Archive for April 20th, 2013

Re-Cap Re-Open: Bentleys is Bentley’s

Bentleys Nikki and Heather

Photo Credit: Wayne Thompson

The “Good News” for the Re-Open under “Stonewall” management was everyone was in the mood to celebrate back at Bentleys.

The atmosphere Thursday evening was animated, the pent-up energy of “townies” palpable after a month or so without this  “famous” Central and Elm Street watering hole.

Yes, indeed, for those at the bar who got to enjoy a couple complimentary rounds of “Paulie from Boston’s”  delicately fresh fried calamari with hints of jalapeno — a home run – it was great! We want MORE!  Bring it back!!! (For others, there was disappointment…)

The “Bad News”  for the Re-Open was bartenders, waiters and waitresses had not had prep time to train on a new POS system. They did their best, but we all could have benefitted with a little up-front pre-opening time for them.  Fact was, due to delays with the system,  it was hard to get a drink, it was hard to order food and it was difficult to cash-out. Pretty much everyone rolled with it and most likely got served something but there was indeed a bit of grumbling from the assembled public and an acknowledgement from the principals of “some kinks” to be worked out in the system. Nothing like “trial by fire.”

We also heard from several who came to eat they had been SO hopeful for a new menu which, as it turns out,  show little difference from the old menu (although YES, nachos are BACK!).  For those who love Bentleys plain and simple as it was, the good news is, for the most part, it is exactly the same.

Woodstock Early Bird obviously enjoyed sampling and sharing the calamari — deelish —  and otherwise ordered a lovely chilled  shrimp cocktail garnished  elegantly with slices of crunchy cucumber. Excellent.20130418-203848.jpg

However, we were pretty hungry when we went in to Bentleys and fully planned to order dinner. But, as the chaos got at least temporarily worse, we decided to wait for another night.  Although Bentleys would probably have been considered “slammed” even under normal operations, it was a tell-tale sign when six or seven glasses of beer that had been poured sat at the bar waitress station for 15 to 20 minutes, unserved, unclaimed and getting warm and flat. Nikki and Heather did their very best to get ‘er done for their old and loyal customers as did everyone else…

We have faith that little by little the kinks will settle down and we will enjoy some re-freshing changes. To their credit, one and all did get the place open and folks had fun, lots of smiles and celebration.

Certainly the Stonewall Companies principals John and Maria were cheerful, upbeat, celebratory and completely welcoming. We were even sent real-time emails later in the evening after we left. From one of John Ruggieri-Lam’s emails:

Paulies  “fresh fried calamari” was a HUGE hit . . . . I am sure you will be seeing more of these tasty fish and seafood specials to come!

We want to say a HUGE “THANK YOU” to the many people that came from near and far to celebrate the opening of our establishment.

 Also, a huge shout out to our valued STAFF, as they did an outstanding first night performance . . .  surely to be repeated in the days, months and years to come in our wonderful WOODSTOCK.