So this past Saturday night I went to Warren’s Jazz Bistro to see my man play LIVE as the guest, featured artist of ContreBAND. I’ve been to Warren’s many times and have seen its metamorphosis since its opening. The one thing that really gets me every time I go is the cover charge. First it was $5, now its $10. For what? I’m Diva Destinations. I do not pay cover.
But, that’s besides the point. It never ceases to amaze me the ridiculous prices that are thrown guests way as they enter this venue. At my recommendation, my girlfriend chose to have her birthday party there (for the second year in a row). I’m all about supporting locally owned-businesses, especially minority-owned. I was shocked that Warren’s was going to charge her $20 a person to sit in a booth. Yes, just to sit down. Really?
That’s not all. You can always sit outside or at the bar where both have minimal seating. Either way, you have to pay to get in. Really?
Fast forward to Saturday night. Keep in mind, I’m with the band…literally. We both walk in to see “reserve” signs on each table inside; a deterrent for those who do not know any better. We were invited to sit at the bar where all the seats were taken or outside with the outdoor heaters. The internationally known Chillie Willie Groove was guest performing that night, and who I was with. He didn’t want to sit outside or at the bar. He was playing with the band.
Once it was made clear that we were expecting other guests, and that we wanted to eat, we were then “allowed” to sit inside. Our server for the evening was an absolute gem, and took very good care of us. But I was shocked that after ordering a nice bottle of wine, we were given water in plastic “pizza” cups.
Yeah. This is what $10 bucks will get you at Warren’s Jazz Bistro. Later that night when Chillie asked for water, the bar had “run out”. How do you run out of water at a bar? Oh, you probably want me to pay for that plastic pizza cup with the paper on the straw.
Our final bill came to $75.88 and included the bottle of wine, bottle of beer, two mandarin cosmos (fabulously delish!), a gyro plate and an appetizer (my fave: spinach artichoke dip with warm pita bread). Nope. No discount or complimentary drinks for this world renowned Latin percussionist on a Label roster; or for any other band member for that matter. Unbelievable! and completely disrespectful to the band that packed your house and brought the place DOWN! Let’s also remember that some of our guests chose to sit at their own table with guests that they brought in.
So that’s what you get at Warren’s Jazz Bistro for $10, but that $10 is going to cost you. Doesn’t matter that you bring in business, or radio stations with Grammy award winning artists (Ken Navarro – yes I was responsible for that), or that you want to root on and encourage a small business owner with your patronage.
You’re either a nightclub or a bistro. Make up your mind. When you start charging for everything, and take for granted your loyal patrons, it’s not good for business. You’re showing yourself as desperate and greedy, and frankly I’m getting tired of it.