My boss just celebrated her 50th. Since it was a milestone for her, she decided to throw herself a dinner birthday bash and invite 25-30 of her friends as well as some of her employees to celebrate with her. She picked a place she thought was good for everyone. It had lots of room, a menu with many choices at reasonable prices. She chose Cheddar’s. She had called that morning asking for a particular part of the restaurant since she was bringing so many guests with her. They weren’t really interested in doing that for her. She stressed that when we all showed up at 6 p.m. she didn’t think they would be able to seat us all together if they didn’t plan ahead for it. Agreeing to her logic, they relented and the birthday girl thought things were all set. When we all showed up at 6 p.m. the restaurant was incredibly crowded. It was a thursday evening. I had my husband and daughter bring me in my wheelchair and we tried to find the group. The front desk seemed a little clueless, but eventually someone said oh sure…they are over that way and pointed. We headed off in that direction, dodging wait staff and customers and cringing at the crowd. This restaurant is full of booths that are close together and not very roomy. We had trouble finding the group. We went all the way to the back, to the area where Birthday girl had hoped to have her party. It had some tables as well as a few booths, but alas…no party. We backed up and accidentally found the group. They had put us in a narrow aisle of 8 booths, 4 on each side facing each other. This particular aisle was the favorite path for the wait staff to and from the kitchen so I was repeatedly brushed by every person going and leaving the kitchen. There was no room for my wheelchair to fit up to the booth…they were too narrow…my wheels couldn’t fit up to the table without totally blocking the foot room of the booth making it inaccessible to others who might want to sit there. Since our booth was supposed to seat 6, they put 5 women in it and I parked sideways to the booth. This meant I was unable to use the table to eat. My food sat on the table, but I had to reach across my body for a bite and then bring it to my mouth hoping not to drop it in my lap. I was very uncomfortable and in the way, and felt the restaurant was way to crowded and definitely NOT wheelchair friendly! Though my food was good, I probably will never go there again. There are other choices out there that actually ARE wheelchair friendly.
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