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“Needs attitude adjustment!”

Freedom Cafe & Public House
Ranked #7 of 28 Restaurants in Naples
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch
Reviewed October 27, 2009

I know this is a long one but I want to warn everyone about the UNEXCUSEABLE service at the Freedom Café in Naples Maine. PLEASE READ!!!
My husband and I went away to get married and when we returned it was planned to have a nice family dinner at the Freedom Café to celebrate with us. I was in contact with the owner (Darryl) for months in advance to make sure we had the date set and everything in stone. First I want to say he is extremely hard to get a hold of, doesn’t call you or e-mail you back for days and is very short with you. I questioned whether or not I wanted to work with him or not in the first place. The building is why we did, it is beautiful. Stone fire place, post and beam style, and flat screen TV we could use for a slideshow of our trip pictures. Right on long lake and close to our house. We went out west and this place was very similar to the buildings out there. So I decided against my gut feeling and went forward with the reservation. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND to anyone that is thinking of doing a event at this place to look ELSEWHERE!!.. . and if you do decide to do it at the Freedom Café GET A CONTRACT!!!
When I showed up with some friends and family an hour before the event (as planned with Darryl) I walked in to see the people seated and eating dinner in our room. I had stated to the waitress that greeted us that I was at the understanding we had the room reserved for my family. Darryl (remember he is the OWNER) ran right over to me ready to fight and extremely combative… “ I can’t close my dining room to the public for 35 people, it would have been ok for the original number of 50 but at 35 I am not able to do that. I will lose money” He was raising his voice at me in front of everyone and I was in shock. What was I going to do now??? I have family from out of state that took time off and flew here to celebrate with us!!! He was insistent that I use the smaller room (which has no TV) and told us the loft area we thought we could use (that had a pool table and stuff for kids) had a roof leak and we were not able to use it. I was speechless at this point and couldn’t even get a word out. We went outside to figure out what to do and started calling other places in the area…. He then came out and said “there I kicked everyone out for you” Very rudely!! He made me feel like I was throwing a fit when this never should have happened in the first place. Not to mention I felt bad for the guests he moved to the other room and can only imagine what he had told them as I was getting a lot of looks. We decided to stay because at this point we were stuck, but would make the best out of what we were delt.
The food was decent (kind of salty) but there were not enough salads for everyone. We never got our cranberry sauce with the turkey nor our hot rolls we were suppose to get. I also paid a per person price so my guests would not have to pay for coffee or soft drinks. My mother came up to me and said the bartender was charging for sodas. I went to straighten it out and I got an attitude and no offer to compensate.
I was informed weeks before that they usually do a karaoke on Saturday nights and knew it would start around 8:30. It was around 6:30 when the waitresses started telling us they would be cleaning up and seating for karaoke... 2 hrs in advance!!?? I was told my guests where welcome to stay yet they continued to try and scoot us out. We left to go to another place (where a band was playing) but I was told later they were VERY rude and pushy to whoever stayed, even though they were still buying drinks from the bar!!! Also my mom had informed me after we left they turned on the lights upstairs and the roof was not leaking (it was pouring out) but there was some water spread out of the floor. Like maybe someone put it there to keep us out???
I have to say if it wasn’t for our party they would have been dead, I think I saw them seat 3 people the whole time we were there. On a Saturday night! Maybe people are starting to see what the Freedom Café is all about? OVERPRICED food for what you get and DISASTEROUS service!!!
All in all we had a great party thanks to my family and friends and NO THANKS to the staff at the Freedom Café!! I have never had service so disgusting in my life and will never return to that restaurant. Nor will all of my family who where there and pushed out the door, which is too bad for him seeing most of us live in the area and love to go out to eat!!!
Darryl, as the owner you should know better, bad news travels fast!! I hope next time you think about how to treat your customers, they are your guests!!!

