I loved Prudence Bar, and why wouldn't I?!? We share the same name and it seemed as ecclectically fitted out at myself. Except that is where the similarities end and Prudence Bar has, for the last time, left an altogether too sour taste in my mouth. We go there occassionally, usually to enjoy the cocktails (not mocktails, they don't do them I've been told on several occasions) the beer, the comfy vibe and to order Ethiopian from the restaurant up the road. We are all beyond our Uni days and most of us (bar me at the moment) have money to spend quite freely. But Prudence Bar will no longer play host to our merry little band, and it was the absolutely diaboloical treatment we were shown on my birthday that was the final straw. My 32nd will be remembered for these wrong reasons:
1. We sat at a carefully chosen table, avoiding the ones with reserved signs. We're not stupid and if a bar wants to reserve tables then that is its right (though, who even knew you could!?!) After half an hour Barguy 1 came up to our table, put a reserved sign on it. Apparently it was reserved for half an hour's time so we'd need to keep that in mind. A little miffed but undeterred we moved on to another table (no reserved sign) and set up camp. Do note we were drinking steadily this whole time, no one-pot-per-person-a-night deal here. We weren't blind drunk or ordering the Moet but we were not being cheap.
2. We put the two tables in our seating area together, given there were about 10 of us and we'd ordered a large amount of food. Barguy 2 (the owner we're pretty sure) came past and seperated the tables with a grunt and a death stare (I kid you not, it was like we were in grade 5 all over again.) Given the imminent arrival of food we put the tables back together and the next time he spotted us there were more grunts and more death stares.
3. A few minutes later Barguy 1 came back and, apologetically, tried to take a table away because it was needed elsewhere and they simply couldn't find another. We protested, saying we had ordered food and drinks and given this table was not reserved we were not sure why we were being hassled. He was embaressed and apologetic and understood the situation and I think was only acting under the orders of head honcho. Oh and they found another table magically from somewhere too.
4. Throughout the night were were treated to more hostile treatment from the head honcho. We were 'overserviced', in that our glasses were taken away as soon as they were empty, and sometimes almost before they were done. I note that other tables were not given this treatment. We were given these death stares which were unfortable and unwarranted. They could be construed as harrassment but we wont go there.
5. I was refused a coffee, as their coffee machine was switched off. Fair call I guess, as when we were having a lazy night we used to turn off the coffee machine too because it was a pain. But on nights when the place was heaving that machine stayed on. Also it was used for expresso martinis. Prudence Bar also does Expresso Martinis and what did I see half an hour later ... a lady with an Expresso martini. I know I wasn't buying the expensive version, but I'd happily pay a reasonable premium for a non-alcoholic drink if it is annoying to make. Prudence Bar your double standards ruin the name!
6. Prudence's service is always a bit curt, but that's just its nature and we usually take it with a large grain of salt. The crowd is trendy, and we aren't, we get it. But we're not shabby, or suits, just your average 30 somethings. So we're not too grungy for the place, we're not going to tear it up with a bar brawl but we're not going to sap its soul with an afterwork dullness.
Maybe we made a mistake with timing. We generally go to Prudence on a Thursday, and the crowd is a little sparser. We made the mistake of attending on a Friday where the cool factor was turned up full volume, and maybe this was our mistake. We weren't cool enough!?!?! Should that even be a factor? Should you not go to a place depending on the day?
Screw you Prudence Bar and all your pretensions, we've had it! I know I'm now reverting to grade 5isms but I can't raise myself to be any more thoughful in my distaste for this place. Hipsters you can have Prudence, just try not to sully its name even further.
From now on when we want cocktails we are going to the Crimean. I can't say enough about how awesome this place is. They treat you with respect and don't laugh in your face when you say the word mocktail. The food is great, the drinks are tasty and it is warm and inviting. It's the place Prudence should be and could be if it were being true to its name. I can't wait until next year when I can drinkin again to sit in there with the BF and try all the yummy wines (for me) and beers (for him) with dumplings.
When we want Ethiopian we will order take away and have it at my house, or eat in and try their local beers. Prudence Bar will no longer get my friends and I through its door.
It wont care, indeed it wont bat an eyelid, because it is Prudence Bar and that's what it is. I'm just sad and angry that we share the same name.