Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Tarnished Fox

There are generally three things that every man thinks he can do better than any other man:
  1. Build a fire
  2. Manage a baseball team
  3. Manage a bar and/or restaurant

The existence of terrible establishments like The Silver Fox here in Tampa helps to justify #3's placement on that list. To call the place a shithole is an insult to fecal matter and hollow places in solid masses everywhere. It may seem like I'm just posting this because I enjoy complaining, which is true, but I'm honestly trying to provide a public service here. I did not have the benefit of a warning like this when I visited Friday night so I'm publishing my tale of woe so no one else has to relive it. I talked to other bitterly disappointed patrons who had gone there because previously the place had been known as the Blue Moon Saloon which was apparently pretty great. However, much like when your dearly departed Peepaw comes unexpectedly crashing through your living room window as an undead, brain-eating zombie, sometimes dead things should just stay dead. Seriously, unless you truly enjoy bad service, bad food, bad atmosphere and bad booze (did you ever imagine there even was such a thing?) you'll want to avoid this place at all costs. Here's a partial list of godawful things I can recall. I'm sure there are more but thankfully my brain has done me a favor by destroying parts of itself in order to erase those memories forever.

  • Had to ask the bartender to turn off the horrendous fluorescent lighting. The kind of lighting hat would have been suitable for a hardware store or indoor batting cages, but not a bar.
  • The place is billed as a "sports bar". There are two kinds of sports bars, those that cater to creating an atmosphere for fans to enjoy watching sports and those that serve booze and have at least one television. Guess which category this place falls into?
  • Asking the owner/manager about all the people smoking within sight of the multiple no-smoking signs posted, he replied "Well, we have a deal; if I get busted, they have to pay the fine." He then said "I'll make sure no smoke comes over here". I guess he planned to accomplish this through the power of prayer, because other than that he did absolutely nothing.
  • There were a couple of grease-stained, one-sided photocopied menus with a small handful of food items on it, half of which according to the waitress were not even available. There was actually a philosophical debate at one point over the existence of hamburgers.
  • No limes for Coronas. Lemons were offered instead. Unsuitable substitutions would become a prevailing theme as you will see.
  • PS: The lemons looked like they were rotten.
  • Nachos were ordered. The waitress said there was no ground beef, which I think was just to buttress her argument that hamburgers were strictly creatures of ancient mythology.
  • Lemon Drop shots were ordered. Typically, for a Lemon Drop you need vodka, lemon (which we had already established were available) and sugar. What showed up was vodka, (rotten) lemon and Sweet & Low. At this point, I wanted to order more stuff just to see what would show up at the table: "I know you ordered a ham and cheese sandwich with a side of fries but I decided to bring you this key chain flashlight and a picture I drew of a sea monster instead. Enjoy!".
  • It took about a half hour, no exaggeration, to cash out when we'd finally had enough and decided to leave. This was because seemingly random amounts were charged to all kinds of credit cards (we had made the critical mistake of thinking we would be allowed the autonomy of paying separately). Even though this was eventually straightened out, it still resulted in strange amounts of money being put on hold on our credit card accounts. When informed of this, the owner/manager thoughtfully replied "that won't happen". Upon further discussion, he begrudgingly offered that "it might".
  • My original assessment, which I stand by, is that it looks like the place was closed for a while and when these people re-opened it, they just took whatever had been lying around before and put it to work; menus, tables, chairs, lights, televisions, food...

So in conclusion, please, just stay away from this dump. It shouldn't be that difficult; I'd guess they're only going to be around for a month or so anyway.

1 comment:

Dave Lowe said...

That's a real shame. I spent some wonderful evenings when it was the Blue Moon Saloon. They had karaoke there, and my wife and I lived across the street at the time in that apartment complex Windwood Oaks there. Great to get drunk and merely stagger across Florida Avenue. It was like live action Frogger...

Ah, memories...