Here’s the opening salvo in a Daily News report:
“The case of a trendy Manhattan eatery and bar charging extra for ice is becoming a tempest in a shot glass.
“The drama began at downtown hotspot The Darby after a patron noticed a $2 surcharge added to the already hefty price tag on his $13 Grey Goose. The receipt, with the charge “Rocks: $2″ was then published on the food blog Eater, which called the tab an outrageous rip-off.”
This, however, is nothing new. Way back in July 2006, I mentioned in a restaurant review of a riverside restaurant in Upstate New York:
“When we prepared to settle the bill, I noticed an oddity.
“I have enjoyed adult beverages in more than a dozen countries and in more than several dozen states, have a website and a nationally distributed weekly column all devoted to the world of alcoholic beverages, yet I have never run across the drink-pricing practices of the Lighthouse: Order a cocktail “up” rather than on the rocks and you’re charged an extra $1 per drink.
“I consulted several colleagues, checked local sources and conducted a quickie e-mail poll of food editors in other states. Everyone involved expressed amazement at the practice. Next time I may simply order a cocktail on the rocks plus a spoon to scoop out the ice, assuming there is no spoonage surcharge.”
The more I received comments from food and beverage writers, restaurateurs and mixologists around the country, the more I got into the topic. After writing about it in a column distributed nationally by the Hearst News Service and the New York Times News Service, I was interviewed by several national radio and TV shows and the topic become a mini-craze. Until, of course, it quickly dissipated as more important things caught the attention of the all-consuming media.
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