Brent and I first enjoyed the ambiance and cocktails of Bliss Bar about a year-and-a-half ago, when our buddy Chris took us there as part of his EyeSpy assignment for Skyy90 Vodka. We've always enjoyed the atmosphere and the martinis, even if the wait staff was a little too Paris Hilton-esque for my tastes.
With friends up from Santa Barbara for the New Year's holiday, we thought it would be nice to stop at Bliss for a celebratory cocktail before heading across the street to Le Zinc for a nice dinner.
I'm sorry we did.
We arrived at the bar at 8pm and sat toward the back of the main space. Things started off badly when the cocktail waitress approached looking like she didn't want to be there, and then got progressively worse right away. Before we could even say "hello," the waitress informed us that the prices on the menu were voided and that everything was $1.00 more than listed. "Because there is no cover charge," she said. Uhhh...Brent and I have been there several times and there was never a cover charge, so that excuse seemed lame. I would have rather she just came right out and said they were spiking them because it was New Years Eve...ie: let's drain our customers of even more money because it's a holiday!
In a way I felt bad for her because of the spot her manager put her in. If you're going to increase prices for a night then post new menus, don't put out the regular ones. Putting your waist staff in the horrible position of having to tell everyone the prices are a dollar more is really bad P.R.
Because it was a holiday and because we had friends in from out of town, I decided to let the price thing slide. But then...
...the waitress shows up with our drinks and proceeds to spill my friend's cappuccino martini all over his pants. My friend was cool about it, although I could tell underneath his cool exterior he was livid.
We finished our cocktails a little while later and I went to the bar to pay the bill so that we could get to Le Zinc in time for our reservation. The owner/manager was trying to close out another guy's bill and seemed to have trouble working his own machine! It took 5 minutes to close out that one guys' bill before getting to mine.
Any one of these things wouldn't make for a negative review. But all three, on a celebratory evening...well...I have no choice but to knock them for a job very poorly done.