full staff of waiters on (maybe you should read about labor costs). When there isn’t a full staff, many times you are seated in what is called the waiter’s “section”- this is usually a three-five table area. If you were seated on the floor at a table it’s probably because that’s where the waiter’s section was and by seating you “wherever” you like- you’re placing yourself in a place where no server exists (leaving the host to go find and beg a server to take that table, which can open up the possibility of poor service b/c you’re out of the way and can be easily forgotten). And I’m not aware of many casual restaurants that have a coat check…You should’ve asked for the table because you were already “that” customer.

  • Cville Eye says:

    If the restaurant is going to allow you to sit where you please, why would it hire a seater?

  • ... says:

    As a former employee I have to agree. The management has absurd seating policies, and one in particular is not incredibly nice. As a hostess however it’s sometimes hard to seat patrons where they would like to be seated because of the rotation in which you must seat the servers, as they tend to get pissy if one server gets more tables than another. The two most frustrating seating policies were by far the refusal to seat anything but a full party(patrons were perplexed by this, and occasionally incredibly annoyed) and the refusal to pull tables together for parties larger than 7 (in my experience this once resulted in a walkout) Also the so called “entertainment” on weekend nights was deafening, also resulting in a few walkouts. However, some of the staff were extremely friendly, and nice to me. The food was only mediocre, a bit salty for my taste. I must say though that sometimes it is hard with the policies in effect to treat patrons the way they ought to be treated. Many times it seemed necessary to be chewed out in order to save the patrons from a similar fate.

    In summary, it is not the best (by far) restaurant to dine in, nor to work in.

  • CoCo says:

    So far I have eaten at this restaraunt three times already and have not only enjoyed my meal but was extremely impressed with the service. However I will say that the none of hostesses display much personality.
    For me the lighting, music and quality of service is vital but more importantly consistency is what leaves the most impression.
    If you want fine dining then go to Downtown Grille or Orzo.

  • Cville Eye says:

    Coco seems to know that if you go into a restaurant or hospital and give the staff a hard time, they may do something to your food.

  • Amanda says:

    Just as a side note, I waitressed from age 15 to 21. Many, many times I saw the hostess moved the guests to a seat they liked better, and the host or hostess just let me know that I had a table out of my section. Of if the move resulted in the group going to another server, the hostess made sure I got another table. It’s not terribly difficult, especially in an empty restaurant. I try very hard not to be *that* customer, but the Boathouse failed my expectations on so many different counts, it’s hard to cut them much slack.

  • Amanda says:

    Crud, there’s typos in that. Apologies!

  • Cecil says:

    FWIW, Amanda, your review didn’t make you sound like “that” customer to me. You described issues beyond the booth/seating issue.

    And while it’s true that if diners give the staff a hard time, the staff can make it more unpleasant for the diners, but it’s also true that when a review like this gets out in the world, for better or worse, it can hurt the restaurant. I’m not highly motivated to try The Boathouse myself, largely on the basis of this review. That might be unfair, and maybe the staff treated Amanda’s party poorly because they thought she was being difficult, but the upshot is she had a bad experience and word gets out.

    A good restaurant staff behaves professionally no matter what — that’s how a good reputation gets built.

  • Cville Eye says:

    “A good restaurant staff behaves professionally no matter what — that’s how a good reputation gets built.” Isn’t the concensus here that the staff isn’t particularly good, so would you take a gamble?
    In a university town, restaurant staff and customers change almost as fast as the seasons. I doubt seriously that a review written this year will have a lasting effect, since restaurants in that location tend to have a lot of out of town business.

  • Molly says:

    My dining experience at The Boathouse was delightful. My family and I all enjoyed our meals immensely. I personally thought our server was the best I’ve had in many years of living here. One of the restaurant owners came over and introduced himself and I couldn’t imagine a more charming man. My husband and I also enjoyed at a drink at the bar after our meal, and we’ve found our new favorite drink, The Tomolive! My family and I will definitely be back. Can’t recommend this restaurant enough!

  • Call me cynical, but my astroturf alarm is going off pretty loudly right now.

  • Cecil says:

    “The following program is a paid advertisement….”

  • Sam says:

    You big baby.

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