A2GastroBoy levels the above criticism in a recent post. After detailing what he finds positive about the Ravens Club, GastroBoy proceeds to deliver a scathing critique of its atmosphere, drinks, food, and service. From the article:
The second issue that I can only assume to be financially constrained, was seating. I’ll excuse the cloth pattern as a matter of taste and say that Raven’s did install some impressive booths or banquettes. Their chairs however cannot be excused to taste. They clearly tried to save money and use the pub chairs inherited with the lease. Wether or not you agree with that choice, the real crime presents itself when you realize they supplemented those chairs with bargain basement black lacquer chairs clearly purchased from a restaurant supply company, not a furniture design group.
Now know this, I’ve only eaten one thing at Raven, but the experience was beyond sophomoric. My “medium rare” burger was served well done, and broken into two pieces. If you think I’m being harsh remember my preface, this is Main Street, not Arborland.
Menu Opportunity: In spite of these challenges, Raven’s club has made a commitment to local food and established a few advocates within the Washtenaw foodplain. I encourage the team to leverage these ties and re-examine their menu. Even if Raven’s decides that they’d rather be a bar, there’s plenty of room to drive revenue (and profit!) from a more thoughtful menu. Reduce choices. Do a few things well. And stop using the word Nicoise in a prohibition joint.
Zing! When it comes to restaurants, I'm pretty easy to please so I have no major complaints with the Ravens Club. I've been there twice and had a few great cocktails and appetizers. I don't have anything to complain about regarding the main dishes, but at the same time, they haven't been jaw-dropping. On my most recent visit, last weekend my party had a really great server. Also, Ravens Club doesn't seem to be hurting for business--there is almost always a good crowd there. Perhaps that says something about the success of their strategy.
Gentle readers, have you been to Ravens Club? Do you agree with GastroBoy that it falls short?