Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Looney's South and Harris Teeter in Fulton

The new Looney's South in Maple Lawn is flying leprechaun awnings outside, but the indoors is still a moving-day jumble of chairs, tables and ladders. The last I heard was that "soft opens" should start this week. Does anyone know more?

Looney's fills the hole where Trapeze closed last year. Looney's sent me an email saying they'll open March 12, and people are already advertising a "grand opening" party in Fulton on March 14, 2009 hosted by 98 Rock. That means they'll be safely open for St. Patrick's Day on the 17th.

(Update on March 18: Looney's is now open and people are leaving reviews in the comments below. The opening week crowds were huge, and I hope business is rubbing off on neighbors like imWine.)

Although the Daily Grind coffee shop closed last weekend, Maple Lawn is also getting the second Harris Teeter in Howard County. The Maple Lawn Web site has a press release saying that market will open in Fall 2009. That is the construction site to the west of Maple Lawn Boulevard on Rte 216. The walls were up when I drove past last weekend. No windows or anything that looks like a supermarket yet. For the latest on Harris Teeter, click here for News on Harris Teeter.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to confirm everything I just read in your blog. The community is looking forward & is very excited about the new Looney's Pub South location & also the Fall 2009 Harris Teeter addition :)

HowICook said...

Here's a quote from the I.M Wine weekly email that I received today:

FYI We're excited to welcome our new neighbor, Looney's Pub. We hear that the grand opening will be March 12. But look for details in next Thursday's e-mail.

The emails aren't on the website, www.imwine.com, but there's a place to sign up.

The Looney's web site, http://www.looneyspubmd.com/calendar.html, has events scheduled for 3/13 & 3/14 under the section, LOONEYS PUB SOUTH @ MAPLE LAWN
**GRAND OPENING WEEKEND**

Bill Larney said...

If all goes well with our final walk through, we will be open Thursday...I will email you asap when we know for sure..Thanks for your support

Jen said...

YAY! Us Maple Lawn office workers are SO excited for Looney's.....happy hours here we come!

HowICook said...

Looney's opened today around 5 today according to the guys at the bar. I got there around 5:30. Wow, the parking lot was packed and the place was full of people. The vibe was great. Being a draft beer guy, I had to choose from 24 different beers. I chose arrogant bastard, which by the way is a hard beer to order at a bar. I definitely took some grief about insulting my bartender. The place was not quite ready (some TVs didn't work, video games still in the wrapper, etc.) but nobody cared. I think Fulton doesn't know what hit it.

WesLinda said...

Looney's Is Open, and We didn't have the greatest of experiences on Sunday Evening. Check out the poor service we experienced at the new Looney's South.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the kitchen service at lunchtime on Monday (03/16) left something to be desired. It took a very long time to get our lunch, which was lukewarm at best when it finally got there.

The table behind us actually up and left after waiting for too long for their food. No lunch for them ... bummer for them.

We also noticed quite a few dishes being sent back to the kitchen, including a couple from the big table next to us.

All of that being said, our waitress was great and was tipped well for doing the best she could under the circumstances.

I'm not giving up on them during their "shakedown" period, though. We're giving them a second chance today. It'll be interesting to see how they handle their first St. Patty's Day, especially when it comes just days after they've even opened.

jsun25 said...

Went there for lunch on Friday and had a very similiar experience to "WesLinda" Very nice bar and TV's but that only gets you so far. Horrible service and subpar food. (the food that actually made it to the table) Staff was unhelpful and seemed bothered. Manager was very ineffective and did not seem to care. Don't open if you are really not ready.

JeannieBoBeanie said...

I've visited Looney's 3 times now... While the place has been as busy as I've ever seen a bar or restaurant get, the service and food has been great!! the crabcake sliders are awesome and the raw bar is a treat!

HowICook said...

I've been a total of 4 times. Here's my thoughts:

3/12 - Thu - Just there to get a draft on opening day. Busy but the bartenders served me quickly and followed up.

3/13 - Fri - Went for dinner. My wife had the chicken (too dry) cheese steak with battered fries (good) and I had the 1/2 pound shrimp (7 humongous shrimp with corn, potatoes and onions that I'll order again) from the raw bar selections. Food was hot, service and wait time were acceptable but not great.

