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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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Place looks nice. I have yet to go there, but will probably make an attempt this week.

Posted on: 2010/4/15 12:24
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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Husband and I went there last night; we wanted to avoid the weekend so soon after opening. We're admittedly 'foodies' so we tend to be a bit harsh. Overall, we thought the experience was good. The place is absolutely beautiful as most posters have said. The ambiance was very nice; I think they addressed the loud music issue of previous posts.

Service: they are still trying to find their way and deal with the cadence - eg, bread was given to another table before ours despite us arriving first, etc. - but the waiter was attentive so overall no issues with service for the long-term as they continue to enhance.

Food: Husband had the burger, he thought it was good. I had the pastrami sandwich. Neither of us thought the cost/portion/quality for the menu was off. My only complaint was that my sandwich was a bit dry. They seem to use quality ingredients and it was as described but my only feedback was to use thinner bread...not a bad small critique from a food snob. The waiter asked how I liked the sandwich, I gave the constructive criticism and he seemed to really appreciate it.

All in all, we'll definitely return and recommend you give it a try - really nice addition to HP area.

Posted on: 2010/4/15 8:03
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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I went by on Sunday for lunch. Ordered a cheese burger medium and while it wasn't the best burger I've had in downtown (My favorite is the white star) it was pretty damn good.

Good: they char the burger pretty well, the outside of the patty was nice and crunchy while the inside was still juicy. They also cooked it medium like I ordered it. Their fries weren't crispy, but I ate them all and was pretty happy with them. Service was also great.

Bad: the burger is too small for the bun and the meat is kinda bland. Not bad mind you, just could use a better mix maybe? (I don't know what to suggest exactly, maybe fattier meat or some other cut)

Either way, I like what they've done with the place and will go back to try their other stuff. I'm happy to see someone trying to deliver quality, I hope they do well.

Posted on: 2010/4/14 22:41
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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had the same exact order as bunny22:

my wife and I had lunch there yesterday, I ordered cheeseburger medium well and the lobster roll caught my wife's eye.

she didn't like the lobster roll, as it was, as bunny22 described, a salad on top of bread. i guess we were expecting a lobster roll as in Mary's Fish Camp in the Village, although at $14, maybe it's a half a lobster tail.

the medium well burger was overcooked. it was more like extremely well done. I thought medium well was that there was no pink on the Angus ground meat. the bread was burnt all around the edges and the ground meat tasted like charcoal.

also the fries had oregano in it? i think kids would find this weird. unless the establishment don't want kids there.

my Guinness was perfectly drawn and i'd give the place another try, maybe it's just a fluke.

Posted on: 2010/4/14 21:55
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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I have to agree with most of you. The portions do not fit the prices. We went there on Easter for brunch. The service was great. The burger was pretty good, but we ordered perogies which was 8 or 12 bucks, and we got 3 small perogies. For that price I can get a half dozen huge ones in Manhattan.

Posted on: 2010/4/14 1:14
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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Nobody agrees about a web site ?????????????

Posted on: 2010/4/13 11:06
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I had lunch there on Saturday with my boyfriend. We were excited about the opening because we used to enjoy having brunch outside there weekends. My boyfriend is extremely picky about his hamburger (too many Chef Ramsey television) and he was very pleased with the burger (cooked perfectly) the fries (fresh potatos and crispy) and the roll (fresh but not as good as the Embankment's burger roll). The service was perfect. I was disappointed in the lobster roll because I was expecting a traditional version (ie, melted butter or mayonnaise with lobster) so even though it was fresh and plentiful it was also very "salad-like" with cherry tomatoes, lemon flavor and guacamole. I think it would help to have a brief description in the menu for items like this that have different interpretations.

Posted on: 2010/4/13 11:04
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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I have to agree with what others have said. Small portions and expensive prices. Hey owner-man, would it really kill your business to give a little extra and charge a little less? Seems like you are leaving your place wide open for easy criticism way too early in the game.

Posted on: 2010/4/13 1:41
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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I went for the first time on Saturday night, to meet two friends for a drink. We sat at the bar, stayed for about two hours, and really enjoyed ourselves. The place looks beautiful; the bartenders and host were all friendly; and it's just really nice to have that place up and running. I can't comment on the food, as our visit was drinks-only, but I am really looking forward to patronizing this place.

