The Tar Pit Bar and Restaurant - Warning - AVOID

Posted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2010 at 09:02 PM

FAIL stamped over Tar Pit logo

This new, would-be hotspot is trying to build a reputation as an ultra-swanky craft cocktail bar and restaurant. You need to stay away from it for now.

I (Adam) should have known there was a problem when my wife called to confirm our reservation -- and they'd lost it. To add insult to injury, the host accused my wife of being "very suspicious" because they'd been "booked for weeks." Yeah, thanks chief, we were a part of that.

Thankfully, he managed to "squeeze us in" tonight.  I'm not sure why I'm saying "thankfully."

Since we were very hungry, as soon as we sat down, we ordered appetizers with our drinks.

20 minutes later.  No drinks.  Nobody said anything, nobody came by with an apology. 

I flag our waiter, ask what the story is.  He's a nice guy, but looks overworked and overwhelmed, and hurries off.

A full 27 minutes after ordering them, we finally get our drinks.  At this point, we've realized that this place doesn't have their act together.  We ask, "How much longer will it be for the appetizers?" Our poor waiter admits that he has "no idea," and goes to the kitchen to check.

He returns with the answer, "They won't be coming out anytime soon."

Yeah.  We left.

I'd stay far, far away from this place until our sources can confirm a new general manager comes in, or something else major changes.  Or, more likely, wait until they close -- and a bar with some operational know-how occupies this swanky but wasted space.
UPDATE (ADDED MAY 2010):  I received flack from some folks for being so harsh on the Tar Pit relatively soon after the place had opened. So, when the Duke and I were having dinner next door to the Tar Pit earlier this month, we decided to duck in for a drink.  Here's what happened:
Walk in. Nobody at the host/hostess stand -- as happened the first time I was there, when my wife and I waited about 5 minutes for someone to wander over and say "Uh, name?" Realizing on this visit that the podium was for decorative/ghost purposes only, the Duke and I strode along the bar scoping out the whisk(e)y selection. We did this for a couple good minutes, conspicuously and obviously, then waiting to talk to the bartender and order a drink. But the guy wouldn't make eye contact with either of us, pretending to not notice us. The bar was maybe 2/3 full as was the restaurant, and the bartender wasn't busy in the slightest. I'd add that we both looked like casual mid-30's average, regular guys -- true, this is from my perspective -- but I really doubt we looked like some sort of derelict scum.
Point being: no reason to cop an attitude, Mr. Bartender.
Since reorganizing glasses and rotating well bottles was obviously so important -- and we weren't -- we decided to leave and let the rest of the... um, conoisseurs... enjoy their drinks.
Maybe someday, I'll get to experience something other than the stupefyingly bad service here (if it's even fair to call it "service"). For now, The Tar Pit stays on my AVOID list. 
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