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July 25, 2008

Sloooow service at Gin Mill

gin mill

I'm going to start a running feature in the nightlife column where I measure the time between when my rear hits that barstool and when I have a beer in front of me.

Now I'm just trying to figure out a name for it.

The beer-o-meter? Hmmm ....

I thought up this idea while waiting for a Peroni at the recently refurbished Gin Mill on Boston Street last week.

I had a lot of time to think about stuff like that ... 

because it took a good 10 minutes for me to get a drink.

This was on a Wednesday. There were a couple dozen people in the place, which looks fantastic, by the way. There are tons of beers on tap and the new decor is swankier but still tasteful.

But all of that means little if the service isn't good. And there were three -- three -- people behind the bar. Sigh.

(Photo by Colby Ware/Special to The Sun) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:26 AM | | Comments (23)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


beer-o-meter isn't too bad, but i think you should call it the "Midnight Sun Bar-ometer"

This is nothing new Sam. I went last week and the same thing happened.

Gin Mill, get your act together or else you be closed yet again!

Do they still have the shuffleboard table?

Sam-A favorite pastime of mine has been bartender rating. See,you write all of the bartenders names down in a small notepad at the ten or so bars that you frequent the most. Over the course of a month you rate them on friendliness,how long it takes to get your drink,STRENGTH of your mixed drink..At the end of the month the winner gets the pleasure of having me sit for an entire happy hour,post happy hour and evening on a bender and they get a big tip. I informed one of my favorites of this once and she just rolled her eyes but hey it's our game! :)

how about the "i have been thinking about this all day and the only thing between me and that tasty beer is the slouch behind the bar" meter

I recently spent 10-15 minutes waiting for a waiter the other day at DuClaw. My beerometer registered "FAIL" and then I went over to Max's. The beerometer there was approximately 26 seconds.

My Beer-o-Meter is called the DTs

I like to refer to such bartenders as "Spiders" as in the Goodfellas line "What, you got me on a ***** pay-no-mind list?"

Spiders have mastered the art of moving without actually doing anything. They have a habit of always having their back to the customers. They are productive only when their manager is watching.

Slow bartenders are referred to a piece or work of art. The joke being that the piece is a statue.

You left out the most important question ... how much did you tip?

Is Drew the Gump from Greektowm crying that he wasn't the first poster?

In my experience the bartenders at DuClaws in Fells are some of the worst around.

Smith, nice to see you have crawled out to post something about me. I feel honored!

That's nothing. I once waited 25 minutes to get some eggs at Sip N Bite, and got punched in the face in the meantime.

Jay, you had it coming!

You guys sound just as pathetic as the 'new' Gin Mill. Sessa excluded. He's got to write the blog, right? But I have to confess, spiders and art, very funny. The sad truth about the Gin Mill is they don't want it, they tried to sell it and couldn't because no one is going to pay what they are asking. What to do? What. to. do? I know, redesign the interior, redesign the menu, redesign the drinks. Make it upscale, market the place (btw Luke, blogging on nightlife doesn't count as marketing) and just walk away. Putting lipstick on a pig, makes it a pretty pig, but a pig none the less.

I'm surprised. I went to Gin Mill after it re-opened and had great service. Dunno, maybe because it was because I was a girl sitting alone, but I was treated well by both bartenders (male and female) that night.

At places where the service is sucky or I'm ignored, I sometimes like to shout, "Oh my God, I'm invisible. No one can see me!" Yeah, it's obnoxious, but at that point, I really don't care.

Who is this Sam Sesa??? I don't think I would serve him a drink if i owned a bar. I am starting to think the bartenders know who he is and give him bad service just to piss him off. I had lunch last week at Du Claw and got great service.
I stopped in to see the new Gin Mill and had great service !!!! The food was great and my wine was perfect. I am planning on have a private party upstairs for my husband. People need to get over themselves .
Start enjoying life and feel the city spirit.


In response to Carols post...I LOVE THE CITY and trust me I enjoy life all day every day (except when I have jury duty.) Service around town is not the best and I'm in the service industry. It can down right suck. That's awesome you had such good experiences at two places where most have not. And since this is a public forum where people express their opinions then you are entitled to yours. But Im not sure how "we people need to get over ourselves!?". We just need quick efficient service so we can have our alcohol faster! Thats all we ask!
I think Bartenders in Canton gives outstanding service and One Eyed Mikes in Fells. Oh and of course my boys at Idle Hour. That's my positive input for this post! Enjoy your weekend.

I think that some of the bartenders at Mother's provide the BEST and most outstanding service.:)

Mother's is usually great, especially with the huge new bar. However I went there this afternoon and got a burger and was charged an extra $1 for a slice of tomato? I sure thought that was pretty lame!

I had the same experience last week at the Gin Mill. The place was empty, and I sat at the bar for 7 minutes before being acknowledged by the bartender (who was sitting behind the bar the whole time).


Did you deal with the head bartender there? He will talk it up with the ladies, but not serve guys in a timely manner.

I give the new Gin Mill 6 months.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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