We were really wanting to like Hartell's. We are at the beach, we were in the mood for a great burger sort of place and when we came across Hartell's in the very cute Bayside Wharf Village (looks kinda like New Orleans meet Disneyland) we thought we'd found it. It's a very cute place with wonderful outside seating and some seating indoors, along with a bar. We asked the waiter (Cameron) where we could sit and he said "anywhere" so we sat down at an outside table. He said he'd send out our waiter. Ten minutes later we got our own menus from the host stand (vacant) and my wife went inside to see what had happened to our waiter. It was 4:00 in the afternoon, there were about seven tables taken, and at least four waiters. Cameron again said he'd send our waiter. We watched another waiter come out 3 times on her one table, but she wouldn't look at anyone else. We watched the guy who was supposed to be our waiter come out, turn around and go back in, never looking at us. We sat around another 10 minutes and again went inside to search for our waiter, Cameron indicated our guy was behind the bar at the moment and he'd send him out. I watched as a table of 5 girls who had sat down right after us gave up (after they'd gotten their own menus) and left. Eventually Cameron came out and said he wasn't our waiter but apparently our waiter didn't want to come out and wait on anybody, so he'd take our order. We ordered. We watched another table give up and leave. We watched 2 more tables seat themselves and eventually they had to get their own menus.
Our food finally came and it was very good, burgers and milk shakes and good, thin fries and a tasty Frito pie. We continued to watch wait staff come out and do virtually nothing (one bussed her table, then went back inside without waiting on either of the other 2 seated tables).
One of the seated tables gave up and left. We flagged down Cameron and asked for our ticket. I stuck my credit card in the tab sleeve and after 5 minutes we took it inside ourselves, and left. The only other seated table had finally attracted a waitress.
I ran a restaurant in Central London for 18 years. This is the kind of waitstaff you fire the first day if you want to run a service organization. Of the four of them, only Cameron had some semblance of a service mentality. Our take is, good food, cute place, thoroughly indifferent and miserable service (save Cameron).
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