Hanafin’s Fails

Irish eyes were not smiling at Hannafin's (Photo by cobalt123 Flickr Creative Commons)

One recent Saturday night, The Pilot, our friend, Doctor, and I decided to head to Hanafin’s Public House in Glastonbury for dinner. The Pilot and I had been there once before and it had been decent, although he noted the beers were fairly pricey. It hadn’t been crowded and the service was average. Nothing to write home about, but worth hitting up again.

This second visit was a horse of a different color. The place was packed which seemed like a positive sign. However, their seating process was a disaster. We were told it’d be a lengthy wait, so we grabbed some drinks and settled in for the wait. There were plenty of empty tables, and I slowly realized that people were just taking them and getting waited on. When I asked, the clueless guy at the door said he’d check with the hostess, who disappeared for long periods of time. He came back finally and I was told that they were “just drinking” and that we couldn’t get seated  because we wanted food and there was a back up in the kitchen. This irked me as I’d have been happy to just sit at a table and drink for a while before ordering food, but, okay, whatever. At least he came back and told us.

After another half an hour, we finally inquired again about our table and told we’d be “next.” After watching three parties of similar size be seated (who also came in after us), I was fit to be tied because it was clear by looking at the hostess that she was not great at her job at all — half bewildered, disappearing for long periods of time. By the time we were finally seated, I asked the fat-bottomed, snooty hostess what had happened. She reiterated that some of the people sitting were just drinking and I told her, we would have been happy to “just drink” for a while before eating too. It would have beat juggling drinks and coats and lots of people. (Not to mention that the parties she sat before us were clearly perusing  food menus, which I did not point out.)

She said oh, so imperiously, “You say that, but you would have wanted to order right away.” Oh, you’re a mind reader now? Are you? Well brilliant for you. And then she did the thing that irritates me most…she called me “hun”. Hun. And not in the trashy diner waitress, gum-snapping way I find amusing. Not in the fatherly bartender way. In the way females of a similar age try to use “hun” to belittle other women. Bitch.  I was glad to be shot of her.

Our waitress was fine–friendly and while not the most efficient, certainly not the worst. The food was decent too. Our appetizer of ploughman’s lunch was awesome (corned beef, cheddar, irish soda bread). My bangers and mash were okay. There was a sickening pile of mashed potatoes–more than one human could be expected to eat. While they did include the nice spring onions, they were pretty dry. Every one else’s food was fair, but not great. There’s nothing that describes it as well as okay.

One salt shaker because okay food doesn’t make up for a incompetent host staff who are also terribly snotty. With Irish pubs a dime a dozen in CT, you’re better off going anywhere else but here. Where they’re friendly…like the real Irish are.


One comment

  1. Right on! My last experience with Hanafin’s was quite similar — a snotty hostess left us standing around for about 15 minutes, with a restaurant full of empty tables. Finally, we just left, never to return. I thought we were getting the cold shoulder because we had kids with us, but now I know it isn’t just me. This place opened to a lot of hype, and I was certainly looking forward to an Irish pub in Glastonbury, but the staff at Hanafin’s is rude and incompetent.


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