Just returned from a really low-class, bad restaurant experience at Gunning's in Hanover. It's in the area of my hotel and it looked well populated over the previous few evenings so thought I'd try it for a late lunch, as a change from Timbuktu and G&M's which I've eaten at previously and at which I have ordered the same thing I ordered today at Gunning's.
My choice of Gunning's was a mistake.
In general, it's a sports bar. There were 8 TV's visible from my seat. None of the TV's was on loud, so that was good. The entrance experience was unimpressive. I walked in and said, "lunch for one, please" and the unkempt hostess took off without a word (no greeting or smile) with a menu and threw it on a table. The table was filthy and the chair was covered with crumbs so after she turned her back on me and walked away, I moved to another table which was cleaner.
There are about 12 tables in the bar area (with the TV's) and about 20 bar stools around a long wrap-around bar. Another "restaurant room" is adjacent. Furniture is really cheapo-looking --- black metal and turquoise naugahyde and plastic.
From the beginning, I should have known better than to stay. Four tables down, a group of employees (which rotated while I was there -- always between 3 and 6 of them) was dealing -- loudly --- with football lotteries, their health issues and health insurance issues, other people's (employees) problems, and general complaints, etc. This went on, within full earshot of much of the restaurant the entire time I was there. Rather distracting not to mention highly unprofessional. Never seen anything like that in decades of going to restaurants. It reminded me of a high school cafeteria or a group therapy setting.
Periodically, the employees would get up from that table to go take care of a customer (either serving or greeting at the front door) and, at that point, they would be yelling back and forth to each other, by name, over the expanse of the restaurant --- again, about personal issues. Very bad.
I ordered a crab cake sandwich. $16. Nothing special. Came with a pickle and fries. I didn't eat the soggy bread. Crab cake was mediocre. At least it was lump.
It appears this place is a local hangout as some people were greeted by the staff in a way which indicated they were known. As for others, attention was slow. After I asked for my bill (the nearby employee conversation with many personal details was getting uncomfortable), it took another 10-12 minutes for my waitress to get it to me. Restaurant was about 1/3 full but she was busy putting paper on a table for people who ordered crabs (after she told them the crabs would take awhile) and she pretty much ignored my request for my bill. Obviously, she could have brought my bill first (rather than putting down the brown paper that would not be needed for 30 minutes while the crabs were being prepared) but she chose to ignore me.
Experience-wise, this is one of the worst restaurants I've ever been to, anywhere. Food was so-so. Service was poor. And, in my opinion, it is NEVER appropriate for a large group of employees to be sitting in the dining room, in full view and earshot of other patrons, and complaining/describing their lot in life and the personal business of their fellow employees who weren't there to defend themselves. If this had gone on for 5 minutes, that's one thing. In reality, it was going on when I arrived and it continued throughout the entire 90 minutes I was there, with a revolving door of different employees (including my server). The owner should be appalled, or highly embarrassed.
Fortunately, there are quite a few much better places for crabs or seafood in the area. This one looks like it belongs on "Restaurant Impossible."
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