In my previous posting (Traveling to Negril) I wrote about Lingah By The Sea restaurant located on the beach behind Mariners Negril Beach Club. On our previous trip we had established what we thought was a good relationship with the operators. We ate most of our meals at Lingah and noticed that very few people were eating at the bar and restaurant, on many occasions my daughter and I was the only patrons. Being a licensed Real Estate Broker and having spent the past ten years in sales at a major corporation I offered my analytical and marketing skills, when the owners showed concern about payment I assured them that my services were free of charge and they were willing to accept it. I did a complete analysis of Lingah Restaurant and their competition. I advised them on how to best utilize the staff and on visibility. I advised on how to generate sales, and promote business. Many of my suggestions were implemented; like sending the staff on the beach, like printing menus and price charts, like putting a sign on Norman Manley Blvd so passers-by would know where they were located. The font currently used by Lingah was my suggestion. On my previous trip one of the owners had told me about her son who was living in London that was coming down to help with the business. Well he was there upon our return. I have to say I didn’t like the aura around him I realized that he was not as friendly as his parent, after gauging him over several conversations I stayed out-of-the-way.
But we were fans of Lingah and we were happy to be back in Negril. For our first week we continued to eat meals from the restaurant, but this was a long trip and we certainly could not eat and drink out every day plus we wanted to sample other eateries, so by the second week we began to cook most of our meals. While we rarely went to the restaurant, when we were on the beach we went to the bar, most of the time just buying sodas or a beer occasionally drinks for other guests and staff blessing Lingah almost every day with some J’s. Business continued to be very scarce at Lingah and although we were in the slow season on more occasions Lingah the restaurant was just empty. Very few guests ate at the restaurant or even drank at the bar and none of the staff working at the resort ate there. Most of the people we came in contact with cooked their food or went to places like Juicy J, Fatties, Sweet Spot, the Bus Park, Juicy Beef, Ms Buchs, the Acke Tree, Sweet Spice, Yum Yums, or the Internet Cafe.One day out of laziness–no one wanted to cook or leave the beach, we decided to order lunch from Lingah, well the prices had jumped by several hundred dollars, and the food was not as fresh or as tasty. The service was slower than ever. The Jerk Chicken tasted old like it had sat around for a day or two. We ordered a rum punch from the bar, first thing I noticed the cups had shrunk, and I could not smell or taste the rum. When I asked which rum they used I was told the house rum not Appleton and Wray&Nephew as asked for by the recipe, the bartender informed me that the boss said not to use those rums because they are expensive, a rum punch at Lingah was J$300 the average, (cheaper at Alfred’s), and everywhere else we went were using Appleton and Wray&Nephew.
I understood that business was slow, but it seemed as if Lingah was driving away their customers. Another evening we arrived at Lingah about two hours before they closed, we had desert that we bought from Kuyaba but we were celebrating and going to buy drinks at the Lingah bar to eat with our desert. Even though we were staying at Mariners hotel and even though we were going to buy drinks, we were informed by the bartenders that we could not eat there, that was fine with us, it only meant less money for Lingah, and we had liquor in our room and retreated there to enjoy the rest of our evening, but I still supported the bar, buying sodas, and the occasional cocktail.
The bar was always staffed with two bartenders and rarely a patron, so imagine my surprise when my daughter told me there were questions about our drink tab. I ordered a rum punch and a fruit punch, when I sent my daughter to pay the tab she returned telling me that the owners son, Mark, who I will refer to as “Moron” was questioning what I ordered. I told her a rum punch and a fruit punch and she said she told them, but they claimed they wanted to be sure. Well Moron collected the money from my daughter and the next day when I went to the bar “Moron” questioned me about the same bill, asking me did I pay my tab from the day before.
I asked him what he was talking about, I sent my daughter over to pay the bill.
“I know” he said “but there was a question about what you ordered”, I replied she asked me and I told her.
