Friday, December 08, 2006
Well, this place has been open for about a week now, and I finally got to check it out tonight. Yesterday I was having lunch with e.co and we decided to get together again today and pay this place a visit. I'm working until 8pm these days so it was just a quick trip across the street to the spot, really well lit up, with the lights shining off the snow. This was the flashiest part of the entire setup.
Get in and there's no 'bar' to speak of. There's a rather hefty counter near the back, but no barstools and no bartender waiting for you behind it. Just these high wooden tables with piano stools stowed underneath that you pull out to sit precariously on at the small tables.
The waitress came quickly enough, plunked down menus and asked what we'd like. They have no draught, incidentally. This was exactly the same method she would use during the day serving customers at the Maple Grille that this place is an extension of. No chit-chat, no shooting the shit, just simple waitressing. She took our orders and went into the back of the room and stayed there. This is not the same as walking in and having a chat with the bartender and being made to feel welcome, this is sitting in a restaurant, plain and simple.
The decor is pretty sparse, off-white walls lined with simple lamps along the upper edge, a few small framed paintings to break the sea of beige but that do nothing more than accentuate it.
There is no room to stand, no place to sit at the bar, and definitely no room to dance or mingle around. If you don't have a table, you don't have a place there. Now there may be the odd Friday night when the place is really hopping and things relax a little but it would take a lot of people to form this critical mass.
They don't have a sound system in yet, so the music they were playing (which they didn't put on until we got there) just comes from a CD player in the back. I don't know who the huge blues fan in this operation is, I suspect there may not be one, because the CD had "Mustang Sally" on it -- Just something found in the 'blues' section of a clearance bin, perhaps.
The musician that was set to play brought his own amp, and it was pretty clear this was the extent of the sound system for supporting the live music.
Now, for this to be a fair and proper review, we'd have stuck around long enough to hear the music, but honestly I just couldn't see myself sitting there for that much longer waiting for the guy to decide to start playing. So we paid our tabs, mine coming to nearly $30 for an appetizer and 3 drinks, and bid the place good night. The waitress informed us that we could sit there at lunch now, which, I'm guessing, might be the majority of times that I'll see the inside of Bourbon's House of Blues again. It's pretty much just extra restaurant seating with a busker hanging out up front.
A couple of observations. The walls are mustardy yellow not white.
Buddy guy a huge blues artist first covered mustang sally and if $30. bucks is too much to spend on a night out for 3 drinks and food they prob. dont want you in there taking up valuable space anyway.
But if you're happy with it exactly the way it is, more power to you. *shrug*