I want to preface this blog post by saying, that I have been to Tiki Rock four times since they opened their doors in 2018. The first time I went, I was invited by their beverage manager , who I am still friends with to this day, to post for Instagram. That manager no longer works there. The three other times I’ve been to Tiki Rock were after the beverage manager stopped working there. One time was for a party where they had with a DJ and two times were casual outings not related to blogging or posting on Instagram. Now that that’s out of the way let’s get into why I refuse to support them.
On October 25th, 2019 I went to Tiki Rock with a friend to grab drinks. I walked in and asked for a table. The hostess told me there were no tables available as they were all reserved that night. She told us bar seating was first come first served so we proceeded to the bar. We sat down and waited for the man behind the bar to serve us water and take our orders. He made eye contact with me several times and never approached us. After about 10 minutes of him serving other guests and seeming very frustrated that the bar was full of customers I stood up and called out to him. He came over to us reluctantly and I said we were ready to order. He took our order and walked off. After 10 more minutes, I noticed he was standing at the register behind the bar looking around and not making our drinks. I called out to him again and he said he forgot to make our drinks and would make them asap. I asked for two waters at that time and he served them to us in disposable plastic cups. Everyone else at the bar had ice water in glass cups. I asked why we got our drinks in plastic cups and he said, “it was just water relax”. A few minutes later he brings us our cocktails in plastic cups accompanied with a receipt while everyone else at the bar had glassware. I again asked him why it was in a plastic cup and he told me “you don’t look like you’re staying long.” The bar at the time was filled with customers who all appeared to be white or white passing. We were the only two people of color at the bar. I immediately DM’d the restaurant on Instagram and shared a photo of the bartender and told them he was being terrible. They left me on read. You can see the screenshot below. Also notice in the images how my friend I have plastic cups with our tabs and the people across the bar have glassware. You can also see there is a row of shelves full of glassware behind the bartender.
Fast forward to this past Sunday night: I was out with three friends in the Faneuil Hall area around 8 pm. We were looking to stop by anywhere that was open to grab some food. We ended up at Tiki Rock. After the bouncer checked our IDs, we went inside and there was no one at the hostess desk. We walked to the bar where there were four available seats and sat down. There were two bartenders behind the bar who were slow at approaching us or serving us water. My friend asked for menus and water and we were given both. After looking around and noticing over half the tables were empty we asked the bartender if we could move to a table and he directed us to the hostess. The hostess told my friend that we could not get a table because they were all reserved. After checking open table, I saw there were open reservations for indoor and and outdoor table seating both at 8:00pm and 8:30pm. The four of us continued sitting at the bar waiting for one of the two bartenders to take our order. The one who served us the water seemed to be cleaning glassware and organizing behind the bar. He told us the other bartender would come take our orders. The other bartender was laughing with and serving the guests next to us. I asked him if I could order and he didn't respond just looked at our group and turned away, laughing. While sitting there for a few more minutes we noticed a party of two walk into the bar looking for a table, they did not appear to have a reservation. They were immediately taken to one of the empty tables we had asked about earlier. After not getting served for about 5-10 minutes after letting the bartender know we were ready, we walked out.
I then posted my first Instagram story below:
So if you took the time to read any of that here is my message to you: my job is to share with followers drinks and restaurants around Boston. I am the reason a lot of people visit new restaurants or establishments I feature and talk about. If a restaurant is nice to me only when I am taking photos for and promoting them but treats me terribly when I visit as a regular patron, that is a huge problem. That shows me that you can and will treat other people, even my followers, poorly. If I have the ability to influence people on how to spend their money in Boston, I do not want them to spend their money somewhere that has proven that hospitality is skill they lack. At the end of the day, I am a guest in your restaurant. Whether or not I am carrying a camera and providing you a service or not should not dictate how I am treated. Spend your money wisely. Go somewhere other than Tiki Rock.