Posted on: 2010/4/12 16:04
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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went there last night for the first time, party of 8 with 2 children. we all got appetizers and main courses and for the most part we were very happy with everything. the calamari appetizer was great, wings with blue cheese great, greek salad was very tasty. mac & cheese was great. a friend had penne vodka and her only complaint was the sauce could have used a bit more cream but i tried it & it was still tasty. veggie burger was good. and our other friend had a pasta with meat sauce type thing that was amazing. they had run out of the burger which was a bummer as well as the lobster roll which was my first choice. this was around 7:30pm last night. beverages came a bit slow and the kids were very bummed that there wasn't a dessert menu. all in all though, i am happy to have this new option and we were happy overall. i have faith the glitches will work out & it will improve.

Posted on: 2010/4/12 15:51
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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Went with the family last night for the first time. Upon seeing white table linens on the outside tables we knew the place was more formal than we anticipated. At 7 pm the place was full. Waited at the bar and I must say I had the BEST ever Bloody Mary.

The place is beautiful; the food was hit or miss. Was hoping the place could become an option for those night I don't feel like cooking, but its way too expensive for that.

Will come back for drinks. Dinner, perhaps for a special occasion.

Posted on: 2010/4/12 14:17
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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I have not yet been there, as I usually wait about one month for these establishments to work out the bad things...but I must say...what a crappy web site. Lets get some photos, some menus, what's on tap..on the web site...what is the wait. Come on People.

Posted on: 2010/4/12 13:10
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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I've been twice now and I have to agree with GlitterQueen. I had the fish and chips one night, and for $14ish I shouldn't leave dinner hungry. The fish was not great and the fries kinda meh.

The second time I ordered the artichoke pizza and my fiancee had the lobster roll. Both the entrees were good, but the portions were small. We also started with the calamari but it came out cold.

The bartender the first time I went (about a week ago) was very nice, but Sat night a different guy was cold and made us feel rushed.

If we're going out in the neighborhood again we're headed over to the Bistro by Basic.

Posted on: 2010/4/12 13:05
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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I had received a flyer for their soft opening. Here's the owner's contact info:

Michael Gondevas
201-960-0837
gondevas@gmail.com

Posted on: 2010/4/12 12:48
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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I went last night and I have to say I was really disappointed.
The portion size is extremely small and it is over priced. we got a fish and chips, a spaghetti and meatballs, glass of wine and beer and it was $50. that is exceptionally expensive for what we received.

The spaghetti and meatballs was good but what is up with the size and quantity of meatballs. they were about the size of Swedish meatballs and there were only 4. Normally, 4 meatballs would be more than the norm but they were itty bitty meatballs. I asked for bread with my entree and they gave me toasted wheat bread. really?

My husbands fish and chips were even smaller. He received 4 tiny pieces of soggy fish and about 10 french fries.

We then asked for a desert menu and they did not have one yet. they lost money because they were not prepared. They could at the very least have a sorbet, gelato, or ice cream sampler.. something. They need to get in with a local bakery stat.

I was really disappointed because I do not want to go to Hoboken to eat.. but JC is leaving me very little choice. The only place I have been to that I have really liked and felt was worth the money downtown has been Skinner's Loft.

I was so disappointed. It was overpriced, limited, and the portions were tiny. I have never ever ever seen an Italian meatball so small.

I may give it a second chance in a few months but the prices are a really big deterrent. Penne alla Vodka was like $16, i think. It was too much for too little.

I honestly do not care if they just opened. That is more of a reason to make sure that you please your customers. decent bread and food that matches the prices seems like a common sense thing. I think i lucked out too. two tables around me were waiting for at least 20 minutes after i got my food and they ordered before me.

Posted on: 2010/4/11 15:15
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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had dinner there ...

the ambiance is good; they really changed the flow and the nature of the place ... this retro-modern, upscale, look is inviting ...

the service was good; there had 6 or 7 servers available ... none of them were overburdened ... speed was ok ... attentiveness was impressive ... but the space had few guests ... so it is difficult to tell ... two hostesses; i assume one of them is the "madame" ...

the food was ok; i had a sandwich was sufficient to keep me sated ... for a while at least ...

the menu is straightforward; i would say a bit pricey on the location / ambiance / offering / kitchen / portion matrix ... i'd expect this to change .... and prices to moderate by 10 - 15% ... which should chew on their margins ... this can be a problem ...

the music was barely audible; the tv do not bother much.

the overall impression is positive (quietly wondering whether there are any hidden - competitive - agendas in some of the preceding posts); a welcome replacement for the old ale house and a welcome addition to our gastronomical hinterland ...

