Friday, February 10, 2012

General Lewis Inn - Lewisburg West Virginia

Cedar Posts took some time off to visit with family at the Greenbrier in West Virgina a couple weeks ago. We are frequent visitors to the Greenbrier and often visit nearby Lewisburg for lunch and dinner.

My parents who have been guests of the Greenbrier for more than 30 years suggested that we try the General Lewis Inn for dinner, based on the suggestion of a friend a life long resident of Lewisburg.

My sister made the reservations.

Our group of nine trickled in around 7:00 on a rather cold and rainy night. The roaring fireplace and one of the staff made us feel right at home, directing us to the restrooms and coat rack while we gathered up our quorum.

The only other guests in the dinning room where a gentleman by himself and a couple who were seated after us.

Our group of friends and family were rather excited about having dinner in such an interesting setting. The small 25 room inn dates to 1834 as a home and with an addition built in 1929 in became a small inn.

Sadly while the food was acceptable, and our service was adequate, we all sensed a tremendous amount of hostility from our server whose name was Lisa.

We hoped that Lisa would warm up a little as the dinner progressed, and as our family tried rationalize her hostility. Maybe it was a slow night? We are not sure if we said something to upset her or if she just lives her life with a chip on her shoulder, but her anger was palatable and while it didn't slow down our enjoyable evening, it isn't something we would do again.

Nothing like the feeling the waitstaff is spitting on your food behind the kitchen door. The truth is that had Lisa felt like doing that she would have done in front of us, she was that angry.

After dinner, standing outside the hotel where the temperature had dropped to below freezing we traded thoughts about our server. The only thing we could determine is that Lisa was suffering from "Angry Black Women" syndrome, that working on Dr. King's Holiday and having to wait on a table of uppity white people must have been beneath her.

Never mind that the automatic gratuity came to well over $100.00 for the hour and thirty minutes we sat at the table.

My brothers are in food service, and I owned a restaurant in Charlotte for a number of years, when I was too young to worry about the long hours and low pay.

We are some of the most understanding and polite people in the world. We are always respectful of service staff, because we are often on the other side of the table.

But it was such a stark contrast to the staff of the Greenbrier who are some of the best in the world, that we have discussed our dinner and Lisa's hateful attitude again and again.

My sister and parents have voiced their thoughts about our dinner and in short "never again" is their thinking, my wife and I are a little more forgiving.

The trouble is I don't think it will get better. The reviews on the General Lewis Inn are mixed. One comment says: "No apologies from the desk clerk or a "I'm sorry" from the manager, whom I called later". Franky I'm not surprise since my two emails and a phone also have gone unanswered.

I have a feeling that in Greenbrier County and the county seat of Lewisburg, everyone wants to work at the Greenbrier. The pay and the benefits are pretty substantial. But the resort hires only the best, so if your past work history is tainted or you can't pass a back ground check or drug test, you might end up working at the General Lewis Inn.

And that might make you just an angry miserable person.


Anonymous said...

I’m sorry to have learned of you experience. The manager on duty, an employee of 24 years, shared with me the events of that quiet night. It’s unfortunate that you found the service to be less than what you expected. I have shared this with your server.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Jim Morgan


Anonymous said...

That's all you got by the way of an apology? Fail.

But it is unfair to compare service anywhere with the Greenbriar.