The cliff notes: long time patron, significant drop off in service recently, don’t honor promotion, give chance to address privately, get no response.
I have exclusively patronized Cinebarre-Mount Pleasant for the last 3+ years (averaging at least 1 movie, if not more, a month during that time) and even posted a review in June 2012 giving a glowing review indicative of the previous three years of seeing movies there. However, my experience over the last four months has been extreme disappointing marked by multiple instances of poor service and, in the last instance, refusal to honor a promotion advertised on their website (Breakfast Club promotion – all shows before noon $5; the offer is still posted on their website (as of 01/16/2013), but they won’t honor it). Due to great service in the past, I wanted to give them the opportunity to discuss my concerns with overall service of late and the failure to honor an advertised promotion, so I wrote an e-mail to the local manager listed on the website and copied the CEO and the Operations Manager on Sunday afternoon. I was hoping to receive a response; I even included my phone number in case they wanted to discuss it over the phone rather than via e-mail. It has been three days and I haven’t received any response from them. I am usually a pretty even keel guy, but after giving exclusive business to someone, singing their praises numerous times, and giving the opportunity to privately discuss the issue and getting no response – I was irritated. Below is the e-mail in its entirety (except for my phone number removed and the name of the manager). Figured as often as I recommended them in the past, I could at least let some people no what I have experienced lately.
For the last three plus years, Cinebarre has been the only movie theater I have patronized in Charleston. That number for my wife is even longer – she has been attending movies at Cinebarre exclusively since it opened while she was attending College of Charleston. Not sure how our movie viewing frequency compares to others, but we average at least one or two movies a month at Cinebarre. I can count only two times when we saw a movie at another theater in Charleston and in both those instances the movie wasn’t being screened at Cinebarre (Waiting for Superman and Moonrise Kingdom). One of our first dates was at Cinebarre - Mount Pleasant and being from Columbia, SC (and living there at the time) where the only option for wide-release movies are corporate behemoths, such as AMC and Regal, I was blown away by the experience offered by Cinebarre – major Hollywood releases, good food, a great craft beer selection all while maintaining a reasonable ticket price and supporting a local business. The convenience of Cinebarre has been great as well - we moved into our condo off Coleman Blvd in August of 2010 and often walk to Cinebarre. We also loved the fact that while Cinebarre is a franchise, we always got a locally owned feel at Cinebarre.
During that time we have been extremely pleased with our experiences at Cinebarre and spread the word about Cinebarre on a regular basis – letting friends new to the area know about it, showing friends who have lived in Charleston for years what they are missing by not seeing movies at Cinebarre, and taking friends and family who visit us to Cinebarre when they want to see a movie while in town. Unfortunately, four times in the last four months we have had disappointing, sub-par experiences while patronizing Cinebarre – Mount Pleasant.
On one occasion, while attending a movie with friends, my wife had to go to the bar twice during the movie in order to get service as the waitress did not come around after the first order at the start of the movie – despite my wife’s group having their order sheet displayed.
On another occasion, we attended a movie with another couple and arrived twenty minutes early to get a good seat and get drinks before the movie started. We waited ten minutes with our order sheet raised and never saw a waiter/waitress come into the theater to take orders; my buddy and I decided to try to get drinks at the bar. We waited in line at the bar while the bartender took and fulfilled orders for two groups in front of us, when it was our turn, she stepped away for a minute and then came back and said we would get our drinks faster in the theater. We explained we had been waiting for ten minutes without a server entering the theater; she looked miffed and then told us she wouldn’t be able to get our drinks for awhile because she had to fulfill orders coming in from servers. Irritated and wondering why she could serve the two groups in front of us, but not us, we returned to our seats. Because of the ordeal, we declined to order any drinks when the waitress finally came around.
On another occasion, we encountered extremely slow service again along with an inconvenience with seating. Since it was a Tuesday night with the $5 ticket special, we arrived more than thirty minutes early to secure a good seat and allow adequate time to get drinks. Upon entering the theater, we found the first two rows of the preferred stadium seating section “reserved” and with the rest of the theater filling up, we resigned to sitting in the first row nearest to the screen. I was curious about the “reserved” seats since we had never seen this before in three years of patronizing Cinebarre, so I asked the bartender about it and she indicated they were reserved for friends of the manager. I was slightly baffled why this was being done on what is likely one of the busier nights of the week due to the ticket price promotion. As a consulting engineer, I understand that some clients deserve special treatment on occasion, but I would never provide special treatment to a client to the detriment of another - we arrive early to get a good seat but end up in a less ideal seat, while the people with reserved seats stroll in during previews to prime seating. In addition to the seating, service was extremely slow at the start of the movie in both placing the order and receiving the drinks.
