Booked out

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in a number of city centre bars of late that does the establishments in question no favours.

The decline in customers calling in for a drink after work has often been lamented by publicans, who’d welcome those dropping in for a post-office pint with open arms, but I had to wonder can you really blame these customers for avoiding an after-office outing to the pub if they were to be confronted by ‘Reserved’ on practically every tabletop as was the case in one prominent Dublin pub in Dame Street recently?

Where’s the welcome in that?

Not being in Dublin city centre too often we’d decided to go for a relaxing after-work pint around 5.15 of a recent Friday only to be confronted with table after table informing us that we were welcome – but only up to a point, that point being 6-45pm after which, they’d need the table back thanks very much, no doubt for a more imporant (set of) customer….

There’s nothing quite as welcoming as trying to relax under a drinking deadline, is there?

On enquiring if the ‘snug’ might be free, we were looked up and down and knocked-back on the presumed basis that a mere couple did not provide a profitable enough reason for opening said room.

We left with a bad taste in our mouth (which unhappily replaced the anticipated taste of the meal we were going to have with our drink).

The pub’s loss.

If pubs are going to reserve tables for a party, shouldn’t they ensure that these rest well out of the way of the regular drinkers for the sake of both the party itself and its regulars, not to mention the visiting customers not part of the party?


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