The bitch is back! (Or so Elton John told me) It’s been a busy holiday season, FULL of crazies, but I’m back with a brand new installment of the series, “Tales of a Restaurant Regular.”
We’ll call her Lisa Weiner, because she totally was one (a whiner)! She was in her late 50s, a Jew from NYC, and she was single. Nothing wrong with that, until I found out she still lived with her parents. And that says a lot about a person! I started to question… does she still use their credit cards? Do they make her french toast on Saturday mornings? Has she ever brought a man home to meet them? (Not a boy, a MAN) Oh so many questions. But you can’t get too personal with restaurant regulars…THEY KNOW WHERE YOU WORK. It was hard to avoid that with Lisa. She dined alone for lunch and dinner at my restaurant or the sister restaurant for years. She would call ahead and ask to speak to the bartender (she knew all of their names) and asked for them to reserve “her seat” for her. Bar seats are never reserved unless you’re like… Barack Obama. So we never guaranteed it to her. Of course her seat was the one right next to the service bar and where the servers would go to pick up their drinks for tables so she could chat with them too. She paced herself quite well, knowing she would be there for 5-8 hours at a time. Here’s how her order would go:
12:15pm - Lemonade
1:00pm - Iced tea (she switched)
1:30 - Side salad
2:30 - Hot tea
4:00 - Dozen Oysters (because even single ladies need an aphrodisiac, right?!)
5:30 - Club Soda
7pm - Salad that SHE created (items combined from all salads on the menu, of course)
8pm - Steamed fish (whatever was on the menu)
9pm - SHE’S GONE!
Lisa would just stare at people. One time she brought her holiday cards to write while sitting at the bar. Her list was EVERYONE who worked in the restaurant, or for the company. Because we were her only friends! Sad, right? A little. But NOT SO SAD when she gets in on the “gossip”. She would know who liked who, who was dumped by who, who had made out drunkenly over the weekend, who had their period. You name it! Funny thing is, I never met her parents. She talked about them, but never brought them in. In 4 years of knowing her, I never saw her eat with anyone! The worst was when she joined facebook. Oy! You couldn’t NOT accept the friend request, because she would be in the restaurant that day and question you about it! She was one of the nosiest people though, so when you were friends on facebook, she’d come in and say things like “How was your cousin’s wedding? The chocolate-chip cake and candles on the centerpieces looked really great.” She was on the spectrum of Regular —> Stalker. And it was happening fast! Finally one day we got a new manager, and he did not like Lisa. He was all about making the big bucks for the restaurant, and here was a woman who took up a bar seat for 8 hours at a time and drank lemonades. To him, it was not worth her business. So, one day he said we were not reserving her seat. And she was appalled by this, which I totally understand. But he was serious about this. He wanted to get rid of the Weiner for GOOD. I felt bad, but I also hoped maybe this would be a good sendoff into the world! Maybe she would walk down the street and meet a friend, or a man, or buy a pet, or an apartment far away from her mom and dad!
But lets be honest here… she definitely found the next restaurant that would reserve her a bar seat and create her “off the menu salad” and let her sit and stalk the employees night and day.
I haven’t seen her in a long time, but once in a blue moon I get a facebook message. Only now, I don’t have to respond since I know she won’t be showing up at work!
Until next time, with Tales of a Restaurant Regular! #doNOTbeaCrazyRegular