Eugene, how could there be crowds if no one went there?
Pretty soon the Kimball House will be so popular that nobody goes there due to the crowds.
Hope everyone had a great time over the weekend and enjoyed some tasty food.
Whimsical? That makes no sense.
We do not go to Kimball or any other restaurant that has a "no reservations" policy because we have better things to do with our time. And there are few restaurants/meals that are really worth waiting an hour for unless you are simply going to say you dined at "x". Personally, we think this is an insult to the diner.
There are plenty of places that should not take reservations. In fact, the places you mentioned are probably examples of ones that perfectly fit the model. H&F is a public house. Basically a glorified bar. Yet this city treats it like it is meant to be a fine dining establishment. The owners even refer to it as "the Pub." It's a cocktail place that serves charcuterie and small plates and got famous for its burger. I can name a 1,000 other places in other cities that are exactly like this and none of them take reservations. True Food is a health food restaurant in a mall. The core of their business is walk-in business from the mall and surrounding offices and businesses. I think its good policy not to take reservations. If you worked around the area or visited Lenox or the surrounding businesses and were forced to wait extended times for a table a different article would be written. Of course, the point about having decent cocktails is correct (as well as a better place for overflow). Kimball House is a different animal. They are very much like H&F in many respects- a glorified public house with specialized cocktails, known for oysters etc., but they also try to push out high end food. This is where they lose the plot a little (and I think this was touched on a bit in the CL review). If you are going to do high-end food then you should do reservations. If you are a bar then there is no need for them. I think they are a bar and they should dial back the other food, because frankly it has always been marginal.
As a lifelong Atlantan, I just don't get the love people have for The Varsity. When I was a kid, I loved it because going there was a special treat as my parents might take us there once or twice a year. I guess it's a bit of a nostalgia thing for folks (I know people that have moved away from the Atlanta area that make The Varsity their first stop and/or their last stop before leaving Atlanta [With the Varsity having locations at the airport, it's even easier to do so.].). To be honest, the hot dogs are bland and the chili can only add so much flavor. The best chili dog I have ever eaten is the coney dog from American Coney Island (A Detroit landmark that a few years ago opened a location in Las Vegas. I go to Vegas a few times a year and I end up there at some point during my trip. Even more so if I'm staying on Fremont Street.). The hot dogs have a nice snap and don't taste boiled like The Varsity, the chili has a nice spice to it.
There are much better hot dog places in Atlanta.
Sarah made all the pies for my wedding and she is a brilliant baker. I moved away a year ago and still dream of her pastries.
Precisely why I haven't been to Kimball house and probably will not do so although it seems like a place we'd like. And why I rarely go to holeman. It's not hard to spot restauranteurs who want to have their cake and eat it too.
LOVE The Series, The Shop and Ms. Sarah! Such an amazing addition to SE•ATL
Far too many people make reservations at several different restaurants for the same evening then wait til the last minute to decide which one to go to. The other restaurants are left holding tables that aren't going to be filled for a while.
As much as I don't like long waits for tables, I hate it even more when I'm forced to wait and there are empty tables inside because some people didn't show for their reservations.
No reservations = good for the bottom line. Come on people, it's not about you.
The "whimsical" reasoning is pretty naive. There's nothing "whimsical" about waiting in line for an hour. And many reservations that I make are made pretty spontaneously -- often only an hour or two before the reservation time -- upon getting home and realizing I don't want to cook.
90% of the people who book reservations are looking for 7:00-7:30 and if they book earlier or later they end up actually arriving around this time anyway so why bother with the formality.
no reservations policy seems to only cause much longer waits more often (often all of the time) so I end up just not ever dining at these restaurants unless I get in before the crowds. a spontaneous or "whimsical" decision? definitely not, actually discourages spontaneous decisions to dine there.
Except for very casual places, "no reservations" is a deal-breaker. It shows complete disregard for the customer's time. I don't have that much free time to hang around a packed bar waiting for a table. Sorry -- there are just too many excellent options that are much more customer-friendly.
I hate it when restaurants don't do reservations. My time is valuable. There is so many other things I could be doing than sitting/standing at a restaurants door waiting for a table. Most places don't even offer an ample waiting area either. If I get there and have to wait more than 20 minutes I leave and try to come back when less busy. But many times they have lost me if they won't take reservations. I spend A LOT of money at restaurants and tip well but this no reservation policy is just bad in my opinion. By the time people get to the table they are tired, hot, wet (if it has been raining), cold of frustrated. Why do you want your customers to feel that way?
I agree. A no reservations policy is all about image and not about the customer.
Looks like Atlanta has some really fun events happening this week, enjoy everyone.
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