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Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:55 pm
by Malcolm
The service at Volo ranges from indifferent to insulting in my experience, which is why I don't drink there anymore. I've seen the preferential treatment doled out and it annoys me, but I was never a regular there so I didn't expect it - just respect. But the holier-than thou bullshit got too much for me and my friends who work in the industry, and we haven't been back.

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:07 pm
by JerCraigs
- Re: Samples. I received at least one pour of the sour beers in a “taster” sized glass. That’s just what they poured it in. Are you sure that’s not what was going on for other people rather than some special “privileged” taster?

- Re: portion sizes. Most beer events I’ve been to have wildly fluctuating pours depending on the bartender, the beer, the vendor, etc. Combine that with changing the type of glasswear used and you get variance. At the DDC event I got an overly generous pour of the beer I liked least that night, and a smaller pour of my favorite beer than the guy behind me got (in a different glass). It could easily have been reversed. I suppose they could invest in more glassware, or tell people to wait until they have the right sized glasses…. But I doubt that would have been better.

- Re: Special Treatment. I think a lot of the things aser is attributing to special treatment are just as easily attributed to the more pedestrian explanations above.

If they are not then there are probably good reasons for that, whether we agree with them or not. Jon Walker noted a few possibilities, and it has been discussed above. Who knows what other reasons they have. Would you prefer it if they had the media/industry/VIP tastings in advance as they have in the past? Then the media types like that GregClow f***er get in early and drink all the beer? ( :lol: ) Is that better or worse?

We are talking about an event that had a line out the door from 7PM to 9PM when I left. The staff were busting their butts and doing their best by most peoples estimates. If that’s not good enough, then don’t go.

As beer gets more popular in Toronto, more events are going to be crazy busy. I had fun while I was there. It was too busy for me (after being there four nights this week) so I left earlier than I might have otherwise – everyone has their own threshold for how long they are willing to wait, and how much of a crowd they are going to deal with.

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:11 pm
by JerCraigs
SteelbackGuy wrote:Volo is perfect and they've never made any mistakes.


:roll: Thanks for that valuable contribution. Very illuminating!

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:41 pm
by SteelbackGuy
JerCraigs wrote:
SteelbackGuy wrote:Volo is perfect and they've never made any mistakes.


:roll: Thanks for that valuable contribution. Very illuminating!


When all you speak are facts, there is no need to elaborate.

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:16 pm
by Ale's What Cures Ya
I'm hardly what could be considered a "regular" at Volo and I've been given numerous samples over the years, however I've never asked for a sample, and I've never acted like I was entitled to one.

I've also never been to a restaurant where regular customers and long time supporters get the same treatment as a guy who occasionally strolls in. Helping out the people that help you out the most is a pretty common human trait.

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:04 pm
by Gedge
We checked out the DDC takeover around 9:30 on Sat. and left after 10 minutes. The lineup to get a beer was backed up to the entrance. I love these events, but I just don't have the patience for that kind of wait. I remember there being a lineup to get in when I went to a previous DDC takeover. I don't remember it being quite so crowded last time around though.

I'm sure the staff were doing their best given the situation.

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:48 pm
by JeffPorter
Belgian wrote:Bar Volo is a neat place. I'm sure there are regulars who may or may not be bread-and-butter clients. I've often seen Ralph & Co. go out of their way to make people feel recognized, welcomed, and valued (even me, a more 'occasional' customer.) I admire how they do business.

All bets are off when 500 people show up and all want something. The servers may struggle... slightly. But it's fun so I roll with it.



What Belgian said.

There were a lot of "industry" types there on Saturday and I did see Tom and Julian sneak the odd sample for certain friends and guests. Usually when they were pulling samples from the side pass, though, it was of the Sour Wheat Cherry, which was in VERY limited quantities (and flippin awesome -like a sour rose d'hibiscus) and I think they just wanted to be sure that those guests got at least a sample before it ran out. I think that's ok.

