5 Seasons Brewing Company Opens In Midtown; Fries My Grits And Screws Up Epically [First Impressions]

5 seaons brewing company - eating optionsCheck the right hand side … that’s a little eye candy for all you ladies.  Sorry girls, that’s @holtlyda and he is indeed, off the market.  Meanwhile, a conversation at 5 Seasons Brewing Company:

Oliver Twist: Please sir, I want some more.
Mr. Bumble: [thinking he must not have heard right] What?
Oliver Twist: Please sir, I want some…
[pauses hesitatingly]
Oliver Twist: more?
Mr. Bumble: [surprised beyond belief] More?

So that’s how it rolled pretty much all night.  However, in this case … the roll reversal was frequent. Confused?  Don’t worry, we’ll clarify the disaster over the next few minutes.

Every restaurant goes through growing pains.  Given that “certainty,” growing pains, at least in my mind, are defined as much by the solutions as they are by the problems.  The problems from Tuesday were ALMOST unforgivable.

In reality, we’re talking about food and not about life and death.  So let’s not get carried away.  That aside, let’s call a spade a spade.  In this case, the spade was horrible planning, poor execution, weak food, and some server mishaps of epic proportions.  Because of the chaos that was involved, I am going to do something a little out of character.  Instead of longwinded prose, I’m gonna hit ya’ll up with some bullet points.  Let’s begin:

  • $5 Dollar event for all the food and drink you can handle (SWEETTTT!)
  • Woman walking around with a tip jar … begging customers to donate.  Tacky and bad timing.  She asked me 4 times in 15-minutes for a tip.  This after we had already informed her we had yet to receive any service (and we showed up early).  Hence, she was Oliver and I was Mr. Bumble.  She stopped bugging us after that, but not anyone else.
  • No liquor license.  Though not entirely their fault, it’s pretty disappointing when a brewery doesn’t give itself enough time to secure a liquor license.  Considering that they over a month past due on their opening date, that’s a major fail.
  • One beer on tap … WHAT?  You can’t get more than one beer to pump through your taps?  Walk 50 steps over to Hop City and buy some freaking kegs!
  • No plates for the first 45 minutes … then … plates, but only for a few minutes.  Cleared, never to return again.
  • Seated on the downstairs patio, services was sporadic and intermittent.  It wasn’t until one of us played the role of Oliver and flagged down Mr. Bumble, that we started to receive some love.  Admittedly, after that, service was frequent and very polite.
  • Jessica the server was awesome!

The food was very hit or miss.  Mostly miss.  The only thing I enjoyed was the grass fed beef quesadilla.  I put some pictures up on flickr … so head over there to check them out (link at the bottom of the post).  I know this is a food blog … and ya’ll come hear to read a detailed breakdown of the food.  Frankly, I’m just not that motivated.  The night was such a disaster … here’s all I really have to say about it:

5 seaons brewing company - the view from the bottom 5 seaons brewing company - more decor 5 seaons brewing company - best view of the evening

For a place that puts itself out there as the monster chain of gastro pubs, I was pretty disappointed.  The sourcing was fine, but some of the flavor combinations were obnoxiously bad.  The worst was probably the crawfish rolls made with grape leaves.

Ah, but that’s not all folks.  Now for the coup de grâce! About 45-minutes into our stay, a huddled mass of waiters and waitresses formed.  Admittedly, not every server in the place was there … but enough of them were involved that my attention was diverted.  Armed with a handful of loaded serving trays … the little hors d’œuvres began to fly off.  Into whose mouth? None other than the men and woman of 5 Seasons.  In all of my years, I have never seen anything like this.

My ire is waning and I have little left to say.  The space is actually pretty cool; but, to be honest, I have neither the time nor the inclination to elaborate on it right now.  5 Seasons just didn’t earn my time.  While they seem like nice folk, they need to get their act together post-haste.

Flickr Logo

5 Seasons Brewing Company (Westside) Restaurant Address & Information:

1000 Marietta St. NW Atlanta, GA 30318 // P: 404.875.3232 // 5 Seasons Brewing Co. Website // 5 Seasons Brewing Co Menus
5 Seasons Brewing Company Westside on Urbanspoon

15 comments Write a comment

  1. for your information it is illegal for a restaurant to go out and buy alcohol then redistribute it if the restaurant did not get it from a alcohol distributor.

    don’t go telling them to get it from HOPS.


  2. Actually, I used to work for a distributor and am well aware of the laws and regulations. I would gladly elaborate, but I’m not sure there is a point. They need to get their act together. Anyway, thanks for the message.

  3. I’m sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. I’ve only ever been to the Sandy Springs location. And on every visit, the food and service and BEER has been spectacular.

    Hope they get their act together soon.

  4. I’m sorry to hear it was such a bad experience. I’ve been to the Prado location several times and have always really enjoyed it. Hopefully things will improve. Maybe I’ll give it some time before I visit this new location.

    I just had to go back up and re-read the part about the employees eating off the plates that were supposed to be passed to customers. That is inexcusable in my book!

  5. @Katie – Agreed on the employees part. At the end of the day, I was with some good friends, so I had a great time. Let’s remember though, this is just food … so it’s not the end all be all.

    I would be surprised if the problems weren’t fixed.

    • foodiebuddha,
      I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. My name is Crawford, brewer and co-owner of 5 Westside. I usually don’t respond to critiques, but I thought I could add something here to the thread that might be useful.

