Friday, May 11, 2012
What Is Au Cheval Supposed To Be?!
Au Cheval's exterior (Photo: Au Cheval)
The West Loop's Au Cheval is not The Violet Hour, but apparently it wants to be.
An outing last Thursday turned into quite an unfavorable experience at the new so-called upscale diner when they wouldn't seat five of us at the completely empty bar. And I mean completely empty, during happy hour on a Thursday when everyone is looking for a good place to drink.
Why wouldn't they seat us?!
When I arrived alone to meet my friends, I was immediately accosted by three of the hostesses as I made my way to the bar.
"We have to seat you, and right now there are no seats available," one told me, as I looked over at the empty bar seats in disbelief. "That is our policy."
I stood at the bar trying to figure out what to do next. I perused the cocktail menu ($12 each!) and texted my friends to find out why they were so late.
Apparently they had arrived about 10 minutes before I did and when they were told they couldn't settle into those empty bar seats, they took off for Vivo. They, of course, sat down immediately.
The thing is, what is up with this policy of "being seated" at the bar?! Gilt Bar, which is also owned by the same people behind Au Cheval, doesn't do this. Their other establishment, Maude's Liquor Bar, only enforces the policy when the bar is very busy. Typically, you can just walk right up and sit down.
You'd think a place posing as a "diner" would be more flexible when it came to seats, but this one is obviously too cool for school. I get what The Violet Hour is doing, with its no-phone and strict seating policies, but you're also informed of the "rules" on your way in.
Au Cheval might want to rethink this because they've pissed off more people than just us that night . . .