Most importantly, though, as Belgian implied, Saturday night is hardly the night to judge Volo on their service or compare it to their service on other nights.

Look, If that line up would have been any longer, it would have started at the Brass Rail and you would have been paying much more than $6 for a beer and it would have been a stella.

From my perspective everyone was pretty cool on Saturday - customers, and servers alike. Of course I was with an eight month pregnant woman who used our unborn baby as something of a bowling ball to clear a path for us.

But, you know, maybe I'm just forgiving and happy because I'm half-way though this bottle of Super Collider*.

*Not available in stores.

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:48 pm
by toweringpine
I rarely go into Volo. I have found the same problems as others have mentioned already. I can't tolerate sitting with an empty glass while server after server walks by without asking if I'd like another. They always appear very busy so losing my business isn't going to hurt them and I have found enough other places that sell fantastic beer and seem quite happy to take my money. I read of many great events being held at Volo but I know I'll probably be disappointed so I choose to go elsewhere instead. On the upside some of the other beer bars in the area are slow on the days when Volo is swamped with an event and I can get some great service at them instead.

To each his own.

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:52 pm
by JeffPorter
toweringpine wrote:I rarely go into Volo. I have found the same problems as others have mentioned already. I can't tolerate sitting with an empty glass while server after server walks by without asking if I'd like another. They always appear very busy so losing my business isn't going to hurt them and I have found enough other places that sell fantastic beer and seem quite happy to take my money. I read of many great events being held at Volo but I know I'll probably be disappointed so I choose to go elsewhere instead. On the upside some of the other beer bars in the area are slow on the days when Volo is swamped with an event and I can get some great service at them instead.

To each his own.



This is interesting and I get your point. I gotta say, I do go to volo quite frequently, but I'm usually there either on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening. My favourite time to go though is lunchtime on the weekends...It's just SO relaxed. You can sit on that sofa, read a homebrew mag, or Steve Beaumont's book, and just chill...but I can see how it would be difficult at peak times...

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:47 pm
by Wray77
I don't go to Volo anymore. I can barely stand you people here nevermind in person :wink:

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:46 am
by sprague11
I like Volo but the place is far more popular than it's floorspace can accomodate. Whenever I do a pub run I usually start at VOlo rather than finish there due to the crowds, which is a shame given their bottle selection.

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:51 am
by rejtable
EDIT: I kind of see the original point now, so nevermind.

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:09 am
by JerCraigs
toweringpine wrote: I can't tolerate sitting with an empty glass while server after server walks by without asking if I'd like another.


Not to be completely snarky about it - but where the heck are you sitting in a bar the size of Volo that you can't get a servers attention?

I haven't had that issue there, and perhaps it's a personal preference thing but I actually prefer having to signal the waitstaff, or make eye contact or something rather than at other places where they come by ever ten seconds or practically stand on your table if you have an empty glass for more than two seconds.

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:34 am
by icemachine
JerCraigs wrote:
toweringpine wrote: I can't tolerate sitting with an empty glass while server after server walks by without asking if I'd like another.


Not to be completely snarky about it - but where the heck are you sitting in a bar the size of Volo that you can't get a servers attention?

I haven't had that issue there, and perhaps it's a personal preference thing but I actually prefer having to signal the waitstaff, or make eye contact or something rather than at other places where they come by ever ten seconds or practically stand on your table if you have an empty glass for more than two seconds.


I've occasionally had trouble getting a servers attention, but no more than what I've experienced at other places with high staff turnover

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:19 pm
by Blankboy
Not directed at anyone in particular but complaining about service at an event like the DdC event is pointless, they do their best with the staff they have and the room they have. You can't blame them for being successful. What can you compare it to? You can't compare it to other bars during regular service. Have you been to C'est What's beer festivals when they are at their most packed? The service is very hit or miss. Or how about Rhino during their DdC event last year? Or DdC itself after Mondial? Every example I can think of there are long line-ups, it's packed and it's hard to get a drink. It's the reality at these events.