POSTED FEBRUARY 28, 2012  9:30 am

Cynthia Bailey… during her “model search”

People are not happy with how Peter Thomas runs his scam business establishment, Bar One…  

         Bar One in Grant Park…

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Sharon Hudson, explaining a birthday party held at Bar One for her cousin…

…and why she will never go back to Bar One:

“…I say all this to say that individual tabs weren’t for insignificant amounts, they averaged $50-plus. Imagine my shock when Justin [waiter] came over and started handing out individual checks. I took this as an affront, specifically asking Justin if we were being asked to leave for some reason.  It was then he said that we were only allowed to stay for 2 hours and we had been there in excess of that time. I asked him if we were allowed to order more food and drink if we could stay, and he again reiterated the 2-hour time limit. It was at this point I asked to speak with a manager.

Other guests were asking questions, my cousin was asking questions, but I’ve always been the type to “handle things” so I told everyone to continue to enjoy their evening. Justin came back to us and said that the manager said that was policy and that if we wanted to stay we had to buy a bottle of liquor. 

I inquired as to the cost and was told it was $275.

I told him that I would appreciate the manager coming to talk to me personally, but whatever it took for the evening to not be further disrupted, I would accommodate. All of the guests paid their individual bills at that time, including myself. We weren’t ready for the evening to end. Again it should be noted that we were not disruptive, ill behaved, rude or displaying any other behavior that would be considered inappropriate or worthy of removal from the establishment.

The manager finally came to me (I thought it odd she was escorted by what I can only assume to be security. I asked her why we were being asked to leave and to explain the policy she wanted Justin to explain. She told me that in order to accommodate all of the guests of the establishment, even those who walked in and didn’t make reservations, the tables had a 2-hour limit unless we agreed to purchase a bottle of liquor. I asked her why that wasn’t explained to me when I called and why it wasn’t explained to my cousin when he called. The only choice I had was to purchase a bottle of liquor so that is what I did. From that point on, my evening was ruined, but I didn’t want it to be for the other people, especially the man celebrating his birthday. At this point the evening could have quickly turned to 15 disgruntled people rather than just one.

I explained to the manager before she left the table that the decision to buy a bottle wasn’t a good business decision. Mathematically speaking at the 2-hour mark, 15 people with an average bill of $50 per person would bring in $750. Left to our own devices, we would have continued to drink and eat out of our own pockets and could have doubled that average price.  For sake of this example, lets not double it, but add $25 to the average bill.  (That is roughly 2 more drinks at 10.00 a piece).   So $75.00 per person would bring in a total of $1,125.

A $50 bottle of liquor marked up 450 percent to $275 is a psychological decision, not one based on mathematical principles. I understand that some people might feel consuming a bottle in public, split amongst a party is an “elevation in status,” but in actuality, it stops people from running a bar tab where the greater profit lies. People then drink from the bottle at the table, and when it’s gone the night is done. If the people in our party were allowed to continue drinking on their own, Bar One would have made far more money from us, and kept me as a satisfied and returning customer.

Not to mention I was deeply disturbed that a gratuity was added on to the purchase of the bottle, for $49.50 bringing the combined total for one bottle of liquor to the exorbitant price of $324.50. Certainly none of this was Justin’s fault, I suppose he was just following policy. I pride myself in being a tipper – I reward good service wherever it is presented and I’ve always tipped at least the requisite 15 percent.


NOTE:  Of course, the excuse which Cynthia and/or Peter Thomas will use to counteract this person’s complaint will be that neither Cynthia nor Peter were there that evening… and had they been there, this certainly would NEVER have happened.  Yeah, good try, Peter/Cynthia…

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  1. No wonder Peter had such a hard time with his other place….A good manager knows how to read the person they are dealing with. Making that adjustment could have saved Peter a whole lot of grief and he could have had a satisfied customer rather than someone with a very well written negative article about their personal experience. Successful bar owners know how to deal with these situations. Sounds like Peter doesn’t allow his manager to manage but they are only allowed to follow his rules.


    • If the 2 hour limit wasn’t explained during the planning stages, that was poor management. Pretty unbelievable for someone like Peter who claimed to be an expert in the hospitality industry.

      Like most everything else on this show, a lie, exaggeration or fabrication. So again, when I watch I’ll continue to apply the RHoA Truth Adjustment Rule: Assume the opposition is true.


      • AOM: Just to clarify: The person who wrote the piece explained that they went over the requirements TWICE with Bar One over the phone beforehand! There was no mention of a 2-hour rule… or a purchase of a $275 bottle of booze! Peter Thomas/BarOne doin’a shakedown on those customers!!! TFC!! SH


        • Right – that was just shocking. I’ve planned this kind of thing for groups at smallish bars before and you ALWAYS are advised (warned even) that there is a time limit and what is required after that. Bar One’s poor party/group planning indicates a lack of experience by the owners.


          • I find it ridiculous, as well, that they would charge gratuity on a bottle of wine. Is this common practice? The gratuity nearly exceeds the at cost value of the wine, and the customer tippd beyond that to the waiter.


  2. I went to BarOne about a little over a month ago. It was not fun. It was small, there was not much room to sit. The atmosphere was kind of “stuck up”. I didn’t have a drink or eat anything. I was just turned off by the whole vibe of the place. Then they offer free valet parking at the place, and you have some bum in the parking lot across the street charging $5….

