Monday, July 20, 2009

Michael Buble' Meets Madison Square Garden

I will admit that I was a little late to hop onto the Michael Buble' train. Of course I've heard the name for years, but I tend to gravitate toward the original tracks of all the greats rather than remakes and remixes. I'm not trying to sound like a snob, I just love the old crackles and pops of the recordings of Sinatra, Nina, and Redding etc.

However, a couple of months ago I stumbled across his 2006 release "It's Time" at Half Priced Books for under ten bucks and thought it was steal. It didn't take long for me to appreciate the croonings of the Canadian born singer and start scooping up his other albums as well.

Mr. Buble' has been off of the radar since 2007 but has put himself back in the game this summer with a two disc CD/DVD combo called "Michael Buble' meets Madison Square Garden". The package includes a 10 track CD with a DVD documentary as well as the behind-the-scenes buildup and performance of his Madison Square Garden concert. The performance not only spotlights Buble's obvious vocal ability but he also shines as an entertainer, connecting with his audience and stagemates. Fully loaded with a big band, the live tracks feature a few of Sinatra's classic favorites including "I've Got the World on a String" and Buble's co-written original "Home".

All in all, it's simply an example of a great singer doing what he does best during his first performance in one of the most desired venues in the world. I really enjoyed the behind the scenes intimate moments where Buble' talks about everything that led up to the big event. There are a few clips available on his site if you want a tasty preview and two-disc combo is available online for less than $30 bucks.

Liz Williams
Live Music Director

Monday, July 13, 2009

In support of technology

I don't consider myself a techno geek but I will admit to owning one of the early cellular phones (The Brick). I am also a big fan of PC Banking/Bill Payment and have done so for over 20 years.

In the restaurant business, I am a big proponent of Point-Of-Sale systems. They help streamline an operation, provide better records and enable everyone to communicate with each other. When a POS is working properly, the business just hums and I am thankful that we have a great POS here at Mercy.

I just recently returned from a few days of vacation and used my time away from Mercy to visit friends in the cooler climate of New York State. For those of you that are required to travel often for business, my hat goes off to you. After witnessing the inefficiencies, first-hand, of the automated baggage kiosks and online booking of seat assignments, I can only imagine the mistreatment the frequent flyer is subjected to.

The airline that I had the misfortune of using for my flight had no "automated" record of my reservation. So, I was unable to use their baggage kiosk for checking in. While standing in line to wait my turn to check baggage, it appeared that I was not the only person with that issue. Only one out of four attempts at self-check in was met with a success that yielded a boarding pass; the other three passengers that were denied took their place in line behind me.

I had made my reservation for this round trip flight two months prior to its departure. During that two month period, I was required to make new seating requests on four different instances by the airline. With each successive seating request, the availability of seating assignments diminished to the point that, yes, ultimately I was relegated to the dreaded middle seat on my flights.

Mercy has partnered with Open Table to provide us with an online Restaurant Reservation System. It's - Free • Instant • and Confirmed ! Another prime example of technology working properly. Open Table allows our guest to make reservations directly from our web site by clicking on the Reservations tab whereby, you will be whisked away to make your reservation. Upon making your online reservation, it is instaneously delivered to Mercy and available for us to view.

Again, I tip my hat to all frequent flyers for the technology blunders that you have to endure. For my excursion, I was glad to be back home at Mercy. On my first day back to work, I stepped up to our POS terminal. I ordered a bottle of Figi water (the ticket was sent to the bar) and a Grilled Swordfish Steak dinner with a substitution of grilled vegetables. Our POS deftly handled the order, the substitution and sent the order to the Kitchen to be prepared.

I am tempted to contact the airline and let them know about our Point-of-Sale System and Open Table Reservation System. They could probably use the suggestion.

There is no place like home.

Mike Castagne
Operations Manager

Monday, July 6, 2009

Awards for Best Lounge and for Best Place to Sip Wine

Over the 6 years Mercy has been open, we have received numerous awards for our wine bar. Many have been industry awards and several have been national in scope. The ones we are most proud of come from our customers.

This week Mercy was awarded 2 People's Choice awards: one for Best Lounge and the other for Best Place to Sip Wine in Addison, Texas.

The Addison and the North Dallas Corridor Guide conducted a public survey which covered everything from best doctors, to furniture stores (btw which my friend Howard Freed won for Freed's Home Furnishings. You go Howard!) to restaurants. Mercy was the only winner of 45 to have been given 2 awards. Have to mention here that Sebastian's Closet won for Best Boutique shopping.

It is the ultimate compliment when our customers take the time to vote and tell us they think we are the best. This fuels our fire to do an even better job and continue to raise the bar for providing both great products and world class service to each and every guest every time they visit us.

Thank you for your continued vote of confidence and we'll look forward to seeing you at Mercy...........

Glen Agritelley