What to do with the queue?
The once genteel world of making a reservation has long gone by the wayside in New York City. In London the No Reservation Policy (“NRP”) is beginning to take hold. Many of the new “hot” restaurants bring price and inventiveness together and draw in diners with no guaranty of when they get to sit down and dine.
What to do about all that NRP stand around time? Luckily cell phones add some freedom to the equation – a long wait can be transformed into a nearby drinks moment or a round of window shopping until you’re called back to the
feeding trough. You could also hit the same restaurants for lunch when they’re less busy and their NRP is suspended for less flexible business clientele. Be the early bird – “seniordom” here you come – and show up at the door when the restaurant opens or sidle in fifteen minutes before the predictable rendezvous hours
of 7 and 8 o’clock. My preferred entry for NRP spots is later in the night: I often make your entry from 9:30 to 11 o’clock and good chance you’ll get a table or bar seat without a wait.
In these busy Olympic times here are a few of London’s gold medal NRP venues and what to do with their queues.
BURGER & LOBSTER, 29 Clarges Street. Mayfair, Tel. 020 7409 1699
Simplicity rules at this surf and turf locale where a lobster, lobster roll and burger make up the menu along with chips and salad all for 20 quid. It’s good food that is priced to satisfy, problem is the NRP and the inevitable queues.
What to Do: a stroll over to Green or Berkeley Parks, window shop along Bond Street or have a drink at the Wolseley on Piccadilly.
10 GREEK STREET, 10 Greek Street, Soho, Tel. 020 7734 4677
You’re here for the daily changing menu of modern European fare. Along with the refined comfort food and understated industrial style, you’ll also get a wait ahead of that fine dinnertime plate.
What to Do: it’s Soho so just walk the web of surrounding streets where pubs, bars and shops overflow with locals and tourists.
MEAT LIQUOR, 74 Welbeck Street, Tel. 20 7224 4239
It’s all about the burger and the booze in 21st Century neon and graffiti accented American diner style. These patties pack in a swell of loyal followers so expect a lot of time before you meet with your meat.
What to Do: drink. Yes, you can loop around to Oxford Street but it’s all in the name – the liquor concoctions here are part of the game.
The etiquette of the line is pretty simple – wait your turn. What you do with that queue is up to you.