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Monday, September 22, 2008

Blue Sky Should be called Blue Hell

My sister, Nancy, and her hubby, Jimmy, came to spend the weekend with us. Actually it was just Saturday night, but they don't get a chance to get away from their kids very often. My mom babysat, so we were all excited they'd come be with us. They got here Saturday afternoon and while Chris and Jimmy unloaded some furniture they brought with them for us (some of my old stuff they'd been storing in their basement), Nancy and I relaxed on the porch. We decided to start off at one of our favorite restaurants for appetizers, go to a Japanese restaurant for dinner, then see what happened from there. We were going to take our time and have fun.

We hopped into the Jeep (which still had the top and doors off - it was a beautiful day this past Saturday, not too cold and bright and sunny). We went to Lobster Cove, which is on the beach and near our house. Our neighbors are co-owners and it's become our local hangout when we get a chance to actually go out. Chris' work schedule at Home Depot has been crazy and he's often exhausted when he gets home. Some days he'll work 9-6, others it will be 12-9 pm, then the next day 6am-3pm. It's nuts.

But I digress.

So we got to the Lobster Cove and ordered up calamari for Nancy and me and scallops wrapped in bacon for the guys. We talked with the waitstaff, most of who we know, then jumped back in the Jeep and went to Panda Sakura a Japanese/Chinese restaurant right on Short Sands Beach. We know the owners and staff there as well (there aren't many restaurants open year round here, so in the winter you get to know everyone). Nancy, Jimmy and I got sushi and sashimi while Chris got crispy beef. He and Jimmy hit the pool table for a bit, then we talked about where to go next.

I'd heard that a new restaurant not far from there called Blue Sky was supposed to be pricey, but good. We figured we'd go there for a drink or two and check it out. It's in what used to be called the Atlantic House, an old hotel refurbished last year (and a great job was done on it). Blue Sky was on the second floor and we marveled at the white oak staircase going up and how nicely it was decorated. I was pretty impressed with the place.

We asked if we could sit outside on the deck/porch. The hostess actually sniffed at us. We all looked at each other in suprise. What the heck? Jimmy is a big guy - he's 6'4" and built like a football player. Chris is no slouch at 6', and yes, we were dressed kind of casually, but I don't think we looked like we were dressed in rags or anything. For god's sake, I was carrying a Coach logo purse.

We sat and sat and sat. We joked around and noticed that the place was kind of quiet. Since when are restaurants libraries? I was glad we weren't sitting inside and were out on the deck. It was actually a nice view of the beach, but we were beginning to feel like we were being snubbed. Chris went to the outside bar to see about getting a waiter.

We got one. I can't remember if his name was David or Dana, but he was a little thing and really seemed to be scared of us. We just couldn't figure out why. We tried to joke around with him. At least I *don't* think I'm that scary in person (ha ha). He took our drink orders. He had dropped off a menu, which was not even a real menu, but printed pieces of paper (and not even fancy paper, either). I expected more from such an expensive place.

We joked around some more with each other. The drinks took for-ev-er to get to us. It wasn't like they were mixed drinks. The boys had draft beer and Nancy and I had each ordered a glass of merlot and reisling (at almost $9/pop for a teeny glass). But our little waiter had disappeared and another guy brought our drinks. He looked like one of those artsy fartsy guys with longish hair, horn rimmed glasses and a permanent smirk. What the heck?

Nancy and Chris asked if they could get an ashtray. In Maine, you can smoke outside at pretty much every restaurant we've ever gone to. We were told no smoking was allowed on the deck. Okkkkkayyyy. We can deal with that. But suddenly everyone was watching us like hawks. Geesuz. Like they were going to sneak a cigarette. We began to feel like bad teenagers.

Chris and Jimmy got this devilish look in their eyes and decided to make paper airplanes out of the "menu." They flew them into the road below. We cracked up. The staff was not amused. Right back at them - we definitely were not amused or impressed with this place.

So Chris and Nancy went downstairs to smoke and Chris told me afterwards Nancy asked the valet (snidely) if they were far enough away to smoke, since the smoke was going right up to where we were sitting on the deck. Um, hello?

We had planned on having another drink, but I finally got the attention of our new waiter and he asked with that snide smile if there was a problem. That did it. I laid into him, and told him I have never been so insulted in my life and that Blue Sky was a pretentious bar. I told him I lived in town year round and I was not going to be recommending the place to anyone. It was overpriced, pretentious (yes, I said that again) and the staff were rude to us from the minute we walked in.

He actually asked if I wanted to speak to the manager. I was too pissed off and Jimmy hurriedly pulled his wallet out and paid the bill. I marched out of the place and thank goodness no one tried to stop to talk to me. Yes, I was that upset.

We went over to Inn on the Blues, another place we sometimes go to for dinner. We know the owner and we laughingly asked if smoking was allowed outside on the deck. He looked at us strangely, knowing Chris had smoked there before, and we told him about our horrible experience at Blue Sky. He kept nodding. It appears he'd heard the same complaints before. So we had a drink and laughed and had a good time.

We decided to go to one more place before heading home. Man, you're getting old when 10 pm on a Saturday night is a late night out, ha ha. We had to walk by Blue Sky to get to the Union Bluff, the hotel we stayed at for our wedding night. We went into the pub and saw a bunch of people we knew. What a difference from the uppity Blue Sky. Nancy and I played pool and were giggling the whole time. We had fun, which was our intention the entire night, and finally headed home a little after 1130 pm (yep, past our bedtime).

When we walked past Blue Sky, Chris said "One, two, three" and all four of us gave the place the finger.

As I wrote before, there aren't many places open year round where we live. We tend to go to the ones that are open, mainly because they're locals and we like to support local businesses. But I'll be damned if I give a penny to that restaurant ever again.

Unless you want to be treated like crap and be served by snobs, avoid Blue Sky in York Beach, Maine at all costs.

Hmph.

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