Review: The Cornerstone Bar and Grill
92 Clarence Street Ottawa – (613) 241-6835 – Website
Date of Visit: July 27, 2012
I hadn’t planned on visiting this place especially but when the restaurant I had intended to eat at turned out to be closed I walked around Byward Market and ended up here. I had a look at the Menu that was posted by the front doors and, when I saw that one of the specials was steak served on a sizzling hot stone, I remembered a friend telling me about it and I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, the experience started out so badly I never got to eat…
Ambience and Service
When I arrived at Cornerstone it was not quite 5pm and the afternoon crowd was just beginning to thin out. The only seats available on the patio were sitting in direct sunlight and, as it was still very hot, I went inside where it was just about empty.
I took a seat and after about ten minutes, when the sole waitress finally appeared, I ordered a beer and waited. Fifteen minutes passed and the waitress returned only to start clearing away another table but without bringing my beer. At that point, I was not yet getting too impatient and I just happened to spy a table on the patio open up that was nicely shaded by an umbrella. I told my waitress that I was moving went out and grabbed the table.
There were three waitresses working on the patio, which was almost empty by now. One was chiefly occupied at the far end but two – one blond and one brunette – both seemed to be covering my area. The brunette, I noted from my seat inside, had delivered the bill to the couple that had so recently vacated my current table.
Anyway … after a further five or ten minutes, I saw my original waitress approach my old table with a beer, look around in confusion, and then spy me through the open window. Duly, she came our with my beer and I got the only actual service I received during the course of my whole visit…
For a good twenty minutes, I watched both waitresses at my end of the patio clear a few tables and saunter around without ever once acknowledging my presence, delivering me a menu, or even advising me that they would be with me shortly. I tried sitting with an attitude of hopeful expectation and endeavored to catch the eye at least one of them but I might as well have been invisible. The annoyance finally reached a crescendo when the brunette, having cleared all the remaining tables, stood idly in the doorway of the place staring off into the distance as though the place were empty.
Well who knows? After several minutes more of being an unseen fixture in the view of the waitress in question I had had enough. I went in to the bar, paid for my beer and left.
I freely admit that, faced with poor service I can be a little impatient, but this place really takes the cake. It’s is a rare occasion when I have left a restaurant before ordering a meal but this place was so egregiously bad that it left a bad taste in my mouth (despite not having eaten). I can only presume that Cornerstone is doing so well financially that they can afford not to bother with providing good service to their customers. It is probably just as well for them, if that is the case, because they certainly won’t be getting any of my money any time soon!