Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Market Bar in San Francisco Seems to be Offending Scores of Guests


"NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!"
- Soup Nazi, Seinfeld

A couple of newlywed friends immigrated to San Francisco from Washington D.C a couple of months ago. Let's call them Lauren and Derek. 

These two decided to meet up with friends at a restaurant called Market Bar for one of their first dining experiences. It sits just around the corner of the Embacadero side of the Ferry Building.

Unfortunately, Lauren and Derek's experience at Market Bar wasn't just unsatisfactory, it was horrific.

They shared their surreal story with Nicole and me a few weeks ago. But one enraged friend from the group jumped on Yelp and provided highlights of the ordeal:
"A group of us went in about 6:40 to get some cocktails and dollar oysters.  We sat down around 6:50 and the waiter took 10 minutes to get to us... We know because the clocktower went off as he was taking our order. He said they couldn't do our 2 dozen order because happy hour was over.  We asked if we could talk to the manager and explain we had been there for 20 minutes.  Manager comes over and couldn't have been ruder.  No apologies for the wait. No "Sorry, we just can't". It was, "Just leave if you don't like it"

Fine, it's a free country, so we decide to finish our drinks and leave.  As we're leaving, a girl tells the manager we'd come to get dinner, drinks, spend some money, but because he was rude we were going to leave.  His response....." F'ing leave you F** B****". The manager!  Her boyfriend who hears this walks up pissed.  THE MANAGER GRABS HIS GLASSES AND THROWS THEM AT ANOTHER TABLE, BREAKING A GLASS.  He then repeatedly calls me to my face and our group F*****Ts.  Yes, again, this is the general manager is yelling this!!!!"
For a second, leave aside the obvious insanity of a berserk restaurant manager spewing derogatory and offensive nonsense at guests. What kind of psychopath grabs someone's glasses and throws them across the room? Where else, aside from in a Bravo reality TV show, does an adult explode into a tantrum like that?

Others who witnessed the ordeal jumped onto Yelp to share their stories. (My emphasis added).

Sunny J writes:
"This place is blessed with an amazing location, especially for after work drinks and small plates on a nice day plus $1 oysters.  Seems like a home run right?  WRONG, because the manager here is crazy, I've never seen anything like it before.  He completely snapped at a fairly large group that was complaining, and when I say snapped I mean he went loco.  Cursing, throwing stuff...I can't put into words the awkwardness.  Something that you might see on a ridiculous SNL skit or some prank TV show, except this was no prank.  I don't know what happened that led to this, but I'm surprised this guy didn't get his ass kicked."
Holly K writes:
"First time I've felt compelled to review (Holly's husband here), because of the absolutely rotten treatment we just received. I'm sitting here fuming and typing. We sit down at 6:45, waiter comes over at 6:50, we order drinks. He comes back at 7 on the dot, we order a dozen oysters advertised as $1 from 3-7pm on the menu. Waiter says he can't do dollar oysters anymore, despite us being there earlier. We ask for the manager. He's inflexible and downright rude. You'd think they'd care about our business, apparently not. He says last call for $1 oysters is 6:45. Menu says 7pm. He doesn't care at all. I say hey, work with us we're probably going to order a lot of food and drink. He says 'probably?' We said not with that attitude. He said fine, I don't have $1 oysters for you. None of us have ever been treated worse at a restaurant, much less by a manager. Shameful"
So, there are plenty of other negative reviews shared by others regarding this establishment and its management. I've compiled some of my favorite complaints below.

