Wasn’t Merlin supposedly gifted with foresight and psychic ability? Didn’t he have the power to seduce? Couldn’t he make what was bad, good? Perhaps like Arthur, the restaurant’s conception too was untimely and ill-prepared. Merlin’s restaurant should perhaps be spirited away to be raised by someone else until it is truly ready to be the material of kings. As it stands, if Merlin’s continues under the same parental neglect, it will indeed end in a tragedy similar to Arthur’s.
Lee Tomlin and John Dingley should be advised to read the story of Merlin and King Arthur. It is sad to see that their namesake is following in the footsteps of the fabled tale. The restaurant is neglected, the patrons are neglected and a tragedy is ensuing.
We entered the restaurant with great anticipation of wonderful vegetarian fare, jovial libation and a little Irish tune to inspire a jig or two around the dance floor. What we got however, was the extreme opposite. Merlin’s is an interesting place for sensory overload. Upon entering the establishment we were immediately overwhelmed by the smell of pickles, stale beer and sauerkraut. Such was the stench that we wanted to utter, “Ew, oh yuck, what’s that smell?” but the place was silent, so we bit our tongues and refrained from rudeness. There was not a toe-tapping tune to be heard. Go figure. I looked around for a juke box thinking someone must be in the process of making their selection. No luck.
After a few moments of standing at the door, we realized it was a seat-yourself kind of place. This is where I started to wonder where Merlin was – where were the owners to greet and flirt and make sure all their guests were having a great time? Where were Lee and John to make sure there was fun Irish music coming through the pipes. Where were Lee and John to make sure I got a drink? Most restaurant owners know the need to coddle and serve. If you want my green back, you need to seduce me enough to stay.
Well, we found a table by the dance floor and we sat. We sat and sat and sat. Nobody came to greet us, nobody came to take a drink order, nobody came to wipe the sticky table, so after ten minutes we walked.
Longfellow Neighborhood should be able to support this place. These Merlins have a couple of good things going – the music idea, the menu seems appealing and the concept is unique. But, guys, you need to clean, you need to be in the front of the house, you need to get a drink and a menu into the hands of your patrons before they have the chance to walk. You want their money, don’t you?
Take heed from the tragedy that was Merlin’s creation. Don’t let fictional history repeat itself.