A friend of mine decided he wanted to go to the Meadhall for his birthday this weekend. The first thing you will notice if you go to that link is that their website says “Site coming soon.” As far as I can tell from looking at the Yelp reviews that mention their website, it’s been that way for quite a long time. This seems like a pretty poor business move. Meadhall folks, if you happen to read this, give me a buzz and I’d be happy to contract in and do some webdev for you. Just keep in mind that hiring me as a consultant won’t change the rest of this review.

So now down to business.

I never expected them to have food to serve me. That’s fine, many restaurants don’t do gluten free — as much as I’d like them to, I have no expectation that random restaurants will. What I do expect is that they will cordially seat me with my group. When my friend called to make reservations for a decent sized group (let’s say in the 10-20 range), he was told by the person taking the reservation that “Everybody in the group must eat. If everybody is not eating, we won’t seat you.”

Yes. This pub said that they would refuse to seat a large group for a party if anybody in the group was not ordering food, they would not allow the group to dine there.

I’ll let that sink in.

Since I can’t eat there, I guess I won’t even be going to my friend’s birthday outing then.

Now, maybe this was some random employee being overzealous about stating restaurant rules. Maybe they wouldn’t have actually cared if I showed up and didn’t eat. But the fact that an employee informed a customer of this is highly telling and insulting. They can obviously set their policies on who they sit — the ADA does not recognize discrimination based on food allergies.

So fine, after their dinner, I contacted my friend to see what they were doing after their dinner party. They had decided to stay at the pub for after dinner drinks. Since they supposedly had GF beers around, I decided to stow my ego and drop by for that part. It was my friend’s birthday, after all.

So what GF beer did they have on tap? The only option was Green’s Brewery Endeavor Dubbel (unfortunately, the brewery’s site does not allow for deep linking) … for $13. I looked Endeavor up on Beer Advocate to get an idea what I might be looking at. The reviews of this beer made it sound pretty unappealing and I recall speaking to somebody in the past who did not care for it. At least they had lowered the price from the $21 that this Yelp reviewer was getting charged for it. The frugal side of me decided that I wasn’t going to spend $13 on what was likely a bad beer. I decided to go dry.

Looking over the rest of their beer menu — the non-GF stuff — the place was pretty overpriced in general. Their liquor and cocktails were also up their in price. While some full-fooded ultra-beer enthusiasts might enjoy the novelty of a place with a wide variety of unusual beers, I feel like the unwelcoming reservation discourse and the overpriced menu does not put this high on my visitation list. Pass.