Crazy (?) and unannounced up-charge for craft gins....


(Natascha) #1

Yesterday, we returned to a local upscale place in town that recently changed ownership. We hadn’t been in forever, as it had steadily been going downhill, but we wanted to give it a try.

As expected, mains were still priced as if we were in a big city, so we stuck to the somewhat more reasonably priced apps.

The bartender is one of the better ones in town, and knowledgable about his spirits. I talked to him about the various gin choices for a martini, and we settled on Dry Fly from WA for the first, The Botanist for the second (FWIW, I much preferred the Dry Fly).

The infuriating part of the evening was getting the bill. Now, I don’t mind paying for good drinks, and I generally estimate a martini with quality liquor to be around $10-13 (at least around these parts).

The first was $16, the second $18.50. WTFF? I guess I should consider myself lucky that they were out of Nolet’s, as that would’ve come to a whopping $22.50. I found this out after remarking to the bartender that this was quite an unexpected up-charge.

Not entirely sure how the bartender could’ve handled this better without sounding patronizing…but my regular bar indicates on the drinks menu whether there will be an up-charge for certain liquors. By the by, their up-charge for Nolet’s is a mere $4, which would make their martini a $15 purchase — still nowhere near $22.50.

How would you have dealt with the situation, has this happened to you, etc. etc.?


(Junior) #2

I’m not a gin guy, but the closest I can come is Stoli Elit, which is about a $100 bottle of vodka. If I see a bar has it, and I know the per bottle price, I would ask up front “How much is a Stoli Elit Martini”…I don’t know the price of the Gin’s you mentioned, but if they are a high(er) base priced bottle, I would have just asked. (Assuming there was no menu)

If the bottle price isn’t much higher than a normal premium gin, then I would out right question why the price is so high. The up-charge should simply reflect the additional cost of the ingredient, as is the case with well vs. premium/top shelf drinks.


(Natascha) #3

Right. None of these even come close to $100/bottle.

Dry Fly retail price: $39.99
Botanist: $39.99
Nolet’s: $49.99

I call bullshit.


(Junior) #4

Yea if that’s the case I do too.


(Natascha) #5

So… how would you deal with this in the aftermath? I obviously have no interest in returning, but… post a comment on their Fb page? Write a scathing review on Yelp? Contact management? Kill the bartender?:smiley:


(Junior) #6

Not the bartender, don’t kill the messenger. Honestly at this point I’m not sure what recourse you really have. You can contact management and just bring up your displeasure…I wouldn’t write a scathing review on Yelp, you did enjoy the night overall right? Perhaps write a warning to other patrons…but I don’t see why “scathing”.

I don’t know…if it bothered you I would have suggested getting a manager involved at the time, after it’s a little difficult to get any satisfactory resolution. Good luck


(Natascha) #7

Both the Yelp and murder suggestions were tongue in cheek, dude.

The night was ok. The bartender even cured my hiccups. But the bill just left a bad taste in my mouth.


(Junior) #8

It’s you lingua, I can’t put anything by you, killing the bartender was my first assumed course of action. Actually I was surprised you were making the suggestion and hadn’t already done it and just came here to confess. Share something good, how did he cure your hiccups?


(Natascha) #9

A quarter of lemon with a splash of bitters and sugar. You just kinda suck on it. No idea why (or how) it worked.

Perhaps an idea for another thread? '-)


(Robin) #10

Ditto! We love a good cocktail and are willing to pay a fair price…but I’m hard pressed to think of many cocktails with decent liquor worth $18-20. A new place opened near us and it’s getting 2 stars on Yelp because their Grey Goose (blech) martini is $22.


(Natascha) #11

Ahahaha. Grey Goose - the only thing they’re good at is marketing. Gotta give 'em props for that.

$22 for a vodka martini? Ridonculous.