After each disappointing instance we chalked the experience up to an off night – a one off. My wife and I griped a bit to each other, but figured the next time would be back up to the usual Cinebarre-Mount Pleasant service. However, after our experience today, Sunday, January 6th, I don’t think we can give Cinebarre-Mount Pleasant the benefit of the doubt anymore. We have seen the Breakfast Club promotion on the website offering $5 tickets for all movies before 12 pm on Saturday and Sunday for awhile, but we had never taken advantage. We decided last night to see Les Miserables at 11:50 AM and take advantage of the $5 ticket price promotion and put the money saved towards lunch. We reached and ticket booth and were surprised when the cashier said it was $15.00 for two tickets, I asked her why they were not $5 a piece with the Breakfast Club $5 ticket price promotion. She indicated that only applied to the first round of movies; I told her the website said any movie before 12 PM and that this was the first showing of Les Miserables today. She said the $5 ticket price didn’t apply to this movie. Since it was 11:40 AM, we decided to pay, get a decent seat, and discuss it with the manager after the movie. Perturbed regarding the pricing and the failure for the cashier to give an explanation for the discrepancy between the website and what was being charged, we elected not to get lunch and beers during the movie. After the movie I asked the bartender in the lobby if I could speak with the manager, she asked if she could assist and I told her our confusion about the ticket prices. She was very cordial and explained that the promotion now only applied to the first round of movies around 10 AM. She indicated the posters onsite had been taken down, but that the website advertisement had not been corrected yet since it was controlled by a separate marketing group. She indicated several other people had asked about it as well and been told the same thing – no other resolution other than basically - we made a mistake, sorry, but it is what it is. Perhaps I should have pressed to discuss it with you, but it appeared precedent had been set and the policy wouldn’t be altered, so I didn’t see the point.
For lack of creativity, today was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. At this point, while disappointing, I don’t see us continuing to give our movie patronage to Cinebarre-Mount Pleasant despite years of spending our hard-earned money almost exclusively at your business. We are fortunate enough in Charleston to have other theaters which offer a break from the traditional movie experience – for the about same price as what we paid (actually fifty cents less per ticket) at Cinebarre-Mount Pleasant, we could have seen Les Miserables at Terrace Theater and still enjoyed a craft beer. We may have to drive further - we live off Coleman Blvd in Mount Pleasant, so we have always loved the convenience of Cinebarre – and eat lunch or dinner before or after the movie, but based on recent service, we will give another theater the opportunity to earn our patronage.
If you would like to discuss further, please feel free to e-mail me or call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX. It is a shame that $5 – the price difference between your website advertised price and what we were charged – will result in us taking our business elsewhere. Perhaps in the future we will give Cinebarre another chance, but in the interim we will be enjoying movies at other local theaters.
I had the worst experience I’ve ever had at a restaurant, and I eat out quite a bit. I’ve lived in Charleston for almost 7 years and have gone to just about every restaurant in the city. We went to Alluette’s tonight with a Groupon that was expiring tomorrow, so we expected the place to be crowded, even though it was a Tuesday night. We had also read about the restaurant and knew the food was prepared from scratch, so we expected to wait for a bit. We were seated right away when we arrived. It took about 15 minutes for us to get our drinks and place our orders. We were ok with this, since the place was busy, and the owner/waitress was nice about it. Things proceed to go very much downhill from there. We both ordered entrees, and I ordered soup, since I was hungry and figured that would be served quickly. I was very wrong. After waiting about an hour and 45 minutes and seeing 4 other tables who arrived after us receive their salads, I finally got the salad that came with the meal, only because my husband mentioned it to the owner, who only made excuses for the bad service stating that they mostly took reservations on Mon, Tues, and Wed and had a lot of walk-ins tonight. At that point, we had had empty iced tea glasses for about 30 minutes, and it took another 15 minutes plus asking multiple times/people to get a refill. We also mentioned the service to our waitress who also had multiple excuses, and asked us if we had researched the place, stating that if we had, we would have known that everything was made fresh, which means it would not be served quickly. I actually had researched the place and expected the service to be slower, but not receiving a salad for one hour and 45 minutes and not receiving our entrees for 2 hours and 30 minutes still seemed excessive to me. When my husband asked the waitress if they had researched how Groupon works , in that most people use it at the last minute, she replied that that was “retarded,” since they gave six months to use the Groupon. It wasn’t until well after we expressed our dissatisfaction to both the owner and waitress and had our entrees that the waitress asked if we would like a piece of cake or a cookie on the house. We declined, and when we paid our bill, we were charged the full amount of our meal. We had hoped that they would do something to make up for our awful experience, but no luck there. While we were there for 2 hours and 45 minutes, we saw multiple groups leave before receiving their dinners, and we talked to multiple tables who were also having the same bad experience we were. I almost can forgive most of what happened, since they seemed to be short staffed and not prepared for having Groupon customers, but the way we were treated by the owner and waitress was not acceptable. We were only given a half-hearted apology after speaking with them multiple times, and nothing was done to make up for the wait and bad service. Not to mention the food was not very impressive. The fried chicken was good but nothing exceptional. The lima bean soup was probably the best thing we had. The fried shrimp had no flavor at all. There are so many wonderful restaurants in Charleston. Don’t waste your time here.
