We made a reservation at the relocated Bailiwick's without checking it out first, confident that their standard for atmosphere, food and service would transfer to their new space. We were wrong. The new space is casual, consisting of a very large, two tiered beer hall like bar area, an outdoor patio and a small dining room that has mostly tables for groups of four or more. We decided to sit at a high two top in the bar area, in the back near the window overlooking Main Street. We arrived at 7pm on a Friday night. We first noticed loud music blaring from speakers and the music playing was mostly loud rock or heavy metal. Not fun or relaxing. As the bar area filled, the decibel level of the crowd got so loud my husband and I could not hear each other talking even when we leaned across the table and shouted at each other. Our food took quite a while to arrive - so long that we decided to ask for the meals "to go" if we could not get moved to a table outside the bar area. We did get moved to the patio where the roar of the bar crowd could be heard from a distance but the bad music still blared through speakers outside. Let me say that the bar crowd was not a rowdy one; the acoustics of the room are just horrific as there is a lot of echo and amplification of noise.
Now, the food. It was good but expensive. We ordered two entrees and they were well prepared but portions are average for the price. The potatoes served with my sirloin were lackluster although the fresh summer squash was cooked perfectly. Each entree includes a small salad or a small portion of soup. We did start with a bar appetizer of fried pickles and these were generous and delicious. My suspicion is that the bar menu is a better value and if you eat at Bailiwick's without any expectation of fine dining you will be thrilled with the quality of the entrees since they rise above standard grilled chicken and fried fish choices. But, I say again, expensive for this setting.
The service was extraordinary so much so that several waitstaff checked in on us sympathetically after we were moved to the patio. Our primary server was extremely apologetic. It is unfortunate from a business perspective that our poor experience was not communicated to management such that some comment or minor gesture could have also been offered. We didn't expect a discount, but perhaps a complimentary dessert to take home or a discount to return at another time?
For those coming in to drink and share appetizers or casual fare, Bailiwick's may be a fine choice. I will also caution that the wines we had by the glass were good, not extraordinary, and the extraordinary wines were priced extraordinarily high. Lots of martini choices but no prices on the drink menu anywhere. Six beers on tap and 12 in bottles.
In closing, we shared our experience with other locals who now give Bailiwick's a thumbs down and an affirmation of never wanting to return for the same reasons in this review. So, sadly our experience was not unique.
We hope that management gives strong consideration for how they might improve the dining experience in the new space and also, how to match the menu to the various dining areas. Regardless of all this, please turn down the music everywhere and consider music that appeals to a wide variety of audiences that is truly fun since the menu now reads: Bailiwick's - Food-Drinks-Fun.
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