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Currently, seating is limited, but solo diner solutions abound. Two good corner tables flank the fireplace. But the action, and much of the fun, starts with the half-circle bar. The staff knows its customers (Those they don't are infiltrated fast!) and they're quick to make introductions. Many solos (and couples) find themselves sharing a large 6-top table.
Neighborhood: South of Town Lake
Most of the 20-30 solos who appear daily (more dinner-goers) prefer a table in the main restaurant area overlooking a tranquil pond. Still others others opt for the 40 seat bar or the patio.
Neighborhood: Addison Area
[Fort Worth] has lots of terrific restaurants, but you missed the Ol' Pancake House and Family Restaurant where you can get the world's best German pancakes.
When we are in Dallas, we always travel the 35 miles to Fort Worth to have them. (I have tried to find something that matches, or at least comes close, but nothing does; Ol' South won't give out the recipe, either.
Solos patronizing Ol' South (40 years of cultivating customers!) may select among four dining rooms smoking and non-smoking; however, the many regulars loyally follow favorite waitresses many of whom have logged 10+ years at Ol' South wherever they are working is where solos will sit and read their newspapers.
Neighborhood: Cultural Area
Most of their solo diners, usually locals, a handful of business travelers and medical center visitors, arrive ready to be part of this intimate scene. This is not a magazine-carrying cadre there's no zoning out for this group! And yet, management maintains "a library for solo diners" fun food books and current magazines and they claim an almost-everyday solo regular, who appears (sometimes with her husband) to eat and write in her journal.
Divided evenly between men and women, solos range from mid-30s to 40s in age. Whether they make a reservation (25% do!) or walk in, most steer toward the counter, an old Wells Fargo bank teller's counter, seating 10.
Neighborhood: Restaurant Row in the Museum District
Amenities: Have you ever heard of the "Prize Patrol"? An article in Santé, the magazine for restaurant professionals, drew our attention to an endearing facet of Brennan's response to customer complaints. When a slip-up occurs a diner's request for a special table failed to appear in the reservation system; a customer was dissatisfied with his or her meal, etc. the managers review the problem and agree on a remedy.
After making an appointment with the customer, the "Prize Patrol," a group of employees, personally delivers a gift perhaps a certificate for a complimentary meal, a bouquet of balloons, or a platter of Brennan's signature pralines.
Brennan's is on top of its game concerning solo diner customers. Solos, primarily business travelers (Recently, four were on the books for Wednesday dinner.) who frequent Brennan's for weekday lunch or dinner, are offered their first cocktail or an after dinner drink on the house.
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