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“Slow service.”
Review of Bartley's Dockside Dining - CLOSED

Bartley's Dockside Dining
Price range: $10 - $25
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Kennebunk's longest licensed restaurantwith the same family ownership . . . .100 seat YEAR ROUND restaurantemploying local people, 37 years 3 generations
Reviewed August 21, 2014

I liked the outside coastal dining. The service was very slow. Only to servers on a busy Saturday night, what were they thinking. The food was good but very expensive. What was I thinking, having lobster at a tourist town restaurant! The most surprising thing was the strong suggestion for a 20% or more tip!

1  Thank MiainNSB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KportMainer, General Manager at Bartley's Dockside Dining, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2014

Dear MiainNSB:

Thank you for your visit. We’re glad you enjoyed the food. My wife Gail has been cooking here at Bartley’s for over 36 years and continues to serve top-quality seafood to our guests from around the world.

In terms of staffing, the challenge of any tourist destination is staffing during high season, particularly the end of August when many of our college and university staffers are heading back to school. This combined with a few staffers being sick meant we were understaffed this night. Having been in the restaurant business for over 36 years, this is of course is never planned nor ideal.

With regards to our credit card system, it has a default of tipping options which are out of our control. We are at the mercy of our system and have tried to address with them directly in the past to no avail. That said, if patrons are not comfortable leaving 1 of the 3 options as gratuity, we inform all patrons they’re free to leave their desired gratuity amount in cash.

Finally, grocery chains are notorious for pricing seafood as their loss-leader. Locally, Shaws & MarketBasket frequently discount lobster to $3.99 lb during the holidays to drive customers into the store, knowing they’ll make up those margins on the other items customers buy. This has created unreal expectations within the marketplace on the actual cost of seafood. Good seafood is expensive. If not you’re not paying for it, I’d be concerned with the quality of food you’re actually eating.

Again, we thank you for your business and hope you pay us another visit. We’ll keep a lobster on standby for you. ;)

Sincerely,

Brian
General Manager

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Reviews (264)
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38 - 42 of 264 reviews

Reviewed August 21, 2014

Went there only once and had poor service and undercooked food. Asked three times why salad wasn't served while we waited. Were told it would come with the entree. Who does that? Have heard horror stories from other patrons.

1  Thank Connie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KportMainer, General Manager at Bartley's Dockside Dining, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2014

Dear Connie A:

My wife and I Gail were disappointed you didn’t enjoy your recent experience at Bartley’s. I’d value your time in learning more about your recent experience. Please feel free to call the restaurant and as for Brian or direct message me through TripAdvisor’s service.

Thank you,

Brian
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2014

Ordered the Lobster Roll and clam chowder. We were supposed to get a free blueberry pie with the purchase of a lobster roll but we were never offered it and was given our check. I think they were just under staffed. The food was very good though.

Thank SyracuseCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2014

I live in Maine. I eat at Lobster shacks that are perched on the side of the ocean where boats unload their catches of lobsters. Those are special places in Maine. I thought this might be one of those, and since we are moving to Kennebunkport this fall and are trying out all the local places - we gave Bartley's a chance. While Bartley's was just barely OK - I should have known when you see a bottle of Cakebread wine on the table, it should raise red flags. I love my wine - and love fine dining - but this is not the place for that. The salad my wife ordered was so overdressed that it could not be eaten. A virtually full plate taken away should have been a sign to the waitress who was more eager to sell us blueberry pie than ensure our satisfaction. My fish and chips were not bad - but on the coast should a nice large filet of fish be possible rather than chunks? There has to be better. I will continue to hit every other place in town.

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Thank MaineEXPTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KportMainer, General Manager at Bartley's Dockside Dining, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2014

Dear MaineEXPTravler:

Thank you for your recent visit to Bartley’s. We look forward to having you in town. I’m sorry were disappointed by your recent experience. We never have claimed to be a fine dining experience. We offer great quality seafood at an affordable price, in a family setting with waterfront views.

We do however love our wine. Cakebread has been a favorite among our guests, particularly White House staffers who traveled to Kennebunkport with President George W. Bush during his 8 years in office. The owners of Cakebread personally visited us a few years back, thanking us for our business as we are one of their top clients within the State of Maine. While I agree, our downhome feel isn’t typically seen with fine wines like Cakebread, we continue to carry it as our guests who know it continue to appreciate our reasonable pricing and per glass option often not available to them in larger cities.

That said MaineEXPTraveler, I hope you’ll give us another shot. Next time we’ll make sure to go light on the dressing.

Sincerely,

Brian
General Manager

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Reviewed August 12, 2014

HORRIBLE wait staff, owner is pushy and seems to like to lead her staff in freedom to talk badly about other competing businesses. (clam shack next door) Nice to be able to sit at a table but so NOT worth it. Blueberry pie supposed to be great...NOT.
Sorry Bartleys, we'd rather stand.

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Thank lucielleball
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KportMainer, General Manager at Bartley's Dockside Dining, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2014

Hello lucielleball:

I'm often skeptical of reviews which consist of direct, personal attacks on my mother, Mrs. Bartley, an 89 year old woman who still works every day of her life as well as my hardworking staff. In addition, this review was short on content TripAdvisor travelers would find useful to their own travel needs and restaurant selection. If you were indeed a guest, this platform is meant as a means to speak of that experience; not shamelessly promote a neighboring competitor and harbor personal attacks. - Both of which are suspect in my book.

Brian
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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