Monday, February 11, 2013

Spoleto Restaurant - Northampton, MA

Pioneer Valley Deals Website Link to Spoleto Restaurant- Northampton, MA

Overall Grade: 48 out of possible 100

Location: 9/10

Spoleto is located on a very busy, high traffic, prime location in a popular and populated town

It's a very tidy, semi elegant eatery in the heart of downtown Northampton at the intersection of Main street and King street. Parking is a pain in the arse if you happen to go at those certain hours of early morning, lunch, early evening(after work) and then when kids start their trek to populate the bars. On their way to drink isn't too bad it's the leaving part that gets either scary, funny, rude, or even hostile....don't stare at the oddly dressed people that you are thinking in your head can not possibly have a mirror at home to know what that outfit looks like!

Couple things to be aware of about the city and eatery itself. Northampton is one of the largest communities in regards to gay/lesbian/transgender people in the entire United States. I believe they were #3 as far as population when I was looking at statistics about 4 or 5 years ago. I bring this up not because it's a reason to avoid Northampton but as example of the unique combinations of citizens that can co-exist in harmony. By now many of the ignorant "GAY MYTHS" are much less common at least less prevalent in most places but just as racism is still lurking in parts of our society, so is bigotry and discrimination of homosexuals. 

The positive about your dinner plans if you still plan to eat at Spoleto....the link above to Pioneer Valley Deals has gift certificates valued at $50 selling for $40. All you math guys out there will tell us that's $10 discount on our meal maybe or 20% off. Well, yep that's a good start if your going to a place that you know is on the expensive side. With Spoleto i'd personally use the word Overpriced. This type of promotion would typically score some good bonus points for specials, deals, sales etc but I can't stand it when business offer something that's supposed to be a great savings and then put stipulations in addition....with this gift certificate for instance alcohol is not permitted to be paid for.

 Hmmm, so i'm buying the GC with my money, it says $50 to dine at Spoleto. When I dine I usually tend to get a dry throat on occasion. Sometimes I even want to relax and enjoy my lovey girlfriends company and have a drink or two while we talk after dinner. SO, your going to tell me that I can not pay for part of our night out with my GC, I bought with my money to take my girl out for dinner with? I guess the $7-$12 per shot is really killing them. I mean a 700% mark-up hardly covers the owners kids private school educations, who are we to question? (I don't know the owners whatsoever, i'm obviously just having a little fun at their expense.) 

To be fair, it's common practice for restaurant's to exclude alcoholic beverages from the bill and list them separately when a gift card is being used for payment. It still doesn't make it right in my opinion. Just because other businesses have chosen to find yet another way to increase profits at the customers expense does not mean you HAVE TO FOLLOW SUIT right? My mother always said, "If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you?" in response to anytime I said something along the lines of... "but John's parents are letting him do it"

I'd really have a TON of respect for the restaurant that actually bucks the trend and proudly announces that from now on customers with gift certificates are welcome to do whatever they please with them since THEY ARE ALREADY BOUGHT AND PAID FOR. Yes, I do understand that some places offer specials and discounts occasionally and couldn't afford to have every customer that comes in for the next month have a GC that was purchased half off. That would literally bankrupt places, but there are other ways to get around that such as limiting 1 gift certificate per table, only give GC up to a value of say $50 or $25 depending on what type of establishment you have, those are just a few possible solutions. 

I actually was just thinking that it's possible that in certain states there are restrictions on liquor purchases, I know Massachusetts is particularly tough, things like a special happy hour for a holiday are not even allowed any longer. IF, there is a law that does not allow Spoleto's or any other business to remove that restriction then I apologize for that point and believe that our representatives have really overstepped on that one. In the grand scheme of things going on in the world today is it something that needs to be looked into by congress asap, ABSOLUTELY NOT, i'm just mentioning it as one small inconvenience about my own personal opinion, which is sometimes insignificant, just ask my girlfriend! HAHA.