It was 9:30 and we wanted a glass of wine and maybe a little chocolate. We pulled into Macaroni Grill. A few people were eating dinner. The bar was empty. The staff was busy doing anything but making eye contact. We stood in the bar but the bartender was already counting his tips and couldn't be distracted by two women (who by the way are VERY good tippers) 25-minutes before closing.
We moved on to the host station. The diners noticed us, but the staff were trying very hard not to. When one, I think it might actually have been the host, realized we weren't going away, he sauntered over. We asked him what time they closed and he said, """"10:00."" We told him we just wanted dessert. Yes, the kitchen staff who glared at us over their grills could relax. (Note to restaurants: If you put your kitchen on display, teach your kitchen staff how to smile.) We were seated and ignored, except for the comments, which we could hear, ""Why did you put them in my section?""
I have waited tables. I know what it's like to have late-arriving customers. We would have been perfectly happy if, when we walked through the door, the host, bartender, cook, ANYONE would have greeted us and said, ""I'm sorry, we're closing for the evening. We hope you'll be able to visit us again soon. We close at 10:00 but we don't seat anyone after 9:30""
Instead, we left with a sour taste in our mouth that has nothing to do with your food. We finally walked out. No one ever came to our table after we were seated.
I don't know when I will go back into Macaroni Grill, if ever. Why would walk into a restaurant that obviously does not want or need my business?