Critic’s Notebook

. March 1, 2015.

I won’t say where I was, but I will think twice about location the next time someone suggests going  downtown for chicken nachos and local beer. 

The scenario: I order a rye from the bar. The bartender asks for ID. I’m flattered. He pours the rye and says, “$5.50.” I hand him a fiver and two singles. He takes the money and says “thank you,” and then turns to the next customer. I stand there for a beat before realizing he’s not going to give me my change. 

Was he prompt with my drink order? Yes. Was he pleasant to order from? Sure, pleasant enough. Did his service warrant the $1-per-drink-at-a-beer-bar standard tip rate? Absolutely. So what went wrong?

Okay, perhaps I could have planned better. 

The scenario: I order a rye from the bar. The bartender asks for ID. I’m flattered. He pours the rye and says, “$5.50.” I hand him a fiver and a single. He scoffs and returns 50 cents. I leave a one dollar tip and pocket the 50 cents. 


But should the onus really be on the customer here? No. Frankly, it’s poor practice (read: unprofessional) for a server or bartender to assume the amount of their tip, even when the bill is as simple as a single drink from a beer bar.


Coolest Places To Fill Your Growler (While Supporting Local Breweries)

One of the things Michigan is most known for is our breweries. And nothing beats the delicious taste of a cool beer from one of our favorite breweries. With the addition of growlers, we can enjoy our favorite beers from our favorite local breweries from the comfort of our own home. We live in a

Project 206 continues to push the limits of jazz with new ‘Volatile’ EP

Project 206 masterfully melds freak-out jazz sensibilities with progressive rock tendencies on their instrumental, four-track sophomore EP, Volatile.

Venue Spotlight Series: The Ark

All live music venues are vital. That’s our starting point for this series. The stories we’re sharing here demonstrate that local establishments hosting performances by local musicians should never be taken for granted— particularly in a post-pandemic world.  When it comes to the Ark, you could argue that there’s been a dedicated constituency that has

The Truth About Human Trafficking: Local expert Bridgette Carr dispels common myths and offers real solutions

The phrase “human trafficking” can conjure up terrifying images of teenage girls being snatched up at the local mall— a problematic misconception about the realities of human trafficking.  Bridgette Carr, director of the University of Michigan Law Human Trafficking Clinic, explains that “buying into this type of narrative is harming those who are actual victims