Thursday evening, we had the fortunate opportunity to see the show Wicked at DPAC. My one and only trip to NYC, back in 2006, I saw the signs out for Wicked there and I've wanted to see it ever since. I don't know why, as I'm truly not a fan of musicals. I've gone and enjoyed them: Beauty and the Beast, Wizard of Oz but even so, they aren't on my list of things of must-dos and must-sees.
I'm glad I went because, of any musical to see, this one was made for me. Elphaba, AKA The Wicked Witch of the West, is exactly the person I can relate to. A good person (ME) who has the cynicism and wittiness of a brilliant being (ME). She also could care less that she's green and is made fun of (ME!! Okay. I'm not green but brown. And yes, there's a lot of brown people in the world but few that grew up in Gosnell, Arkansas. But so what that that I grew up in Homestead, Florida - which is just a hop-skip-and-a-jump-outside-of-Miami, Guam, Thailand, Philippines...I have my OWN stories about standing out...). Let's just say: I LOVED Wicked and it surprised me, OK?
And while I was relishing every moment of Wicked, I had thoughts to after the show, imagining a time that me and my family could walk to one of the many local restaurants, maybe even Tyler's Taproom, and enjoy a nice dessert, sharing maybe one or two amongst ourselves, laughing at our favorite moments of this magnificent show, while I, perhaps, entertained an alcoholic coffee drink. Yes, yes. I had the whole Norman Rockwell family moment played in my head.
Here was the reality: Walk into Tyler's Taproom with the look of two young people that were like "aw fuck." I say "table for four". Four menus pulled out. A few seconds delayed and then the young lady says "um, it's late night menu". It's about 10:20ish right now. BTW, before we walked in, there were two menus outside of the restaurant, one with a playbill of Wicked. So in my mind, this was a business that might be supporting DPAC?
I say, with my Wicked-glow "no problem - we're here for dessert", to which she and he respond with about a 30 second delay..."um, I don't think we even have dessert". The dude leaves with a "Let me check". And I'm thinking "Check on what? How do you not have dessert if it's on the menu?" And then the young lady says to us "I don't think we have dessert. We won't have ice cream anymore." To which Tim replied "OK. Thank you". And we leave, and hear her say "Thank you." with the 'good bye' and relief tone.
She was relieved to see us go and not serve us. Even though, um, they closed (according to their website) at 2AM. But perhaps, the 2AM closure is the bar.
But my whole good feeling was BLOWN AWAY just by that BAD EXPERIENCE. They ruined my whole fantasy played out evening of ending the day with dessert and coffee. And it's not just these two dimwits but restaurants around these types of places in general. What the fuck? I thought better of the Durham's American Tobacco Historic District. And perhaps, the other places fared better but we didn't try them. We were too sourpussed by then and just headed home.
But it's similar in Raleigh: late night fare is non-existent. I think it's improving but I'm talking about after a show, going out and having a late night dinner or even a dessert. Now granted, it's been awhile since I've done this in Raleigh so feel free to correct me there. But last time (last year) we did this, we hit the 24 hour diner on Glenwood which is now CLOSED. I am not aware of anything similar in the downtown area.
So what gives? Why wouldn't you offer just a few specials during show nights? A dessert or two? An appetizer or two? An entree or two? You don't have to offer your full menu, so that you don't have to keep a full stock of supplies. Just a showtime menu special. Advertise it, or not. Post it on facebook - it's free. Yelp it. Or not. I don't know. I'm not a restauranteur. I'm just a person, who would like to stop by after a show, feeling good about it, wanting to celebrate, and spend a bit of money on a local dining establishment near the place I enjoyed the show. And it seems that these places just don't take advantage of it. Are we, in the Triangle, not ready to be a nightlife type place? I'm not talking WEEKENDS. Thursday night shows. Tuesday night. Any weekday night. Is it too much to ask? It seems like it because so far, I've never had the luxury to have it here.