Posted on: 2010/4/6 19:40
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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Had lunch here on Easter Sunday.

Still working out the kinks but I think it will succeed and I will be back.

Had the Chicken BLT sandwich. It was good and tasty. Came with fries, but there could have been a little more fries. Would like to see a few more sandwich options.

Service was ok. I don't like to be bothered that much. I liked how they redecorated as well. Definitely going for upscale.

Will be back.

FG

Posted on: 2010/4/6 15:34
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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I went tonight for the first time...first of all, the place looks amazing, especially from its former decor, its pretty unbelievable how great of a job they did transforming it into the Hamilton Inn. Menu looks great too and love the affordable wine list. Food also not half bad. Sat at the bar and thats where I'm going to subtract points. Service was... lacking. Everything took just a little too long. Unapologetically so. I don't think I've been to a bar with this kind of service in Jersey City or elsewhere... ever. From greeting us and taking our drinks to clearing our plates and dropping the check. I work in a bar so I know how it is, and they had enough people on the floor that it shouldn't be this unorganized and inattentive. I'm going to go ahead and say that because they're new, I understand they are working out a few bugs with service, etc. and getting used to a new place. However, I hope going forward the Hamilton Inn can ensure the bartenders focus on each person as their guest, and give better service. Then I will definitely be back. All in all, good experience -- I just look forward to receiving better service next time I'm sitting at the bar. Glad to have a new place to go in the neighborhood.

Posted on: 2010/4/5 23:27
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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Visited the HI this weekend with my family. We went often when it was Maggie's, and my thoughts on the goon that ran it previously are on the record here.

1. The renovation is beautiful. Much better than before, although I agree that it's lost the coziness, but replaced it with a not-pretentious chicness. I like that they used classic materials (wood and slate) and that it does feel HUGE inside. Maggie's incarnation was always cramped. My only complaint is that we sat by the door, and the absence of the second double doors meant that cold air blew in every time (which was a lot of times because the place was packed) the doors opened. I wonder if they could put a box on the stoop in the winter like they do in NYC. Even the menus were cool.

2. Service was great. I'd say the waiters and staff were maybe a little too attentive (but we were eating late, so they probably just wanted to go home.)

3. Food was great. We just had a few appetizers - but they were very tasty and top-notch versions of classic finger foods. Beer was cold, fresh, and tasty (Guinness and Yuenglings.)

4. Music was fine, and played at almost sub-audible levels - classic 80s alternarock - I made out the Smiths and Social Distortion, which is fine by me.

5. I could hardly notice the TVs. Thanks!

6. Spoke to the owner very briefly and he seemed exhausted but down-to-earth, humble, and grateful/overwhelmed at the response he got over the weekend. I wish him much success, and hope this place bustles the way it did when Maggie had it, without going into the decline that people have mentioned before.

7. Anyone swayed by the haters should check it out for themselves. I think that the atmosphere of the place may not be for everyone (as it leans a little bit on the "youthful" side - like a nice modern restaurant you'd find in Soho) but we had a great time and I hope it stays forever.

Posted on: 2010/4/5 8:25
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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mattm wrote:
To Sad Moment, I am a patron who lives in HP, not the owner. I did meet the new owner who is a great guy, invested alot of money into a business which has been open for one day and is subjected to aholes who are professional critics, the same happened when The Embankment opened and they never recovered. I also frequented when Maggie had it, the place was dirty, unkept , with horrible service, decent food, NO MUSIC, and NO TV"S to watch a game, and if she was doing great, which she wasn't , she would have kept it. So Sad Moment stick to politics and give someone who took a risk in this economy, in Jersey City, a helping hand .


mattm, sorry if my post touched a nerve. If you're not the owner, but a patron, you might want to try reading my post and others again as they have constructive criticism. We all hope this new place succeeds as we all want new restaurants and bars, but an owner has to expect opinions that express disagreement with whatever they choose to do as to food, bar, music, decor and service. This is to be expected. Doesn't mean we won't try it out and decide for ourselves.

As for myself, I have probably tried more places in the years I've lived here then most. I wish the new owner much success.

Cheers!

