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May 7, 2009 - 12:15pm

Hundreds of South Beach gift certificates redeemed at local restaurants

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, South Beach. Alex's Place.

When South Beach closed without warning, many people in the community were concerned about gift certificates that had purchased but not redeemed.

In comments on The Batavian, representatives of Alex's Place and Sunny's step forward and offered to redeem the gift certificates.

Matt Gray, owner of Alex's Place says his restaurant on Park Road redeemed more than 350 gift certificates.

Maggie Fasano, manager at Sunny's said 139 gift certificates were redeemed there.

Gray said the offer brought in some new customers and people who hadn't visited Alex's in some time and were grateful, noting that they would be back soon.

"It was very well received from every one who had gift certificates and had a chance to redeem them, not only from us but from the other restaurants as well," Gray said. "It was well received as a gesture of good will."

The exchange was also a big hit at Sunny's.

"People were definitely positive," Fasano said. "People were grateful it wasn't a total lose for them and we picked up lots of new customers, and we're very glad to have them."

Ken Mistler recently revealed that he's purchasing the South Beach location and will seek a new tenant looking to open a new restaurant in that location.

Herb Chapman
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That is nice of those restaurants. I would have thought the former owner of South Beach would have told all restaurants in town that if they accept South Beach gift certificates, he will reimburse them for the amount listed.
Beth Kinsley
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Kudos to those restaurants. Alex's in particular must have served thousands of dollars worth of food for free. I hope that investment comes back to them ten fold.
Karen Miconi
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I was wondering the same thing Herb. Is Alex going to pay the other restaurants back?? I would hope so.......
Gabor Deutsch
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Herb and Beth I agree. Karen that is not the point. I can complain about Batavia all day but the beauty of this small town has people whom are willing to step in and serve the people. I think the repayment would be to hold these businesses in high reguard. Unfortunately my budget does not allow me to go to any of these restaurants but I will tell ya I respect them !
Karen Miconi
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That is the point Gabor. I was just wondering about rembursement. Yah The beauty of the people in this small town, what does that have to do with if the resturaunts are going to get their money back or not??? They didnt do it out of the kindness of their hearts, they did it to promote business in their own establishments. None of these places needed to even touch that whole situation. There was something to gain. As far as serving the people, I have done that in this town for years. Its a job Gabor, thats all..I left a good job at Alex's after 12 years, to go back with Alex at the Beach. The only thing I will miss is my customers, and they know who they are.{MUAH}! Its just Business.
Gabor Deutsch
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I guess when u find a good place in Batavia then ya gotta talk it up. I still go to walmart for some stuff and ALDIS is a staple. I just pick and choose what i complain about. I am low budget but when there is good deals in town i gotta make a hoo ha about it. I agree that any business is out to make a profit. When "that restaurant " closed its a done deal. The best thing is just to have more respect to any restaurant to boldly lose money and honor that said restaurants debts. Ask the owners of said restaurants honoring the certificates. They sure dont gain much money from it but a great deal of my respect.
Karen Miconi
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I was literally the last one to know we were closing. It was like a Kick in the Stomach for me, Im still trying to figure out what I want to do now. And Yes I've worked for the best, and the worst, over the past 22 years. I should write a book.
Daniel Jones
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Karen-I would buy it.
Howard B. Owens
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With all everything already in place at the location, all the equipment, etc., depending on what Ken wants in rent, it wouldn't take much to get it open. You could probably open the doors within the amount of available loans/grants though the city.
Bea McManis
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I would hope that whomever takes it over takes into consideration the single diner. While a friend and I were waiting for our table, we overheard Alex tell a female customer that he would NOT seat a single in his dining room. If she wanted to eat she would have to settle for the bar. The woman was embarrassed to be told this in front of others and we were embarrassed for her. We walked out with the lady, spoke to her outside and ended up inviting her to join us for lunch at Sunny's. As someone who traveled, alone, quite a bit for work, I found that offensive. I was never denied a table for one..and that includes well known and highly established restaurants from one end of the country to the other. South Beach was NOT an exclusive private club with restrictions, it was a public restaurant. Whomever takes over that spot, should take a page out of the business model at Larry's and other restaurants in the area. Upscale is fine; restrictions are passe'.
Karen Miconi
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Bea, I am very sorry that you went through such humiliation. I myself would never say or do something like that. I have always prided myself for the job I've done serving the public. I won't make excuses for that coming out of Alex's mouth. Just like the gift certificate thing, I have to dodge the bullets, even though I had nothing to do with it. To me, serving food is an artform of sorts. I start with a smile, and usually they leave with a smile, if I have done my job. Some put servers down saying its not a skill, and the job is for the uneducated. They can think what they want.. I'd like to see them keep their compsure, while getting handed their *ss. You definately have to be a multitasker. Serving food and drinks is a very tough job in every way, but I loved it.
bud prevost
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I did it many years myself, and it's a lifestyle that paid the bills. And I miss it horrible! No two days were exactly the same, kibbitzed with a lot of nice(and not so nice)people. At a business hotel I worked at in Phoenix, we actually had a large table that we gave single diners the option to sit at with other single diners. It was amazingly successful, sometimes with groups of 2 or 3 to be sat there as well! Bea, that's horrible you were told that, and I promise, when I get back in the business, you can come sit at our community table!
Bea McManis
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My mother worked as a waitress for many years in the clubhouse at Batavia downs, then later, at the Treadway Inn. It is a job I knew I could never do for a myriad of reasons, first being I am the ultimate klutz and carrying more than one dish at a time to a table would be a disaster. I never realized how good she was until, years later, I ran into several boys (now men) who were bus boys. They raved about my mom. She always treated them fairly and they loved working her stations. I have a great deal of respect for those who serve the public. They have the patience of saints.
Karen Miconi
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I'm still wondering if the restaurants that honored all, or a portion, of the gift certificates are going to pursue Alex for their losses. Is he paying them back??? Wondering?
Andrew Erbell
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I don't know how that would be possible. Barring some prearranged agreement between the parties involved, they have no legal grounds to do so. I'm more inclined the other restaurants in the area honored the gift certificates as a gesture of kindess, at least the first couple, and then the others likely followed suit strictly as a business decision to get the same amount of positve PR. I know first-hand good will gestures will generate business down the road.
Beth Kinsley
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I wonder if those businesses had any clue how many of these gift certificates were actually out there. Hundreds of them.

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