Fernwood Inn Chicken Wings

Never There When You Need Them

I’m a sucker for wings.  OOooooh the sweet choice of honey garlic or whiskey bbq will get my brain salivating.  So when my buddy Jason offered up a wing night at the Fernwood Pub, the answer was pretty much a lock.

On a Wednesday night, the place was steady but not completely full.  I noticed a bartender and maybe four waitresses.  We quickly sat ourselves and immediately knew who our server was.  She was the one running around with her head down, serving (as far as I could see) four tables and a party of eight.

The Order:
She was good to start.  The waitress made sure she acknowledged us and told us she’d be with us in a minute.  Well that minute turned into 5 which, to be fair, isn’t a long time…it just felt like it.  I was thirsty.  When she did take our drink order she was great.  Charming, cute, little small talk…aaaand she was off.  I’m not really sure what was keeping her so busy but apparently she was.  The drinks came soon enough and the wings weren’t too far behind.

The Delivery:
Just one little pet peeve of mine (our Fernwood Pub employee was guilty of this) is when servers drop off drinks/food and don’t make eye contact.  This isn’t a diner.  Your name isn’t Flo.  I don’t care if it’s a guy or a girl or how busy you are; make some connection with the table even for a second.  This subtle move will make the experience more personal aka bigger tip.

The Service:
As a server, when she took the order and delivered the drinks, she was spot on.  As I mentioned, she was what I want from a server in a pub – friendly, some personality, knew booze was important.  However, Jason had ordered hot wings which weren’t especially hot.  Hot is subjective so erring on the side of mild is usually a wise choice but, when Jason went to ask for more hot sauce…no waitress.  Oh we could see her, talking to the other servers in casual conversation.  Just not in or aware of her section.

THIS is where the quality check comes in.  Make sure we’re good – drinks/food are “A OK,” and then you can play the game, “who can talk the most” with your friends.  Of course she came back when she could see my drink was empty but that’s secondary to the quality check.  It’s not always about just getting the bill higher.  Sorry bar managers.  It’s true.

The Conclusion:

2nd Date for the Fernwood Pub service.  The wings, the server, the atmosphere – good all around.  I would just suggest the server connect with her tables and make herself more available.  If I got all this, I’d be asking the pub to go steady.

Service Rating System:

Friend Zone – I just don’t like you in “that way.”
Booty Call –   If I don’t have anything else better going on, I’ll stop by. 
2nd Date –
I’ll give you a second chance.
Going steady – This could be the beginning of something major.

*Visit “Rating the Upsell” for a better description.


  • Sheldon Johnson

    You know – you can call me a problem drinker if you like – but I believe I should be offered another drink when it is three quarters empty. If it’s REALLY busy, I can understand, but as you said…it was moderately busy.

    In the end, I agree with your assessment…it sounds worthy of a second date and having been there, I’d recommend it.

  • Carlos Vestuez

    I’m going to second Sheldon’s comments about beer replacement but add that when they bring the new one, they should only take the old one if it’s completely empty or if I’ve clearly moved on to the new one.

  • Agreed. It’s my booze. I paid for it. I want all of it. So don’t take it away till I’m done with it. Another issue is when some servers will ask you if you want another one when your glass is only half empty. This can come off as pushy. It’s a matter of “reading” your table and understanding them.

  • Minotaur McLaughlin

    Based on your scale, I give renowned Victoria sports bar Heckler’s lifetime going steady status. I look forward to a future review!

  • Minotaur – I’ll just have to put Heckler’s on my “to do” list for a future date.

  • Service this!

    Another key aspect when ordering finger foods (read anything not best served in a bowl) is napkin count. I understand profit margins are tight, but so is my wallet when I have to start picking up my beer glass with my palms…

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