Posted on: 2010/4/4 16:02
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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I went to Hamilton Inn tonight, and I have to say that I love it! Prices are reasonable, food was GREAT, decor is beautiful, and I enjoyed the atmosphere. Very different than any other bar/restaurant in JC, because it is lively, yet not divey...lol! Good Luck to them!

Posted on: 2010/4/3 23:34
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Just returned from a lovely meal at the new Hamilton Inn. We are very happy. We live just across the street and now are very excited to have a very good restaurant right in our neighborhood. Congrats to Mike & Co. - we are certain you will do well here. We are looking forward to trying the many selections on your menu. Very very good! The atmosphere was fun and not overly loud - a very nice selection of music I must say. We loved it.

Posted on: 2010/4/3 22:27
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Re: The Hamilton Inn
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I am quite impressed with its atmosphere, cocktails and food. The new owner has done a wonderful job revamping the sports bar with mediocre food to an excellent restaurant with unique list of drinks. I was with a group of people talking, having a good time that I didn't resally notice the music. I am sure with time, they will find the right note. I am very happy with it. An excellent addition to the neighborhood. It will do very well here.

Posted on: 2010/4/3 19:58
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Going to a bar to watch sports is not going to go away. If you want a more pure "restaurant" experience, don't go to one with a bar running down the length of it.

Posted on: 2010/4/3 14:27
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Personally I thought TommyC's criticism was delivered a bit harshly as was mattm's comments about Maggie's place which was inappropriate at many levels. But of course that's nothing new on this board.

While I very much enjoyed the new Hamilton Inn and anticipate it's continued success I wouldn't compare it to The Embankment as I believe the two are very different types of venues. The Embankment opened at the beginning of an unusually bad economy which I believe made it hard to build momentum. But I remain confident it will meet much success as things start to turn around. The owner is there often, works really hard while demonstrating a willingness and ability to make the place very successful, evidenced by his past performance. Incidentally, I've never had much problem with the service there.

Without criticizing Hamilton Inn in particular, boasting of TVs available in a pub like Hamilton Inn IMHO misses an opportunity particularly in Jersey City . While I was glad to see the new TVs are much smaller, I don't like TVs at all in restaurants or bars for the most bar, but understand their value in some venues. Still I think it's worth mentioning that there still is an observable gay presence in JC. While the JC gay population is very different than they typical Chelsea type gay population I still doubt the TV's are much of a draw to this crowd. Of course a business owner shouldn't cater to a small segment of a demographic and I don't want to foster stereotypes, but when you consider the female population in conjunction with the gay and lesbian presence in the area the TV thing probably doesn't have the same significance it may have in Hoboken or the suburbs. Also, I find TVs in a restaurant a distraction from the purpose for which I go out to eat which is to socialize with a friend or two, catch up and decompress while not having to prepare the meal and clean up. Sometimes I like to go to dinner alone with a book and read. TV's are just more noise and cultivate more noise. Of course I should mention there is a gay sports bar in Chelsea. But that's a bar not a restaurant. So my theory is a lack of TVs in a restaurant is less of a distraction than TVs may be and Hamilton Inn probably doesn't need a TV to be successful, its good food, decent beer and drink selection, nice decor and good able customer service will drive it to success. Of course as TV's pop up more and more in restaurants I'm apparently in the minority on this. But I consider TVs in a restaurant as annoying as a dinner companion who makes/takes cell phone calls or texts during dinner.

Having driveled on to make some very small points, I still wish the owners of Hamilton Inn much luck and remain confident in it's success.

Posted on: 2010/4/3 9:27
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My two cents...

I have yet to try Hamilton Inn but I welcome them to the neighborhood. I did enjoy the last place.. I enjoyed just sitting at the bar, munching on a juicy burger and watching NHL hockey on the TV screen. Sounds like Hamilton Inn has good burgers too.

About the selection of beers... my long time favorite is (and always has been) the king of beers, clean, crispy Budweiser. I guess I'm happy to know they support American breweries.

The music... I hate loud music (these days) but boy did I love it when I was younger. Perhaps the JC List crowd tends to be older. I see a lot of young people in New York restaurants eating... while loud music is blasting. But it's not for me. Perhaps they will turn it down during earlier hours and turn it up later on in the evening... to please both groups, young and old!

