Dear Grub Street,
Please help explain! Last night three longtime New Yorkers, who have been to their fair share of bars (both at the high-end and the low), encountered one for the books. Cocktail hour found the trio at the bar at the new Bowery Hotel. After three rounds of cocktails, the bill was requested. The menu-advertised price was not the price that was charged: Macallan was $16 on the menu, and we were charged $17; Grey Goose was on the menu as $12, yet we were charged $14 for two of the drinks and $15 for the last one; my first two Scotches were $15 each, and then my last one went down a dollar to $14. Please note: No one's order changed over the three rounds.
When asked for an explanation from the staff, a few excuses were thrown around: We have new purchasing manager who has changed some prices; we have to update the menu; and the final one: WE CHARGE FOR ICE. Two dollars. Each drink. Now call us crazy, but isn't ice part of the deal? Like a swizzle stick and a mixer? We were so flabbergasted by the reasoning, we decided to ask for a to-go cup for our ice … I mean, we paid two dollars for it.
Cold & Peeved in NYC
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