Two restaurants, same location, VERY different experiences.

It’s amusing how completely different two restaurants can be, even when at the same location.

About a block or two from my office, there’s a little island of land bordered by Old Spanish Trail, Yellowstone, and Ardmore. In this bit of land, there are two major restaurant buildings. One of them is occupied by Guy’s Meat Market, which has been there for YEARS (it looked old when I started working down here back in 2002). The other has had two occupants that I can remember. Then again, my memory only goes back as far as 2008 or thereabouts. While the two restaurants have had the same building, they are so different it’s unreal.

The first one was called Steve Vietnamese Bistro. It was apparently a favorite place of the higher-ups at where I work to go for lunch, seeing as it was so close to the office. The two times I went in, it was because I and my coworkers had been invited by our boss. To say they weren’t good experiences was something of an understatement. The food was overpriced and not very good. The waiter was especially slow. We were especially turned off when more than once, one of us found an insect in his water. One time, one of us went there by herself… and was kept waiting for over an hour for her pho. When she confronted the waiter, he kept protesting that it was coming, even though she could see into the kitchen and saw them standing around. (For reference, when we go to Pho Saigon our pho comes out in less than five minutes.) We could never understand how the place stayed in business, as there were never any customers that we saw.

Well, after Ike hit, Steve closed for good. We kept a wary eye on the place to see what would open in its place. We soon got our answer, as several months ago a new restaurant opened called Beaucoup Bar &Grill opened in its place. We didn’t go right away. as we were still suspicious given what happened at Steve. Then, Jennifer told me that her coworker Michael had been there multiple times, and he loved it. So, we decided to give it a try.

We were impressed. The wait staff was friendly and attentive, and the food was very good. As opposed to the pseudo-Vietnamese of Steve (we never saw any Asians working there), Beaucoup is Cajun cooking done pretty well. One of my coworkers who is originally from New Orleans now goes there for lunch weekly. I went with her today for lunch, and other than the crowded parking lot it was a pleasant experience. The wait staff were even kind enough to ask us if we wanted water while we waited for our lunches, which we were just picking up to take back to the office. All in all, Beaucoup is definitely a “have-again”.

About the only problem at Beaucoup is the parking, and to be honest it’s not entirely their fault. The small parking lot is shared with Guy’s, and Guy’s has signs all over their side saying that their parking is for Guy’s customers only. According to a note on the doors at Beaucoup, the owners of Beaucoup tried to work with the owner of Guy’s to get parking for Beaucoup customers, even offering to pay, but were angrily rebuffed. Fortunately, the owners of Beaucoup arranged to get parking along Ardmore and Telge for customers, but it’s offputting that Guy’s would be that way. (To be honest, I believe the Beaucoup note, simply because of how clear Guy’s makes it that they don’t allow parking for anyone else.) I’m a lot less willing to go to Guy’s as a result; my experience is that if you’re a dick to your neighbors, you’re a dick to your customers as well.

Ah, well. Still, like I said, Beaucoup is everything Steve wasn’t, with good food and good service. I’m glad the restaurant space there is now filled with a decent place, and I’ll definitely be going back… hopefully with Jennifer, as she’s been wanting to try it too. :-)

2 thoughts on “Two restaurants, same location, VERY different experiences.”

  1. I’d make a point to copy and paste the second to last paragraph in some forum where Guy’s will see it. If there wasn’t enough business for two restaurants it would be one thing but it sounds like there is a distinct need for a competing restaurant in the shopping center. That’s just not cool and I agree that someone that is unwilling to play fair with other businesses is going to be much less inclined to play fair with customers too.

    1. It’s especially galling when you consider that Guy’s and Beaucoup are so different. If you’re going to go to somewhere because you want barbecue, chances are slim you’re going to be tempted away by Cajun, and vice versa. :-)

      Sadly, while I would normally agree with your idea to post about this where Guy’s can see it, I honestly don’t think Guy will care. They’ve been there far longer than I thought, as our friend Julie told us yesterday. If they’ve been there for 30 years and acting like that, then a single blog/forum post isn’t going to change his mind.

      Ah, well. The funny thing is, it’s not just Guy’s attitude that keeps me from going in. The one time I went, the food upset my stomach. :-)

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