Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Open Letter to Mill Street Brew Pub

Dear Mill Street (and you know who you are),

When I go to a restaurant or pub, I have certain expectations: I expect to be seated (or find a seat by myself); I expect to be served in a courteous manner; I expect that what I order will be correctly served to me.

When I leave that restaurant or pub, I expect to leave satisfied. If I don't leave satisfied, I never return. I tell everybody about it.

And so, today, I want to tell everyone about you. In the seven months that I have been visiting your establishment, not once have you met my expectations.

You've exceeded them.

This weekend, I organized my fourth tweetup at the Mill Street Brew Pub. When I have chosen a date for my event, I don't call and make reservations: I talk to the manager, suggesting a date. If he doesn't object, there's nothing else I need to do. It gets done.

I expect a table that will seat the estimated number of guests. That's all I expect. A table, and chairs. Each and every time, you have gone to great lengths to decorate our table. Balloons: red and white helium balloons. The other day, you added swag: Mill Street pint glasses and bottle openers.

I never expect this level of hospitality. But you deliver.

When we are sitting at our table, I expect to have a server who will see to our needs and will take our orders for food and drink. That's all I expect. For the past four tweetups, we have been served by the same person. She greets us warmly, ensures that we're comfortable, and sees that we are promptly served our drinks. She brings us appetizers and informs us that they're complimentary.

No one at our table expects this. We are happy to order and pay for everything that is brought to us. Our server not only serves us in a courteous manner, she sincerely makes us feel as though she's happy to be there for us. She treats us like friends. She treats us like family.

Dear Mill Street: my expectations are simple. There's not much that I want: a seat, simple, accurate service, and courtesy. In every one of my expectations, you have exceeded those points.

Words cannot express my gratitude for all that you do to make the tweetups the most wonderful social gatherings I've experienced. Not only do you deliver, you have me leaving in the genuine belief that you enjoyed looking after me and my friends.

You are set apart from other restaurants in Ottawa. Over the past seven months, you have proven time and time again that you have what this city needs.

More than a week ago, during the Craft Beer Week festival, I made a video at your booth, stating why I love Mill Street. You can see it here. (And if you vote for it, I would be even more grateful than I am.) Once again, at this past tweetup, you have justified my words.

I will continue to hold tweetups at your establishment for as long as you'll host them. For as long as you continue to meet my expectations (not exceed them, as you do; just meet them).

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.


  1. I couldn't agree more Ross. Kudos to Mill Street Ottawa for welcoming us and putting on a great evening. I enjoyed my time immensely and will most definitely return.

    And Ross, thank you again for organizing all of this for us. A real class act.


    1. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself, Scott. It was great to finally meet you "in real life" and I hope to see you at the next tweetup.

      Organizing a tweetup is easy when I have Peter and his gang at Mill Street in my corner!

  2. As an addendum to this post, I wanted to say that later in the day that I published this post, I went to Mill Street to write and chat with the folks there, as I do on most Tuesdays.

    To my surprise, many of the staff came up to me, shook my hand, and thanked me for this post. Many of them had read it. I was humbled and reminded once again why I make this pub my regular haunt.

    Thanks to Peter, Victoria, Adam, Kyle, Pete, Hannah, Saunya, Karine, Ahmed, and all the rest who always make my visits memorable.

  3. This is reason number 10,000 why I want to visit Ottawa (can I visit now? I can spell it!? ;) )

    1. Come anytime, Miriam! The first drink is on me!