3/17 - Tue - Went for lunch with my son and a friend at 12:30. Had to wait 20 minutes for table. Had to wait for everything else too but the service was OK. We had the appetizer platter and the hot wings(large meaty). Again the food was good, hot pub fare and I would order again.

3/17 - Tue - Went for a draft at 4:30. Hard time getting thru the crazy people to the bar. Bartender was great. Too crazy for me. Got out as fast as I could.

In summary, the food was big portions, good, hot and fairly cheap. Bartenders were great. Wait staff needs a little work but acceptable for a new place. In all cases, the place was busy to unbelievably busy.

WesLinda said...

I wanted to post a follow up to my earlier post on here, regarding the service at the new Looney's in Maple Lawn. After contacting the company, one of the owners did finally get back to me with a great reply and offer. I will go back, hoping the night I went was a fluke.

Anonymous said...

This is the same person who posted "Monday (03/16) lunch" here.

We went back for St. Patty's day, as promised. The crowd was great. Dave was our bartender ... poor guy was pulling a double shift after having worked the day before. He was very funny and informative about their offerings, and was tipped very appropriately (meaning very well).

We did have problems with the food again, though. Before I get into that, I have to say that their crab dip and wings are absolutely amazing. Really good stuff.

What we had problems with, though, was a lack of menu items. We asked for three totally different dishes from different areas of the menu, and they were either out of or were not offering every single thing we wanted. And this was at 4:00 in the afternoon (not at midnight, which is when I'd expect a place like that to run out of things).

When we noted our disappointment, we were told that they had actually run out of several items the day before. I can't really say I understand how they could run out of food the day before a big day like St. Patty's Day and not do any kind of re-ordering (then again, I'm not in the "biz," so who knows?) So I'm wondering if there's some kind of management problem here.

Long story short: we were so disappointed with the situation that we never ended up ordering dinner there at all. A local pizza place got our money (and more beer money, too) instead. Not that they missed our cash that day, that's for sure -- we could not believe the line out the door we saw when we left there! Good for them.

All of that being said, I've got to admit I'm not going to be really, overly hard on them -- and we're not giving up on them, either. I can't imagine handling the crowds of people for St. Patty's Day just six days after formally opening for the first time. I will say that we won't be back for probably a month or so, though, just so that they'll have their kinks (hopefully) ironed out and will be better.

Christy Taranto-Zillmer said...

St.Patty's day also happens to be my birthday :))) After having lunch with my mother at a local Chinese restaurant, we decided to swing by Looney's Pub for a quick drink & to check it out before I headed back out with friends later in the evening. Security was informative to our questions/concerns about the anticipated evening & our Bartender (gentleman w/ longer dark hair) was quick to get our drinks :) Beautiful establishment!! When I returned with friends after 9pm, we were treated well again. I think for an opening week..its expected to have things to be ironed out. Our evening ended by ordering hot wings, jerk chicken wings, and chicken tenders. Everyone at my table agreed there was plenty to go around & the food was hot & delicious! The only complaint I can muster is in regards to the 2 "misc. drinks $$" on our tab, that was in addition to a bacardi charge but I guess that's how they post mai-tai's??? Anyways, we'll definitely be back, many, many more times to come. I mean, how can you mess with great food & TV's??? :))) Bravo, owners!!

Sydney Taylor said...

We've been to Looney's South a couple of times and absolutely love it. The crab cakes are the best around. A few comments on the service...it's slow but getting better. So far the food has been worth the wait. Our server "Liz" was a big disappointment today. She was borderline rude and not at all representative of the other staff at the Pub. We'll just ask that we not be seated in her section next time. And, we plan on have many next times. We highly recommend the place.

Anonymous said...

You always need to give a new place time to hit their stride. There is no excuse for rude employees (those people should be fired), but give the place time on the food and to let the servers get used to everything. Splitting checks should not be an issue, especially with the Aloha system (which Looney's uses). Just be aware that if the server splits from the get-go, you do risk your food coming out at different times. In the time it takes one server to place 2 or 3 separate orders, 3 or 4 other servers can be ordering at the same time and the order for the split table can go back to the kitchen with several checks for other restaurant tables in between. The server should put all orders on the same check and split before closing. This takes a little longer when it comes time to pay but it eliminates the problem of food coming out at different intervals.

I have not yet been to Looney's. I have opened several restaurants in my time and I know full well how difficult it can be. I will give them another 6-8 weeks and then I will go and check it out. I wish them the best.

