I went to Tely’s a night very recently. It may have been the best night of my life. Probably not for the reasons Tely’s would like it to be, but that’s ok by me.
Now I know full well that this place has only been open for like 2 weeks, and like every other restaurant ever, they absolutely will work out some of the kinks. They have a real shot at being a destination bar where people would actually travel TO LAPORTE (shocking) to come hang out and live it up at this place. This post is to help them achieve that goal sooner rather than later, while also making fun of where they are right now. I mean that in all sincerity, and not just the making fun of part. As a disclaimer:
I’m not posting this to talk shit, as I applaud ANYONE trying to bring anything new and interesting into the area.
I’ll remind you now that my opinion is scientific fact and should never be called into question. I have superb taste as is evidenced by the many fine graphic t-shirts I own, as well as my preference for Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, and the fact that I owned a V6 2000 Mustang that I “tricked out”.
I would like to start with what I enjoyed about the establishment.
Number one: The actual physical bar/space itself. Even though the front of that menu above is not an actual picture of Tely’s (for whatever reason) Tely’s is enormous, with something like 6,000 square feet to get your awesome on.
It’s got two VIP rooms:
It’s got a huge bar and an island bar:
it’s got a TON of televisions, and it’s got a really large dance floor:
and everything is very nicely detailed and remodeled and it just looks very swanky. Big points for the atmosphere that they are trying to achieve.
Number two (hehe doody): The food. I did not eat on this particular night, which is shocking to everyone reading this right now, but everyone that I was with said the food was good to great to excellent. Not one bad thing to say about the food. They feature tapas, which I assumed going into tonight, was some sort of salsa that you dip Doritos in…
Long story short, everyone enjoyed their tapas, which is not a salsa in which you dip Doritos.
Those are two major
yeses yes’s yes’ things I liked.
The things they might want to work on in my humble opinion are…
Number One: The marketing.
I live in LaPorte, it’s a town of 18,000 people. Word gets around pretty quickly. I saw a banner that said “Club Premier” months ago. Then they changed the name to “The Loop”, then rested upon “Tely’s”. That’s all well and good. No one would really notice or care that a not opened bar changed names. BUT… I read their Facebook and someone asked why they had changed names, and what followed was what the teenagers are classifying as “a hot mess”, I think.
I believe it’s been deleted now, but whoever is in charge of Tely’s Facebook page basically got into a comment fight with the person who asked the question. It was pretty hilarious, but I feel like marketing 101 would tell you not to engage in argumentative behavior on Facebook.
Speaking of Facebook marketing, let’s look at some successful Chicago bars’ Facebook pages. Tely’s is modeling themselves after the Chicago night life, which is actually pretty sweet. So here’s a few examples of those bars in Chi-town…
Now here’s the Tely’s Facebook page:
I’m just not sure that’s the image I would try to put out there, especially if you are charging 700 dollars to rent the VIP room, and 6.50 for a Captain and Coke.
Actually, I’m going to put 3 minutes on the clock…let’s see what I can make up out of thin air…and GO.
I think if I had 6 minutes I could have done even better.
If anyone knows the owner of Tely’s and wants to hire me as a consultant, I’m game. I mean, look at those Facebook skills. Beast. I’d pay 7 bucks a drink at THAT facebook page.
Number two (I realize number one was really long, but I got carried away):
The server/training of said server/managerial decisions.
Before I get a bunch of hate mail, I personally know a few ladies that work at this bar, and they are probably tops in the area as far as slangin drinks and just overall “I know how to do this job and can handle it easily”.
My server was not one of those ladies. What follows is my experience the other night, and the main reason that I’ll be back in a few months to see if it got any better. (Or at least when I know one of the people working).
Much of this is funny to me because it falls into the classic “You had to be there” category. Here we go:
I show up after my friends and pull up a chair at the table along with another friend. There are exactly 8 other patrons in the entire bar other than my table. There are 4 menus on our table. Everyone currently seated (other than my friend and I) has a drink in front of them. The waitress comes by and takes our drink order. My friend orders a Southern Comfort and Coke, I order a bud light draught. So far so good. She did have to write down our two drinks, even though she walked from our table over to the POS system to type them in. That’s not really Tely’s fault, but they did hire a waitress that can’t remember two drinks at one time soooo… The waitress returns about 2 minutes later to tell my friend that while there is a full bar, there is no Southern Comfort. “It’s just not something we carry”. Fine, he orders a Bud Light. My other friend at the table chimes in that earlier he said he just wanted a burger and maybe some wings, but the waitress mentioned that it’s tapas and they don’t have burgers or wings. He completely understands that fact,tells her that he knows, and knows tapas would probably be pretty good anyway.