The Wreck is the worst restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, in my opinion. Before someone says "you don't get the dive restaurant thing," I do get it. See my review of Bowen's Island. I love dives, and I love local seafood. I hate mushy poorly fried seafood. We had originally tried the wreck back in 2008, simply based on the story about the place. During that experience, service was slow, but not horrible. The food during that visit was ok, but not worth the price ($18 for fried shrimp, I believe).
Fast forward to December 2012. We decided to give the Wreck a second chance, as we were hungry and wanted some delicious fried shrimp. We arrived about 30 min after they opened, and about half the tables were occupied. It took about 20 minutes to get the server to take our drink order. I would say it was another 10 minutes before she took our food order, which was simply two menus with items circled in red. I ordered fried shrimp and fried scallops, while my fiance ordered fried shrimp and fried oysters with she crab soup as an app. We didn't see the waitress again at our table for 30 min after that. When she arrived, all she had was two dinner plates and no soup. We quickly asked about the soup, which must have been forgotten. As we looked at our meals, we realized they were all wrong. I had received fried oysters and fried scallops, while she received just fried oysters. No shrimp to be found. After the waitress came back, we told her about the errors, so she took the plates back and agreed to not charge for the soup. 20 minutes passes by, and we finally get some soup. The soup was just ok, by the way. 5 minutes later, new dinner plates arrive, along with a soft shelled crab (didn't order that). The dinners were wrong again. This time I received fried oysters and grilled scallops, while my fiance received fried oysters and grilled shrimp. At this point, we were 1hr and 30 min into dinner and starving, so we just ate what we got. The fried seafood was mushy, and not flavorful. The grilled stuff was ok, but not what we ordered. The combo meals cost $21 a piece, so we just paid for overpriced seafood without even getting what we ordered. I am not sure how this place is still in business. If your service and food are poor, what do you have that brings people in? My only guess is that the articles talking up the place have made it a dive tourist trap. All I can say, is that I will never go back to the wreck again.
Let me start off by staying I've been to Shelter on 4 separate occasions with each visit impressing me less than the last. I can honestly echo previous comments that the food is nothing spectacular and the service is absolutely awful. I gave them the benefit of the doubt the first two visits (with them recently opening and still working out the kinks,) but after my last lunch visit and TWO HOURS later I will not be dining with them any time soon. If the food was something to brag about, or the place had more than 10 people dining, I might put up with a little wait. When you're several weeks post open and still have serious service issues, problems run deeper than just the occasional server having a bad day.
On my forth visit, which was for a happy hour with friends, it is only fitting that the bar service is as slow as the food service. @edoksa, i'm surprised you found ice in your beer with the 20+ minute wait I had to endure for a single beverage. Living in Charleston, even during the cooler months, ice shouldn't stick around that long.
Also, the atmosphere isn't very relaxing. At least put some kind of partition between the deck and Colman Blvd to reduce the road noise and cut down on the exhaust inhalation.
I hope the owners take this review and the others above seriously because adjustments need to be made for this place to be successful.
Worst service in Charleston.
Finz is a nice place except for one problem: they have those damn roll up doors between the inside smoke free area and the outside addict area, so the addicts can just stand in the doors and blow their poison inside.
They leave these doors open so the poison gets in the smoke free area.
I won't be going back.
As with all non-smoke free places like this, the actual rating is zero stars.
The Wreck or poop in my mouth....? hmmm... If I order the poop can i split the check?
I went the VERY first week it opened, with a nephew of the owner. I heard the entire story from the dream, the boat and the restaurant vision. I WANTED to like it because he was family to my friend. However, but and despite that, the fried shrimp was way overcooked, the sweet tea, was lifeless nondescript brown water. I have since been back twice once with someone who just had to try it, in July at night. Tepid tea, burnt fish, and marinating in my own juices, and the previous diner at my seat. Another time to see if anything had improved, which during this experience I left after being ignored by the "wait" staff, for 20 minutes despite sitting in their path to the "deck" diners. Along with Hymans, this place is the WORST seafood in Chucktown. Now I have only lived here for 33 years, so I may not know every restaurant in the CHS area, but to get here you have to pass numerous "tourist traps" that server marginally better fare. Anyone supporting this "establishment" on this forum has either ulterior motives, or absolutely no concept of the foodie scene in CHS. They probably frequent the Okra Grill and Cracker Barrel for a good night out. IMHO.