Moron then proceeded to ask me what I order, after I told him he said he just wanted to make sure. I told Moron as a loyal patron I should be getting the occasional free drink; he gave me a nasty look and turned his head. I should not have gone back to the bar after, or after the Moron accused my daughter of stealing a glass from the restaurant but I did.
On Sunday November 15, I sat at Lingah bar; there were two bartenders– one female one male. I ordered a Ting and a cup of ice; I sat at the bar and drank it. I did not pay for it right away, at some point the owners son the “Moron” came and sat at the bar, because there were some children that I knew in the pool I decided to move my seat from the beach side of the bar to the pool side, I ordered another Ting and a cup of ice, I sat at the bar and drank the Ting, I was joined by my daughter at the bar. Since we were not ordering any more drinks I gave the female bartender a ten bill($1000jmd) and recounted my order to her “this is for the two Tings” which were $150 each I said to her, she took the $1000 jmd from me and went to the register to get change. I stood there for about three minutes waiting for my change, when the barmaid seemed to be taking a long time finding the change—and I don’t know why because there was no one at the bar–I told her to give the change to my daughter and I walked across the pool deck on my way to the room. About fifteen minutes later my daughter came up to the room saying that there was a discrepancy at the bar about how much money I was supposed to get back and what I ordered. She said that Moron was questioning what I owed and he asked whether she was sure if all I ordered was two Tings. There was obviously something going on surrounding us at the bar and since it was a place I frequented and they were located essentially in my backyard I wanted to get to the bottom of it.
I went down to the bar, where I saw “Moron” and the male bartender.
I asked the bartender where he was when I order my first drink.
He said he was at the bar.
I asked him what did I order, he said “a Ting”.
I asked where he was when I order my second drink.
He said at the bar, I asked what did I order, he said a Ting.
I then asked what the problem was. I recounted how I gave the money and all they had to do was give the change to my daughter so what was the problem.
At that point the Moron answered rudely asking “did you get the right change”.
I said to him that I heard he was questioning whether or not I order more drinks.
He stated in an even ruder manner “there was a question as to the order”.
If there was a question why didn’t they ask while I was at the bar?
He said he was just trying to make sure that I received the right change.
I told him his attitude was disgusting and I would not deal with him anymore, and was never returning to their establishment.
I went to talk to another guest and as we walked by the Moron yelled to me, “hey go sell your drugs to someone else and not to us”. I then went to the restaurant to speak to his mother “Pat”.
I was in the restaurant telling Pat what happened at the bar when her Moron son came over and started interrupting the conversation between me and his mother. He started by stating that I left a minor at the bar to collect change. I informed him that my daughter was twenty years old well over the legal limit in Jamaica. He began to tell of the so called question at the bar as to the order, I reminded Mark that there were two bartenders at the bar and one patron, me, it is not as if the bar was busy and there are multiple people ordering drinks at a time. Also I was the one who gave the money to the bartender and she walked off to make change, if she had a question why didn’t she ask me but instead tried to intimidate my daughter. I was at the bar for about forty-five minutes before I decided to leave and gave the money for the drinks, why hadn’t they asked their question in that time. When I informed Pat in the restaurant she seemed outraged by her sons remarks about selling drugs and he tried to clean them up by saying he said “don’t hustle me”. I told his mother that he was lying and that he is a liar and left her to deal with him.
Later that same evening I approached Pat and tried to reason with her first apologizing for the scene in her establishment, she then informed me that “its being said” that I am selling drugs, I asked her by whom and she said Moron heard it. Again the source is the Moron, her son. She then went on to talk about surveillance cameras in her restaurant and things going on in the restaurant. I told her that she should go ahead and play the tape because she was not going to see me in her restaurant doing anything illicit, I told her that I barely want to eat in her restaurant because it takes thirty minutes to bring coffee. Plus if she had this evidence why doesn’t she call the police. Besides I have a private room why would I leave the privacy of that room to go and sell drugs in the open in her restaurant, her remarks resulted with me giving the operators of Lingah a proper tracing.
