After dining at Shula's 2 many, many times in the last 3-4 years, they have officially lost our business after our experience there for my husband's birthday this past Sunday evening.
I booked a table for 7 on a Sunday evening at 5:30pm through an online reservation service. My parents were planning to head over there - later in the evening - but decided to join us when we settled on Shula's for my husband's birthday dinner. When we arrived, the table was already set up, and the high chair we requested was in place at the table. However, given the fact that only one other table was seated in the entire restaurant when we arrived, there was really no excuse for NOT having it set up. In any event, aside from having the table ready at our arrival, and the fact that the food was good (as it usually is), my kind words about this Shula's experience end there.
Where to begin? First, the temperature. It was a chilly fall evening and we were seated in front of the fireplace, which was not on. I went to the hostess station and asked about turning it on, and was told that it was currently out of order. (I read a comment on another review site that it was out of order on both the restaurant and lobby sides due to renovations - fine. But understand, it is COLD in your restaurant and you need to turn up the heat a little bit then!) I then asked if the heat could be turned up because we were very cold - even my husband, who is always hot and wears shorts 12 months out of the year, said his feet and hands were freezing. The hostess said she would adjust the thermostat and walked over to a box on the wall. I'm sure she did something with the temperature, however, I think she put the a/c on, because in the next 10 minutes, it actually got COLDER. It was very uncomfortable, to say the least.
Next - service. The woman who waited on our table was less than attentive. Even though we had 3 children in our party, we had to ask for bread after it didn't come out after we had placed our orders and been sitting for 20 minutes. When bread did come out, she brought one small loaf that was pre cut into 6 slices - for our table of 7. So not everyone could get a piece of bread. She also brought NO bread plates, so those of us who actually got to eat a piece of bread had to scarf it down immediately, because there was no place to set it. During the entire time we were there (90 minutes), only one other table was seated after us in the entire place (right next to us), and they had a different server. They got bread right away and their server was more attentive, but I guess that was because they ordered alcohol. Anyhow.
Food finally came out and it was good, although the kids' plates came out after all of the adults were served. If you have ever eaten with hungry children you know - kids should be served first, but, whatever.
The big problem came, however, when the time came to pay. BEFORE we ordered, we let our "server" know that we had a birthday coupon and also another coupon, and asked if we would be able to use both or if we needed to split checks, etc. She indicated that it wouldn't be a problem...until the time came to pay. Then it was suddenly a problem. At that point, she told us that her manager would not let us use both coupons, even if we split the checks, because we were at the same table. First - we have done this many, many times. My parents are members of the Shula club and get birthday coupons, and we also get coupons through a local entertainment book. We frequently piggy back a birthday coupon with an entertainment type coupon by splitting the checks. We have never been told no before - or been asked to sit at different tables. My father called the manager over and explained that if we had been told that it was not possible to split our checks and use two coupons at the same table WHEN WE TOLD HER WE HAD BOTH BEFORE WE ORDERED, that half of our party would have moved to another table and done it that way. (Never mind that this meal was to celebrate my husband's birthday and at this point, I was so angry that I literally took my one year old and walked out into the lobby to avoid making a scene. The cold, the bad service and the problem with the check basically ruined his birthday dinner.) In any event, the manager finally agreed to "make a one time exception" and split the checks to let us use both coupons, but seriously? ONE other table of 3 in the place at 7pm on a weekend...you can't really afford to be losing business over a $15 coupon - and we still spent close to $100, even WITH coupons!!! This place was VACANT. I have never seen it this empty before in the many times we have visited. The manager must have seen that the scene had pretty much ruined my husband's dinner, because he offered him a free birthday dessert. I would have passed on it, but my husband took him up on it and split it with our kids. At this point, it was really "too little, too late."
Given the fact that we are long time, repeat customers, I am REALLY disappointed about our last experience there. The quality of the food remains as good as it ever was, but I am not going to pay those prices and get poor service, period. Even with a coupon, we still end up spending close to $50 each time my family of 5 dines there! I realize this is nothing to some people, but a $50 meal is a big deal in my house. If we are going to pay that, I expect the room to be comfortable and the staff to be friendly and attentive.
Too bad, but after these many visits, we won't be back, and I am already in the process of letting anyone who will listen know that they should avoid Shula's 2, even with a coupon. I expect this place will be closed shortly. I don't know how they can afford to stay open.
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