Peter G writes:
"My brother ordered a cobb salad and politely asked if he could get it without blue cheese and with a different dressing (one offered on the salad one above on the menu).  Our waiter seemed taken aback by the request, but offered the vacant response, "Well, I hope they can do that."  So did we, but apparently this request was out of line.  A few minutes later, we witnessed our waiter being lectured by the manager, who noticed us watching, pointed at us, and told the waiter to shush.  We were then informed by our waiter that changing the dressing would be impossible because the restaurant was too busy and it would be too confusing for the kitchen.  Really?  I wonder if they're also too busy to wash their hands.  The manager was certainly too busy to speak to us in person."
Wes M writes:
"At this point I went to the hostess and she said she was not allowed to distribute menus until 3 pm. At this point I will freely admit I gave the, you can't be serious look and returned to my seat. Now i get you can't order food till 3 pm but we can not even look at the menus? To add insult to ineptness a mid-level manger I can only guess as he did not introduce himself, said he had done us a favor by giving us the one menu and now we were causing drama for his staff?"
Tamara A writes:
"As other reviews have mentioned, Market Bar is in a beautiful location, and is convenient to the Ferry Building. Unfortunately,  the service was  pretty terrible. The manager, in particular, was angry and inappropriate."
Dean T writes:
"The ONLY reason to ever venture into this dump is if you're looking to get some sun. The food is overpriced, the hostesses are brainless and the manager, Armando is a complete prick....just ask the wait staff. Horrible experience with some coworkers on Cinco De Mayo, and I will never return."
Shelly M writes:
"Well, I have to say, after reading the reviews on this place, I feel a bit more validated on what I'm going to review...After a weekend in the city, My two friends and I decided to head to the Ferry building for a late breakfast, then head on home. We were greeted with a friendly hostess, seatted outside, and had a nice waitress, with attentive service...However, during our wait for our food, 5 tables got seated around us, and they ALL got their food before us. We understand these things can happen, we mentioned it to the waiter, politely, she leaves. The manager, Alfonso, or Alberto, whoever, came over and started talking.....Horrible, he immediately went on the defensive, said to us. Well, "don't look around".....What??? He was a total jerk. If we would of had a man with us, I doubt that would of happened. Had a verbal altercation right at the table! the food came, luke warm, and my poached eggs were hard...Never, never going back, I can't believe they employ such a greasy, snotty manager.......Yuk, stay away from this place!!!"
This next review seems almost unbelievable...

Ethan K writes:
"Midway through the meal the manager (?) comes out and tells us that they can't have any food dropping on the ground, and they then took away my child's meal."
The next few reviews appeal to the ownership to jettison this bum from their business.

Erica L writes:
"I went for a networking event. First off, there was no host  greeting people as they came in. Then, after I asked a woman where I was to go to get signed in, I put my coat, scarf and umbrella on a chair at a table. I walked to the bar to order a drink. A man then informed me quite rudely that I didn't need to stand in the bar to order a drink, to go back in the other room and someone will take my drink order. I went back to my seat, looked over and the same man was talking with a waiter and pointing at me. I figured he was telling him to take my drink order. Instead the waiter came over and told me I couldn't sit there, that I needed to stand and mingle. I stood up, said ok, grabbed my belongings and left. I felt very unwelcome and embarrassed by the whole event. Needless to say I will not go back. Not sure why they treat paying customers like the plague. On top of that when I tried to email them to complain the email bounced back."
Lynn S. writes:
"I can understand the policy of forbidding outside food, but the manager's delivery and tone were extremely rude and reflected disastrously on the restaurant.  We happen to be a biracial couple and I certainly have my suspicions that this may have been racially motivated.  Either that or the manager enjoys humiliating his patrons by going on power trips. Whatever the cause, the outcome was the same,  us being extremely disappointed with the rude service.   If the owners are reading this I would encourage you to take action;  the manager is male, about 5'7", dark gelled back hair, light skin, medium build, wearing a very bright blue vest over a white collared long sleeve shirt, and black pants.  We will never dine at this restaurant again, and we have thoroughly informed our many friends to do the same."
And the complaints just keep coming...

drew k writes:
"Since we've decided to simply walk out of the place before the food arrived, I can't comment on the quality of their dishes.
But I can assure you that their management is absolutely treacherous.
And judging by the reviews here, I am not alone."
Andrew W writes:
"Do not go here unless you like to eat crap and pay a ton for it. The staff is snooty.  Make sure if you see the manager out on the patio while you're walking down Embarcadero you flip him off. When my expensive terrible food did come it had a curly brown hair in it which the manager refused to replace with a non-curly brown hair dish. Beautiful."
Sheila Y writes:
"Worst management ever!"
m p writes:
"whatever, i am never going there again. and im sure mr manager Arnando (or whatever he calls himself) is a very lonely man."
I'm sure many people have enjoyed themselves at Market Bar. But what's clear is that the establishment retains a manager who fits the definition of a loose-cannon.

If you are visiting or live in San Francisco, you may dine there. But apparently you dine there at your own risk.

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