It became clear they were trying to rip me off, they were hoping that I would not remember what I ordered and they would be able to charge me for drinks I never had. But it didn’t stop there, the employees at the restaurant began to spread rumors about us and make threats against us. The chef left the kitchen and made it his business to tell a friend’s mother that I was a drug addict and was serving alcohol to minors. The waitress left the dining area and came on the beach to threaten and wave her finger in my face as I was speaking with other guests, one of the cooks began staring at us every time we walked by, and stalking my daughter claiming that she disrobed in front of him, that same employee later threatened us with a sledge hammer making gestures implying he was going to beat us with the sledge hammer. Yes, the employee, poor ignorant fools, I understand they thought behaving like that would secure their relationship with the boss and guarantee employment.
Because we were there for a long length of time we were able to see the true Lingah. We dreaded every time we had to walk past Lingah to get to the beach. I began to understand why most of the guests did not eat at the restaurant or drink at the bar. We had been told before by guest and staff that the operators were nasty, unfriendly and the restaurant was overpriced. We tried not to form an opinion based on what others were saying, but we learned on our own that there was validity to charges. We were there long enough to see Lingah water down the drinks, fire a staff member for speaking to a guest and being on the grounds after work hours–even though other members on the staff went on dates with guests meeting them at the hotel and sitting in the restaurant. I was not the only target of the operators of Lingah by the Sea restaurant, they used their staff to spread rumors about guests they didn’t like and promote feuds between residents of the hotel—resulting in some being thrown off the island. While the quality at the restaurant declined, and it took about forty-five minutes to get served and served the wrong thing, while the bar often ran out of Red Stripe Beer, Lingah operators and staff were busy at work making the lives of quests staying at Mariners Negril Beach Club miserable.
Anyway after the disagreement, we never again ate or drank at Lingah restaurant, even though we were still harassed and slandered by them, they realized they could not take away our joy–Lingah tried to peddle meals to us, but the hostility served up by the operators was too hard to digest. When my daughter informed their waiter that we will not eat there, the operators of the restaurant (who happen to live in the same compound as the hotel) turned the security against us, — security–the people responsible for keeping us safe. The night security were bribed by the operators of Lingah restaurant with free meals while at the same time being fed with stories about myself and other guests. Because they were getting free meals the night security developed animosity and became rude and antagonistic towards us refusing to perform their function which was to open the gate as we left compound, we had to raise and lower the gate ourselves which could have resulted in our injury. They threaten me physically and made wild charges like trying to bring someone to my room without “permission”. After a lengthy discussion with the manager of Mariners Negril Beach Club the night security staff apologized but we didn’t feel secure.
We could not believe it. We were disappointed in the operators, Pat and Sherelle, a great deal. Especially Pat, not only did we give her restaurant the most support in the duration of our trips, but after I had produced an entire power point presentation on how she can improve service at her restaurant, she had the audacity to treat my daughter and me with a tremendous amount of disrespect. For an “educated” group of people, they exhibited nothing but ignorance and irreverence. Even after witnessing her son’s behavior she referred to him as “professional”. She supported her son, Moron, who was an obvious liar, relaying his false accusations as if they were definite facts. I would have never condoned my daughter behaving that way. But, we know why the Moron lies because, Pat, presented fabricated evidence to substantiate her sons lie, and then had the nerve to say she was a grown woman. She is evidently a woman with low morals and no integrity and her children take after her. They say “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, and in her case it’s definitely true. The behavior of the operators of Lingah makes me feel like they were capable of doing anything.We have been to dozens of hotels and countless restaurants, and we had never been treated as we were by the operators of Lingah restaurant and the night security team hired by Strata. I cannot imagine another restaurant offering up worse service. It is because of all this that I rate Lingah Restaurant on Seven Mile Beach the worst restaurant in Negril if not the world and I stand by everything that is written here.
Have you had a nightmare restaurant experience? Let’s hear about it.