We were staying at the Pier House 60 Hotel and looked forward to checking out this rooftop bar. We checked into the hotel around 5:00pm on a Friday at the end of September. We had planned to change and head straight upstairs to grab a table and a drink and wait for sunset. The front desk offered a buy one drink, get one free coupon for that day, which was nice.
We headed up around 6pm (sunset was at 7:30ish) and got a table on the railing at the front, which would be the best sunset view. They were playing terrible loud music (Z100 out of New York), but they eventually changed to something less annoying. The drinks were pricey but that was fine, and we had decent service at our table. As sunset approached, the bar got busier and people began jamming up against the railing with their cameras, which didn't really obstruct our view but was pretty obnoxous and annoying. The bar did pass out mini-shots (not full shots) of a rum drink and everyone celebrated at sunset. We left after that to go to dinner.
The next night (Saturday) it was my birthday and I wanted to head back and see the sunset again before dinner. What a mistake! My boyfriend went up around 6 to grab a table - we wanted to get the table next to the one we'd had the night before, because it was flush against the railing corner and would therefore not be surrounded by looky-loos. That table was occupied, but he did get our same table again, and when I arrived a little whie later, we pushed it flush against the railing so that otihers couldn't push their way through. It had rained around 5:00 and we could tell the sunset view wouldn't be as good as the night before.
I opted for a frozen drink this time and it was served at our table. Later on it became ridiculously crowded again. When we needed a refill, I headed to the bar (the bartenders stop serving tables when it's crowded). I'm more assertive than my bf and thought I could get us a drink quicker. Boy, was I wrong! There were three bartenders and the bar was at least 2-3 deep on all 4 sides. After probably 10 minutes, the bartender finally took my drink order - a bottled beer for the bf and another frozen drink for me. The beer showed up pretty efficiently, but the frozen drink never happened. I understand that frozen drinks are labor-intensive, so if he wasn't going to manage to make my drink I would rather he had let me know so I could order something else. Instead, he mumbled something about waiting for the blender, then proceeded to serve other patrons for the next 10 minutes or so. I was standing there for so long that someone asked me what I had ordered that was taking so long! At this point it was probably 10 minutes to sunset and we had dinner reservations at 8, so I gave up on my drink and took the lone beer back to our table. Not much later, the bartender who had blown off my drink came by with the tray of mini-shots. We were at a table of 4 so he left 4 on the table, so we at least got a double, though there is surely little to no alcohol in these freebies. We then had to settle our tab, another battle, but at least we didn't have to pay for my bf's second beer since the bartender had never returned after giving it to me, and didn't know which tab to put it on.
I would mostly blame the management for this negative experience on our second night. They can't possibly expect 3 bartenders to handle the sunset mob. They're losing money in the process since surely others are winding up with a free beverage or two, as we did. I felt a little sorry for the bartenders, but anyone who has worked a busy bar can handle it better than these guys did. They need to hire bar staff who are experienced with handling crowds.
We later found out there were some "super boat" races in town that weekend, which probably had a lot to do with the size of the crowd. You would think management would staff accordingly when there are events in town that draw a lot of people into town.
They play live music later at night, which we had heard about but didn't check out.
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