Friday, February 01, 2008

Prost 2008: Surges, conundrums, and another place for you to be seated.

(This expands on something that was brought up earlier ... and with photos)

Although it’s always been a challenge to deal with Fridays and Saturdays, the past year saw a big surge in business every night, and we weren’t prepared for it.

In fact, there’s been a longtime conundrum with respect to seating, and the easiest way to explain it is that we’ve continued to add seating capacity with the same sized kitchen, which was designed for about a third of the people who now are prepared to order food at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. Obviously, the kitchen must eventually be expanded, but to do that means we’ll lose seats, probably on the Rich O’s side.

As the seating problem has grown in frequency, yet another conundrum has been revealed. On the one hand, the Prost banquet room area really hasn’t been big enough to do regular functions like receptions, as was the original intent, and our catering options in Prost have been both difficult to prepare and generally supplanted by a preference for pizza. Prost hasn’t been used as much as we would have liked, and worse, it sits empty when we need to use it the most.

Until now, we’ve fallen back on the inadequacy of the kitchen as the excuse for not using Prost for everyday seating, and while this remains the case – let’s be realistic here - the decision was made to reassess the notion of semi-regular seating, with these goals in mind:
  • Extra seating to minimize wait in other dining rooms
  • Non-smoking area for patrons to watch sports
  • Seating for larger groups (rear “15-B Room” still can accommodate up to 30)
  • Special event availability (FOSSILS meetings, preferred seating for fests, art shows)
Accordingly, special events coordinator Reva Hagedorn has spent the week organizing and initiating the changes to the Prost wing. While we can’t do anything to help the kitchen work any faster until it is expanded at some point in the future, the idea is to have another comfortable area to endure the wait … and with a server on duty to pour beers.

The main room at Prost now has four 4-tops tables and a couch area.

The back rooms will still be reserved for groups and larger parties, and these will not be open on a nightly basis.

Patrons can sit in the main area of Prost, order beers and food, and watch ballgames on the flat-screen purchased earlier this week. Yes, old-timers will recall that I always insisted on there being no televisions at the Public House. Well, this isn’t the Public House; it’s Prost. Welcome to the wider world of semantics.

While we get acclimated to this, hours will be Thursday – Saturday, same as the Public House hours (3 p.m. – close on Thursday, and 1:00 p.m. – close Friday and Saturday). A reserved party or event trumps any promises, and if this works out, we may expand it to the remainder of the week.

Hopefully all this will give us time to figure out a plan for kitchen expansion, which hasn’t yet been done.

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