    When I was there it seemed like an older crowd. We went for my friends birthday, and after she finished her drink she was ready to go! People were taking pictures by that huge painting of Cynthia, I thought that was hilarious. LOL!


  3. Is Peter trying to emulate those celebrity bars in LV that force you to buy a $1000 bottle of vodka for the table? That is just disgusting.
    If his establishment was at the top of a famous hotel in downtown I might understand it – but it’s just in a normal neighborhood. This snotty $275 bottle policy is insensitive. Bars and restaturants depend on large parties in order to be successful. The unprofessional attitudes of the staff mentioned in this article will chase away any future parties. Who wants to be robbed during a freaking celebration??
    I can’t believe the manager didn’t waive the fee.


  4. At our restaurant there is a table charge for large parties that is applied to the bill and that only applies to key times. I don’t care who’s butt is sitting in the chair as long as I’m making money. Doesn’t sound as if management is looking for repeat business. You make a much better profit off of round drinks than you do food.


  5. Why does this sound like deja vu with the way he ran his last bar? He is a thug so he runs business’s like a thug. If he treats his wife like crap what makes anyone think he will treat the customers any better. I am giving up on RHOA


  6. Bar One is being run into the ground just like his other bar. What he did isn’t indicative to that neighborhood or even where the bar is located. As one person said if it was at the bottom or top of a nice and famous hotel he could get away with this all the time and then some. But this place is more indicative of a thuggish operation that is out to get money out of everyone. I wouldn’t be surprised if Peter doesn’t get caught in some Federal RICO act with the shady people he works with or knows.


  7. He is too shady and I no longer feel sorry for Cynthia. You never hear anything about her new little business – bet it is drowning as she has no experience that I know of, in this type of venture and Peter…..well, another couple broke azz reality peeps.


  8. Let me first say i have worked in the bar business for 16 years and I am black, there most defiantly should be a 2 hour limit because I have seen black people sit for hours and hours just hanging out and not spending money just taking up space, like 15 come and 2 people drink and always looking for something for nothing hence the complaining, I hate to say it but blacks also seem to be the worst tippers in the world too, stingy and like I said quick to complain so they can get out of tipping, good for the business, I understand why they have those policies in place in the black community.


    • lol we used to have people from the grocery store come over eat up our happy hour and drink water. blacks and white lots of ppl have no class.


    • Your allegedly being black doesn’t excuse your bigoted remark. I’ve seen people of all colors demonstrate a lack of social etiquette. Maybe you formed your opinion because you’ve dealt more with more African Americans than others. Either way, your comment is very ignorant.


  9. I’m going to get yelled at for this one. I was a server before and would have only a 3 table sections on weekend, some times 4. I remember one night, this group of 5 order all waters, cheapest item off the menu and stayed all nite talking. I can see where they come from, but they need to come up with a different way.


  10. I worked in the food and beverage/hospitality biz for many more years than I would like to say. I have been the bartender at downtown pub and I have worked in resorts in charge of catering for all sorts of events and bugets. I will tell you this, the mark up on that bottle is outragous. When you purchase the whole bottle from an establishment it will of course cost you way more than you would pay at the liquor store but that is crazy. Everyone who has worked in this buisness knows that you get great guests that tip great and are a breeze to deal with and others that are your worst nightmare and waste your time and money. That is the gamble of this buisness and you take the good with the bad. Kicking people out or holding people hostage for an overpriced bottle of liquor is just bad buisness. People might mention to their friends if they have a nice evening and a good expirience but I can promise you if they have a crappy time they will tell everyone they see for the next month even strangers. You can’t buy a good reputation in this biz and if you suck you WILL quickly go out of buisness the competition is to great.
    To the person that said Black people were awful cutomers, let me tell you a story. I was bartending one summer at a very nice resort. I was coming in for the late shift, stuck up in the lobby bar , a far less profitable bar to work than some of the outside fun bars. As I was coming on the bartender leaving gave me the lowdown on some guests that had checked into the hotel and how he gave them the cold shoulder and they finally left his bar. Well they all came back later and by then the whole group had arrived and they were in town for the funeral of a woman they all loved to pieces, they were her children and nieces, nephews, cousins, they all thought of her as a mother and they were all so broken up. The son of this lady had just made it big in music, at the time I had no idea who he was , but I do now and I will leave it at that cause that was a family thing. He was so greatful that I was kind to his family in such a sad time and didn’t treat them with the same stereo typical behavior as the bartender before me and the commenter above that he tipped me $100.00 every round! By the end of the night I had made over $1500.00 more than double of any of the other bartenders. so you can’t say things like that, it is not true.

    Sorry that was so long.


    • sd: No problem! Love hearing personal experiences in relation to the discussion. IMO, Peter Thomas is looking for a quick buck… and screw the building of a long-term relationship with customers. TFC!! SH


  11. This makes no sense to me…so, after two hours they kick out a group of people? Every party I have been to includes a few people that straggle after, continuing to drink after the party festivities. So they usher out everyone in a group, instead of continuing to serve each person individually? Aren’t they losing money on the people who would have stayed after others left? What if the party splits up, sitting at different tables, do they keep track of who came in for the party? Wierd


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