Anonymous said...

Looneys does not use Aloha, they use RMS touch which is actually makes it very difficult to split a check unless the table tells the waitress prior to ordering. My girlfriend works there and she was very frustrated with the opening because she got absolutley no training or information about drinks, food or the restaurant itself and literally had to hit the ground running. She is much happier now that all the kinks have been worked out and she feels like she has the resources and information to give good customer service.

bananastar said...

I've been to Looney's several times now. I keep going because I like the food, but I always feel like I've been lied to when I get there. They advertise happy hour specials as being "All week" -- so when I went on a Saturday, the bartender informed me that it's really "All week -- except Saturdays" (so it isn't an issue with it being all WORK week or anything .. I feel like it was false advertising). So I read on the board right above the bar a sign that said something close to "Ask us about our Saturday drink specials." So, I asked the bartender about the Saturday drink specials and he replied, "there are no drink specials on Saturdays." WTH?

Aside from even that experience, we have gone to Looney's and been seated at the booth's by the bar, where during my family's prior visits they were told counted as "Bar area" so that "Bar Area" specials applied. When we went a couple of weeks ago and sat in the same area, the waitress told us that in order to receive the "Bar Area" specials, we had to sit at the actual bar itself. So needless to say, I have yet to actually qualify for any of their so-called "Specials" that they advertise.

The wait staff is friendly, but service is also horribly slow -- even during the quiet times. During one visit we got our food and didn't see our waiter again for a very long time. I am never one to just leave without paying, but I also don't like having to hunt down someone just so I can PAY for my food and LEAVE.

The food is good, though.

Anonymous said...

Went to Looney's in early April for lunch. Place was not crowded for a weekday so no excuse for the long wait for food. When it came it was utterly tasteless (tuna melt that sounded great on the menu for me and a shrimp dish for my husband). Both were awful. Loved all the TVs and atmosphere, hated the food. Trying to work up the nerve to go back after that. Hope the food has improved by now. Pizza Fresca in contrast has great pizza, spaghetti, and other food. We go there a lot. It rocks compared to Looney's for food.

Danielle said...

Looney's is a great place to get sub par food at a great price. I have been there often and always go to the bar. I have had a girl named Gina wait on me multiple times and she is by far the most rude bartender I have ever experienced. Service was always prompt but she always had a nasty face and a nasty comment to say to everyone around her. She did give good service but the attitude was just too much. I once complained to the manager named Ashley who was the biggest B-T@CH I have ever encountered. She had no care as to how the customer felt and acted like I was doing her a favor by giving her my business. Owners have a great business there but I promise you if they keep her running the place it will go down fast. Then I was talking to some friends about the incident who work at Looney’s and heard that she treats her employees like dirt too. She does not keep employees long unless they basically give her attention to feed her ego.(basically kiss her ass and tell her how great she is) Work ethic means nothing to her. As for fellow managers she has been through multiple just because she can't get along with them. It’s always the other manager is impossible to work with not her. Funny, you would think the owners would see the true problem. Ashley also got a DWI leaving Looney's one night after she managed the restaurant. What type of establishment leaves a GENERAL MANAGER in charge of a bar that can't even lead by example and follow the liquor laws. Mind you they have already had violations with the liquor board. It’s their policy that if an employee gets a DWI leaving the business ever they will be terminated. However, their own GM does not follow the policy. Why is she still employed of all people? She is a disgrace of a manager and it's sad they are letting her destroy their business. WORDS TO ALL UNTIL OWNERS GET A NEW GENERAL MANAGER CUSTOMERS WILL BE NOTHING BUT A NUMBER. SHE COULD CARES LESS ABOUT FIXING ANY CUSTOMER PROBLEMS. AS FOR PEOPLE LOOKING FOR EMPLOYMENT DO NOT WORK FOR ASHLEY!!!! SHE WILL TREAT YOU LIKE GARBAGE AND NOT THINK TWICE. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME APPLY AND IN SIX MONTHS RESPOND BACK WITH YOUR TRUE THOUGHTS. I WILL BE HAPPY TO SAY I TOLD YOU SO!!!!


GOOD LUCK BILL LARNEY IF YOU KNOW WHATS BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS YOU WILL GET RID OF THAT IDIOT!!!!