After our drinks were delivered about 5 minutes after we ordered them, we ask for more menus to accommodate the eight of us at the table. The waitress apologizes for two reasons.
One, they are out of menus other than the four on our table, and they others that people were using at that current moment, and two, the menus are actually just photocopies of one color menu they did have printed, because their printer screwed up.
So to recap, there are exactly 16 people in the establishment. There are four menus on our table. If everyone else in the bar had a menu, that would bring the total number of photocopied menus to 12.
6,000 square feet. Two enormous bars. Seating for 200+ easy. 12 menus. 12 photocopied menus.
Tely’s has four times more TELEVISIONS than menus. I don’t know that that is a great strategy, but then again, I don’t own my own bar.
We share menus.
Everyone decides on what they want, places their orders, and we go back to watching sports and making dick jokes.
The food comes out, she drops it off, asks if everything is ok, and is about to leave, when my friend (the same one that mentioned the wings earlier) said, “Is there more food coming?”. Everyone that ordered food got food, but my friend had ordered two tapas plates that were not at that moment sitting in front of him, so he was a bit confused. To me, this is the best part of the night. She flips through her notepad, and says, oh yes, your sal-mon will be right out. So what, she pronounces salmon, SAL-mon. No big deal right? Well, my friend didn’t order salmon (or sal-mon). In fact, Tely’s doesn’t serve salmon. At this point he just said ok, just bring it out, I imagine he was hungry thinking about all of the burgers and wings that they don’t have.
So I’m paraphrasing this part, but the menu had something called something like, “pinche de sallimono” and underneath that clever and fancy sounding title, the description read something along the lines of “seared beef and rice”.
I honestly believe that when he said, I’ll have the “pinche de sallimono”, she wrote that down as best she could, found it on the computer, punched it in, and assumed it was salmon, which she then pronouned sal-mon. That brings us all the way back to “your sal-mon will be right out”. Which confused everyone, but was too funny to correct.
To be fair, he said that the beef/rice/sal-mon was good.
Some other minor notes:
There were quite a few other instances during the meal that lead me to believe that this particular waitress might be suited better in another profession.
Upon the general consensus at the table that she indeed might be suited for a different profession, my thoughts drifted to the fact that there had been no less than three people other than our waitress to come up to our table and ask if everything was alright. Now, none of us at the table were going to call out the waitress, because in no way was she being shitty or mean, and she was trying a little bit. So my thoughts then drifted to what the training must have been.
“Do I need to memorize or at least familiarize myself with the drinks that we offer or the food that we serve?”
“Nah, just apologize that we only have 12 menus”
“What should I tell people when they ask about the comedy shows that were cancelled?”
“Just tell them we don’t yet have the permits for live comedy”
Yes, we were told that they are waiting for the permit that will allow them to have a stand up comedian perform. I’m going to go ahead and skip playing stupid, and just go full Forrest Gump to say, “Do you need a permit to perform stand-up? Is that a thing?”
Ugh, I wasn’t going to say this because it isn’t good or bad about Tely’s and it just makes me look like I’m beating a dead horse…a retarded dead horse…
but still, it’s f*cking funny.
Upon hearing that Tely’s needed a permit for stand up comedy:
US: “What permit do you need to have stand up comedy?”
Her: “Well, the owner needs the permit, not me.”
Anyway, when those other people checked up on us, I really kept thinking that instead of checking up on our table, one of those people could have been making more copies of the menu.
Also, they have a NO HOODIES dress code policy, but one of the people that checked up on us was wearing one. I feel like that’s sending the wrong message.
Lastly, as we were walking out we passed two intriguing items.
Third bottle from the right….
I didn’t take a picture of it, but the last table that we passed had a printed out single sheet of paper that had menu items on it. It was not tapas. It read:
I feel like she would have pronounced it BUR-gore anyway.