1  Thank JessNaples
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 - 118 of 120 reviews

Reviewed October 26, 2009

First off, I should start by saying that I have grown up in the restaurant bussiness and my grandfather owns a seafood restaurant in the heart of Portland, Maine's downton Old Port district. I know that I have to take many things into account when reading reviews! Freedom Cafe, STAY AWAY!!! Our close friends had a small wedding reception planned for 10/24/2009 in the main dining room of the restaurant. It is a cute, architectually appealing space situated very nicely on Long Lake. The views are great, food decent and HOSPITALLITY TERRIBLE! I understand that sometimes employees can ruin it, but it our harsh case it was the owner. We should up on Saturday at 3:00PM to begin setting up some decorations for our 4ish event. When the bride and I arrived, the dinning room was half full with guest eating our BOOKED room. We kindly asked to speak with the owner as there must have been a misunderstanding. The owner met us, ready for a fight, very combative and said 'Oh NO, you can't have this space for 35 people.' The original number was 45! With 35 people on their way, some from Florida, we were unsure what to do, the room was occupied! He then let us know that his roof was leaking and the space that was available to guest before was no longer, and somehow this was our fault? He yelled, cursed, and was anything but accomodating. After listening to this for about 3 minutes, in shock, I decided that it was time to stand up and alert this man that his inepitude for customer service was alarming and his poor attitude is not going to fix this mess that he had created. He had avoided emails and phone calls from the bride for 2 weeks prior to this event and knew full well what he was doing. The staff was young, shot dirty looks like we were the bad guys and stood their frowning all night. Once we stepped outside and threatend to find a new place he changed his attitude and after about 35 minutes said that we could have the room and kicked his current guest out! We began decorating, guest started showing up and we made the best out of what we had, the food was good, friends and family are what made this event! I WOULD HIGHLY SUGGEST THAT YOU NEVER BOOK AN EVENT AT THIS RESTAURANT!!!! It was the worst case of bad business that I've ever seen and I have a lot of experience behind the closed doors. If this owner is this rude directly to customers, combative from the get go, without any confrontation to begin with...it makes you wonder, what does he let slip out the door for rotten food? Dirty dishes? Etc?
Daryl, you are byfar the worst customer service driven owner I've ever met!

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1  Thank kbmorrison05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2009

The Freedom has one of the best locations in Naples but it unfortunately leaves a lot to be desired. Parking is a problem. The décor is very nice; although I do sometimes get nostalgic for the old run down general store I remember from when I was a kid.

The menu isn’t bad but it’s limited. It seems almost every dish has lobster incorporated somehow. For someone who isn’t a huge seafood fan, this poses a problem. I have been in several times this summer because I do enjoy sitting out on the deck, but every single time there has been something wrong with my order. There has been a marked improvement over the quality of the food but I am still somewhat frustrated over the errors in my order 100% of time. It’s not my favorite, but I risk mistakes for the location.

On the entertainment side, I have seen some good (acoustic) bands in there. I’m a Karaoke fan but I have yet to find a host worthy of praise. (The fellow singers though? Not even kidding, some should go pro!) One host there had a book with a list that accidentally got sorted by artist and left out the rest of the columns from the sort…rendering it useless. The most recent host had a book of songs. That’s it. No corresponding artists, nothing. Not to mention they had about 10% of the amount of songs a decent host would have available.

This place has potential but it’s just not there yet. Definitely better than it was, but I’m still not ready to sing its praises.

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Thank susqugirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2009

We have been there many times and very much enjoy this place. Sitting on the porch is great. The fire place out there is beautiful. We have never had a bad meal. The only problem we have is you can't make reservations for the deck.The other areas of the restaurant are sparse and not very inviting. They need a new interior designer. The bar is ok and you can get your food upstairs while shooting a game of pool if you want. Again, the fried clams? Fabulous!

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Thank abbyrobertson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2008

I am a foodie. I have the girth to prove it. I am a summer resident of the area, and decide to give this place one more shot in August. I am sorry I didn't do that at the BEGINNING of the summer.

The food WAS horrible up until the new chef arrived. He is world class, out of New Orleans' Paul Prudhomme restaurants. He can cook ANYTHING and if it is not on the menu and he has the ingredients, he will cook it for you. Just ask.

The quality of the soups is superb, the entrees are plentiful and cooked perfectly. The new waitstaff has been trained by the chef, and they are fabulous, not to mention several of them are certainly good to watch as they work.

To be fair, the food was rather blah, up until Chef Murray arrived. It is certainly worth the visit now, Although they are open all the time in the summer, I think their off-season schedule is Thursday - Sunday. Better call ahead to be sure.

Thank Mike04071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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