Like many other reviewers, I previously rated Armsby Abbey here as an excellent establishment. Unfortunately, their good reviews seem to have gone to their heads and made them forget that good manners go a long way in making customers return. And return customers are who keep restaurants going, particularly in a poor economy.
Tonight my family decided to once again enjoy dinner at Armsby Abbey. We arrived at about 7 PM on a Sunday night and were told that there would be a half hour wait for a table. We then walked to the rear of the bar and sat at a small table to order some appetizers and drinks while we waited for a table to open up. At this point, the hostess came over and told us that the table was too small for the four of us to have our dinner served upon. We explained that we were only going to have appetizers and drinks there and would move to a larger table for dinner when it became available. At this point we were told that we couldn't sit there because two people MIGHT come in who MIGHT want to eat dinner and MIGHT need to sit at this table. Since there was no one waiting behind us, and we were, essentially in the back of the bar, we were all taken aback by this statement. We again explained that we were buying four drinks, several appetizers and would then be having dinner. We were once again told to that we needed to vacate the table in case a hypothetical party of two arrived.
When we expressed our dissatisfaction about our treatment to the manager, he did nothing, although other patrons at the bar were equally aghast at how we had been treated.
Armsby Abbey has great food and great beer. However, it is in Worcester, not in New York or Boston where it can rely on a constantly changing tourist trade. Those of us who live in this city are the people who spend money in its restaurants. While we certainly don't expect anyone to fawn over us, we also don't expect to be treated rudely.
Being the hot place in town is nice... unless you become so hot that you burn all your bridges.