The Beginning of the Happy Ending
Please excuse the very obvious pun, but there's a chance that it will be a sad ending if The Happy Ending doesn't make some vital changes quickly. First off, I visited the extremely large Acapulco-converted bar before their grand opening parking lot Octoberfest party this weekend. It still looks like a generic Mexican restaurant. There's a chance that the neighborhood and post-college draw will be so big that the enormous bar will fill up quick enough to cover costs of their large, Adidas sneaker and studded-belt-wearing staff. There's a chance that the Saddle Ranch-esque bar will be patronized by enough shot-ordering drunkards to finance the multi-managered team of servers. First and foremost, the space is huge. There's vast square footage of empty space between the comfortably divided tables, booths and bar. It will actually make the establishment look empty even when serving a Monday night full of football revelers. Although there are almost 30 flat screen TV's, their placement is such that many of the tables won't be able to view them comfortably. The fact that no one in the bar knew that it was the baseball playoffs is going to be detrimental to stealing the valuable Barneys Beanery/El Guapo/Busby's sports bar crowd. And if you don't want to be a sports bar, why do you have 30 flat screen tv's?
The Wheel of Drunken (sans a stumbling Vanna White) seems like the main draw. It's a simple gimmick that should work, but it has a fatal flaw- there's too many options. Spun every quarter hour and featuring wasteful specials like $55 bottles of Moet, the wheel is too option-filled and could easily be streamlined. Cheap shots (less than $5), cheap pitchers (less than $10) and cheap common cocktails (Jack & Coke) would serve the spinners (chosen from the crowd) plentifully, with no need for excessive lists of unnecessary choices.
They serve fishbowls, which require extra long straws. Said straws sit unsanitarily on the bar.Free parking was a plus, but one bathroom for a space the size of a Trader Joes market seems problematic. I didn't try the food which may be the key to the Happy Ending's success. I wish them luck but don't think I'll be returning any time soon.