Posted on: 2010/4/3 8:29
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Went to the Hamilton Inn last night, and I really liked it a lot. I've complained before about the lack of quality in a lot of JC restaurants. Last night, Hamilton Inn was a cut above. I particularly enjoyed the French onion soup dumplings, which were smothered in lots of gooey cheese. (This was an appetizer.) We were told they wanted to offer a range of price points, from hamburgers to steaks. They have the expected items that most JC restaurants seem to have (poached salmon, hello), but also a few that are a bit more creative. The food is delicious, and the prices are fair. I will definitely go back again.

The place was pretty crowded, and the service was slow, but I think the staff is still figuring out how to handle the flow. Our server was very friendly, and the owner's wife came over to our table (all the tables) several times to chat. There are TVs, but they're smaller than the old ones and at first I didn't even notice them. The music was on, but it wasn't too loud. The people pretty much drowned it out. I should say that the way the place is designed is very attractive, but as with most newer restaurants, there's very little to absorb sound (all hard surfaces), so it gets loud in there, with conversations competing over each other. But that's no different than Ox or many other restaurants in JC.

Posted on: 2010/4/3 8:17
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We went there last night and really enjoyed it.
I don't think the beer selection is so abysmal, as some have complained. They had Stella, Yeungling, Guinness, Blue Moon, Chimay and Purple Haze on tap. (Remember that they don't call themselves the ale house any more, so don't expect to see 10 different beers on tap.) They don't have a printed wine list yet, but they had a good selection, and our waiter was knowledgeable. The cocktail menu was very impressive, I thought. A lot of interesting combinations.

I didn't notice the music to be loud at all. I could barely hear it over the din of the room. It is a bit noisy because of the acoustics, but not to the point where it bothered me. You have to speak up and lean close when you talk, but it was fine.

The food was also really good, especially considering it was only the second night open. We had the pierogi starter, which was delicious. I had the spaghetti and my fiance had the pastrami sandwich, both of which were tasty. The pasta was freshly made.

The part they are still working on is timing. We did have to wait a while for the food. Our waiter was very apologetic, and even comped our appetizer (totally unprompted, we didn't say a thing about the wait). I was more than satisfied with the way he handled it. All of the other staff we came in contact with were very friendly and accommodating.

We both really enjoyed our experience there, and will definitely be back. A great addition to the neighborhood!

Posted on: 2010/4/3 8:12
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If anybody goes to the Hamilton Inn and notices that they've decided to turn the music around, please post that info. I'd really like to try the place out, but after reading a few posts I'm afraid to. I really hate loud music in a restaurant. I really hope they do turn the volume down.

Plus, it would be doing the right thing by the owner. It seems like a lot of the people I talk to who've been waiting for the place to open are not the types to like super loud music in a place, and I'd hate to see a factor like that interfere with the success of the place.

And if anyone does encounter a small problem with the place, or with the Parkside Bistro as well, it's better to bring it to the attention of the owner before posting it here. I think most business owners are willing to lisen to constructive criticism from their customers and appreciate it. I once had a small but recurring problem with the pizza delivery from Hamilton Park Pizza Cafe, and I told the owner. Not only was the problem corrected, but he appreciated someone telling him that he always gives us a little something like a free brownie for the kids when we go in there.

On the other hand, if the owner is an arrogant jerk, I think it's better to warn people to stay away from a business.

Posted on: 2010/4/3 5:31
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djh101 wrote:
Quote:
To Sad Moment, I am a patron who lives in HP, not the owner. I did meet the new owner who is a great guy, invested alot of money into a business which has been open for one day and is subjected to aholes who are professional critics, the same happened when The Embankment opened and they never recovered. I also frequented when Maggie had it, the place was dirty, unkept , with horrible service, decent food, NO MUSIC, and NO TV"S to watch a game, and if she was doing great, which she wasn't , she would have kept it. So Sad Moment stick to politics and give someone who took a risk in this economy, in Jersey City, a helping hand .


If indeed you are simply a patron who lives in HP and who has met the owner (as you claim to be), be assured that you are doing the owner a colossal disservice by engaging in the reactionary way that you have thus far ---- by being overly-defensive, by referring to a couple of reviews as “aholes who are professional critics” and by taking a back-handed swipe at Maggie’s operation.


+1 if mattm is an example of customers I'll encounter at The Hamilton Inn, I'd just as soon stay home, thanks.

Posted on: 2010/4/3 0:32
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