      That was not our grand opening party. It was a private event for Georgia Organics, a non-profit group that supports local, organic, sustainable farmers. We didn’t charge $5. It was not a $5 all you can eat or drink evening. (We don’t do that kind of thing anyway.) It was simply a private party fora non-profit where they asked for a donation. Georgia Organics asked for donations to help support the cause. (It’s a great organization by the way.) We donated all of the food. And all of the labor to make the food. And the space. We received no money. We did it for the community.

      We did not have our licensing to buy or sell alcohol that evening. We had been waiting on the City and State. It’s a difficult, time consuming process. We received our licenses the next day. We then opened our doors for business. It’s a crazy system, but that’s the system. There’s not much we could do about it. Waiting on alcohol licenses is pretty standard, because you have to have everything else ready to go. It’s the last thing in a long list of things.

      The beer that night was provided by Georgia Organics for their private party. That was the beer on draft that you spoke of. Personally, I thought it was nice of them to provide beer for people.

      The person walking around collecting money was collecting donations for Georgia Organics.

      Again, I do apologize for any misunderstanding. And I’m sincerely sorry you did not enjoy yourself. I hope that you give us another chance. It’s a beautiful space. I think we have excellent food and beer (our beer should be pouring this weekend – again, waiting on the proper license to pour our own beer.) We do still have some kinks to work out for sure though.

      If you do stop in for a second chance, please say hello. I’ll buy you a beer!



      • Crawford –
        While I do appreciate your efforts, I have to call shenanigans on this. I want to provide some more clarity so that you understand why we were frustrated.

        – I mentioned it was an event and not a 5 Seasons opening party. That it was for Georgia Organics is really neither here nor there. The problems had nothing to do with Georgia Organics and everything to do with 5 seasons.

        – We walked in and were told by your employees that in order to eat and or drink we needed a wrist band. To get a wrist band, we had to walk down stairs and make a $5 donation to Georgia Organics. I don’t know how to see that any other way than payment required. I would have thought an event like this should have been $10, so props to you guys on that.

        – As I said, the liquor license issue wasn’t entirely on you guys. It didn’t really have anything to do with the event and I’m sorry if that was not clear in my review.

        – The beer selection had nothing to do with the lack of liquor license. I was unaware that Georgia Organics provided the beer … probably because we were told by your staff that it was a 5 Seasons issue.

        – The server (employed by 5 Seasons) who was walking around with the tip jar informed us that the tips were going to the staff members and not to Georgia Organics.

        I’m glad that you were willing to donate service, food, and space to such a great cause. That speaks volumes to you as people and individuals. Kudos.

        However, the problems we ran into had nothing to do with that. It appears to me that there is a breakdown in the communication between the management and the staff … seeing employees eat in front of us was jaw dropping.

        Thanks for taking the time to respond … I will stop back in and I do hope things move in the right direction for ya’ll.

  6. Well said, Crawford.
    Thanks for clearing up some of the OP’s misconceptions!
    “At the end of the day, I was with some good friends, so I had a great time. Let’s remember though, this is just food … so it’s not the end all be all.”

    It’s not the end all be all, but in this day and time, and in this economy, premature, ill informed blogs can do serious damage.

    • While I do appreciate the efforts at clarity, it appears there was a breakdown between the management, the servers, and the people at Georgia Organics. The review was written about the experience and not about the people running Georgia Organics. It was a great way for them to reach out to the community and only the most cynical of people would get mad at something like that.

      The failures here were on 5 Seasons. For example, the apparent misconception regarding the choice of beer is a) minor and b) because the bartenders behind the counter told us it was “all we could get in because we don’t have our liquor license.” While we most of us will recognize the inherent flaw in that statement, I tried to take it at face value.

  7. Thanks for your response, foodiebuddha.
    I honestly thought your remarks (review) were very personal, maybe somebody pissed you off,
    That’s what it looked like to me.etc.
    For example:
    “The night was such a disaster”
    I thought it was especially telling that you labeled this photo:
    Best view of the evening!
    5 seaons brewing company-the best view of the evening
    (your misspelling of the name, not mine)

    Personal vendetta?

  8. Re:
    I mentioned it was an event and not a 5 Seasons opening party.

    What is ambiguous about the headline of your blog:
    5 Seasons Brewing Company Opens In Midtown;

    Eye candy…pleeeeeze!

  9. Just found this post and wanted to share my thoughts on the party/soft opening/whatever it was. 4 of us went that night, and we were probably the first people through the door. The staff certainly gave the impression that this was opening night. We sat upstairs on the patio, which was nice. They sure did have a ton of servers working, but the service was really, really slow.

    Our waitress explained about the beer situation and one of my friends went next door to buy a six-pack. The thing that was so frustrating and annoying was that we were a captive audience, but there wasn’t anything to eat. The first sign of any food was well after 6:00 (we had gotten there at 5) and it was gigantic bowls of guacamole that made it to maybe 3 or 4 tables, but not ours. Eventually, someone came around with lettuce wrap/chicken empanada things and we all had one. Later, someone came by with a bowl of radish pods (?) that he presented with no serving spoon. We each took some and put them our cocktail napkins.

    By 7:00 we were starving, so we left to go somewhere else to eat. We never saw anyone from Georgia Organics (we parked upstairs and left that way). It was the most poorly managed event of any kind that I had ever been to. Really astounding. Let’s hope they get their act together.

  10. J,
    It was not a “soft opening.”
    It was a charity event for Georgia Organics!
    Still shocked that what was a ‘community” charity event has gotten such negative reviews!
    $5 ?

  11. Pingback: 5 Seasons Brewing Company Restaurant Review: Still Stale And Annoying – Midtown, Atlanta | Atlanta Restaurant Reviews | Atlanta Food Blogs | Dining in Atlanta

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