Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hardrock Cafe Seattle: My Personal Hell

On Friday I asked Matt if he wanted to check out the newly opened Hard Rock Cafe (116 Pike Street, Seattle 98101) in downtown Seattle after work for happy hour. Happy hour was a poor choice of words since they DO NOT offer a happy hour in their bar . . . WTF? It is a recession people! Lack of a happy hour menu was problem number one of many.

I walked down to the Hard Rock right after work (well, actually, after bouncing out a few minutes early!) and arrived right around 4:40 pm. The bar was already completely packed with people and the single bartender and bar back were having a hard time keeping up. We somehow managed to snag a table near the window and sat down. 5 minutes goes by . . . ten minutes goes by . . . fifteen minutes goes by . . . no waiter in sight. So, finally, I get out of my seat, flag down the bartender and ask her who is supposed to be serving in our section. She gives me a glare, motions to the bar back and asks him to take care of me.

The bar back comes to our table and proceeds to tell me (in front of my boyfriend!) that he was forgot to come take our order because "[he] was too busy looking at [me] because [I] am so gorgeous" and that "it must be tough being so ugly". Then for some random reason he started asking Matt if he was from England (okay, wtf?). It was definitely one of the top ten most painfully awkward conversations I have ever had in my entire life. He took our drink orders, I had a purple haze (ha ha . . . get it? *groan*), and returned the drinks promptly, along with the tab (trying to rush us out much?). Unfortunately this was his opportunity to make more odd/completely inappropriate comments . . . thank God I had a stiff drink at that point!

The bar back didn't return to check on us until he saw us putting on our coats to leave, at which point he rushed over and asked us how we wanted to handle our tab. We gave him a dirty look, handed him the receipt he had given us earlier and a wad of cash . . . we really weren't planning on drinking and dashing, but he seemed pretty paranoid about it. Needless to say, the service at the Hard Rock Cafe gets a big, bold F-.

The one positive aspect of the Hard Rock Cafe is the fantastically hilarious people watching. This restaurant is in a relatively crappy part of town (on Pike between 1st and 2nd Avenues) and therefore the people that walk by the front window are a motley crew. We saw a brassy haired, fake breasted, leather skinned woman wearing a Canadian tuxedo. We saw a VERY drunk guy staggering, staring at his reflection in the window and barely keeping himself standing. We saw a really old man in a hideous cowboy hat walking along, then he stopped and made a "Imma push something out/grunting" face for about two minutes, and then kept on walking . . . prompting me to wonder if he was making good, public use of his depends diaper. These were just a few of the memorable characters we saw walk by us. God, I love Seattle sometimes! However, we did make sure to get the hell out of that area of town before it got dark. No one wants to get mugged for their iPhone.

The other problem with the Hard Rock Cafe was the patronage. I will say that my friend Tiffany and her boyfriend had gone the night before we went and she said that the place was full of 'young professionals'. So, I don't know if we went on the wrong day or something, but the majority of the patrons in the Hard Rock that day were just as scary as the passers-by on the street. The whole bar reeked of cigarettes and body odor because of the clientele. Sorry, but that is just NOT my scene.

So, the verdict on the Seattle Hard Rock Cafe (at least with my experience) is: SKIP IT!!!! Unless, of course, you enjoy terrible service, uncomfortable conversations with socially inept wait staff and smelly bar patrons. Ewww.

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