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Julie Deeds Metzgar

 

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“Not Good”

The Bier Garden
This is only the 2nd time I have been to The Bier Garden, and the first time was Jan. 2004. It was my Mom's birthday, and they assured us they had a table of 20 reserved for us two nights earlier. They even called us 20 minutes till 6 pm on Saturday, 1/19/13 and said our table would be ready on time at 6 pm. Well, when we got there (we are the couple who made the reservation), 15 of my family members were sitting in two separate sections while a party of like 6-8 were sitting in between them.

First off, they should never have told us they would be ready by 6 pm when they called us 20 minutes before 6 pm. Second off, my husband and I had to wait like 50 minutes until our party could be merged together, and for he and I to sit with them since there were no more seats. Do you think they would have offered us a glass of water while I waited? Of course not. The manager on duty was completely clueless and kind of rude. It took him 10 minutes to even come out to see us. There is only a tiny area to wait at too.

The kitchen was disorganized as well as the dining area and hostess. We had to move our own tables together while the hostess was just standing there. What a joke! They weren't accommodating at all considering they messed up. Our waitress was very nice, but she kept on forgetting my stuff. For example, she took forever to bring me my beer and French fries. The food was alright, but not worth the price, in my opinion. I did like the draft beer I was drinking though, but $7.00 for a draft beer is expensive to me. They charged me $5.00 for a slice of German Chocolate Cake when their web site says $3.50. I never did question it though since I just figured the prices went up or something. I should have said something though, but I thought I had misread the web site, but I double-checked, and I didn't. The kitchen was very slow. They really should have had two waitresses working our party. I can't believe they had the audacity to charge an automatic 20% tip. They gave my husband and I no discount for our inconvenience of having to wait before being seated with our family.

When we called up two days later on Monday, we talked to the owner called "Dad," and he said he would have his wife "Mom" call back. The next day, "Mom" didn't call back but the same manager that night we were there who was clueless called back. Why would we want to talk to him again? He obviously doesn't think he did anything wrong. He was just standoffish, and they lied to us, that's all. When you talk to the customer 20 minutes before our reservation with a big party, you should just be honest with them and tell them you are running behind. We asked them if we would be seated on time, and they said we would. There's no way they didn't know they weren't going to have the tables ready 20 minutes earlier when they called us.

While my husband and I were waiting to be seated with my split-up family, a couple who comes there often said it is always busy there in that small place, and they always have problems with reservations, especially with big parties, but they personally always come back since they like the food there, they said, plus there isn't many German restaurants around.

I guess The Bier Garden is so overconfident they don't care about pleasing all of their guests since they can spare customers. Everywhere I have been when they mess up, they at least offer something in return such as a free drink while you wait, etc. What a joke! Guess we will be going to the German Pantry on VA Beach Blvd. in Norfolk, VA the next time. The German Pantry yesterday offered a half off Groupon. Of course, I'm a vegetarian, and The Bier Garden does have a whole vegetarian section, which is a plus.

Finally, we all were sat on the patio which was enclosed with plastic. All the kids at the far end said it was freezing. Also, it was so tight in there that I had to get up and move like six times for family members to go to the bathroom. The chairs on the patio do not just slide either.

It was a very stressful night. I'm sure with a smaller party, our experience may have been better. However, I just didn't think the staff was very friendly, except for the waitress. We didn't even get greeted when we walked in there with a "Hello." Maybe it was a bad night for them too, which I can understand somewhat; however, they didn't try to make things right with us, even days later. It was the same excuses. Considering how much they made from our large party, they should have offered us a complimentary dessert or something since we had a miserable night. Trust me; they did not deserve the 20% tip. Plus, the parking situation is terrible. They have no parking lot.
 
438 High St
Portsmouth, VA
(757) 393-6022

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