I agree with the negative reviews on here. And how this place got a nod from Southern Living is beyond me. I ate there a handful of years ago and will not be back. For one, they would not split the check...a major inconvenience. Additionally, at the time (I assume things have changed), they only accepted CASH. People had to leave and go to the ATM to get cash while the rest of us waited for their return in the parking lot. Additonally, there are no substitutions, no acceptions. You circle what you want on the menu, and that's it. The owner or manager(older man)was as rude as everyone says that he is. I felt from the time that we walked in that it was rule after rule..."no cell phones," "no substitutions," "no split checks," "no credit cards." I love a good dive...this isn't one that I'll be going back to...
DON'T try the catfish Po' Boy. An overcooked (previously frozen?) filet served on a big dense/doughy roll with a smear of unseasoned remoulade and topped with wilted lettuce. Accompanying side order of FGTs was mealy with tasteless but crunchy crust. Great iced tea. Other than the food being undesirable, I found the the place to be disgustingly dirty. You can just about see the germs crawling around on all the childrens books and toys. Overall, mediocre at best.
Used to love Ladles (W. Ashley)... went yesterday and the soup was room temperature and very bland ("loaded" potato -- though they left off the "loaded" part, and lemon greek chicken). The staff was friendly, but very confused and were messing up everyone's orders (it's just soup and sandwiches!).
Pretentious, dreadful, so noisy that it was hard to place our orders and we were hoarse when we left. Food mediocre and overpriced. Voting with my wallet, never again.
I had a terrible experience - I was disappointed and underwhelmed by the food quality and service. The staff is unfamiliar with the contents of the menu and do not communicate clearly. My order was incorrectly delivered and they served poor quality dishes. When I showed the piece of sashimi that looked as if it had been torn off by a dog, the waitress did not offer to replace the dish. The sushi roll just falls apart and they served lettuce that was not fresh. Not to mention that they had a repairman clinking and clanking in the dining area while customers were still present and eating.
Re: chapmanbates review
This is the thing that ticks me off about poor restaurant service especially when you've been in the food and bev. business for years. A salad which costs about $2.00 in ingredients to make can be comped easily at no loss to a restaurant with the hope someone sees this as an act of faith to get a costumer back in again, improve quality, and gain more business from rave reviews.
As far as I'm concerned I'll never go to this place. Hopefully the management will read these comments and improve things quickly or perhaps comment on the poor service and why it is this way.
For the last few years I have been aware that almost all of the food I have ordered here was mediocre with the occasional above average dish. Which I have been fine with me because for some reason I have always wanted to support Med Bistro and before that Med Deli, when the food was good. However, last Sunday my experience went beyond bad and I have to comment on it. I ordered a the pecan chicken salad and when it arrived it was truly one of the worst salads I have ever had. Extremely tasteless and bland and by the time the server asked how it was, I had no appetite any longer. I told her how bad it was and she asked if there was anything else she could bring me and I told her no. She took my plate with only @ 10% of it eaten and that was that or so I thought. When the bill came the salad was still on it... No manager came by to see why I had sent the meal back or for a discussion and there were only @ 6 tables at the time we were served. So I paid for it and on the bottom I said that I will never be back and I won't. When I said to the waitress that I was shocked that I was charged for such a bad meal she told me that she had asked the manager to remove it from the bill and was told no. Now, I was in food and beverage for 10 years and have never seen anything like this. I guess it goes to show that even the managers and owners have decided that bad food it too bad for the customer that ordered it. I will never be returning and I encourage all people reading this to stop bland food and stop supporting resturants that no longer seem to care about their customers or what kind of quality comes out of their kitchen. Thank you.
Terrible bartenders. Do not go for the night scene! They will without fair warning or last call, take your full drinks from you and poor them down the sink.
I don't know which was worse, the service or the food. We've eaten here many times before and had great food and excellent service. Apparently they are under new management. We got there and they were out of half of all menu items saying, "They were switching to a new menu."
Then the food we got tasted like leftovers. Even the bread was stale. The server abandoned us for about 30 minutes. We finally asked the bartender to get us a check. I tried to ask one of the other servers but realized she was in the process of telling someone to "F* off." Her words, not mine. We finally got our bill & the waitress slung it on the table with attitude.
The time spent driving out there we could've had a great meal at a downtown restaurant.
This place has been closed over 2 yrs now. Oct 2012.
They don't know how to shuck an oyster. But then, who in Charleston does?
What happened? My last few visits have left a bad taste in my mouth. How do burn chicken fingers? They tasted like burnt grease, my fries were soggy! You need to get a waitress as your bartenders are lazy and to busy taking shots at the bar with their friends and could careless that my food sucked and my draft was warm and flat. I mean hot! as in the pint must have just came out of the dishwasher! What happened to Moe's? it is just not the same any more.
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