If your local restaurant starts charging you a fee to cut to the front the line during busy hours, you can blame the Boston Red Sox.
Former Red Sox player Jerry Remy is offering diners at his new sports bar a $500 "season pass" so they can be served before other patrons during the televised games. The Boston Globeon Wednesday dished the details of this greedy gambit: You forgo the wait and receive a guaranteed table with a free beer, plus $25 in food credits along with access to so-called exclusive events. Nearly 200 already have signed up. Remy's Sports Bar and Grill plans similar packages for the NBA's Celtics and NFL's Patriots.
You don't need to be a Yankees fan to give this idea a big Bronx cheer (that's a jeer which sounds like a verbal fart). While this might seem to be a localized kind of kookiness, word travels fast in the pub industry. Owners will be watching this closely to see if Remy's can get away with it.
Remember, there was a time when charging season-ticket holders thousands of dollars just for the rights to buy seats was thought to be incomprehensible. Well, it happened.
So now Bostonians are facing a premium just so they won't be treated like cattle. Whatever happened to slipping a $20 in the host's palm to accomplish the same?
As a New Yorker, I don't feel any sympathy for Bostonians in general or Red Sox fans in particular. As many Globe readers in the inevitable outcry pointed out, you can just eat elsewhere. But my concern is how far elsewhere might spread. If a recession that's well into extra innings won't stop this madness, then what will?
WalletPop would prefer if Red Sox Nation -- as the faithful are called -- would step up to the plate and not pay the fee. Just say booooo!
No word on how much input that Remy, a Fenway favorite and longtime TV broadcaster who has been treated for lung cancer, has in this misguided enterprise. I hope very little.
A few New York sports bars told WalletPop that Remy was swinging for the fences -- and missing by a mile. "Are you kidding me?" said Peter Anastos, manager of Mickey Mantle's Restaurant and Sports Bar. "I can't charge a Yankee fan $500 to get to the front of the line. That's ludicrous. Yankee fans will kick your ass in this place."<
Andrew Carter, a bartender at the BackPage, cracked, "If he gets takers for that, he should send them down here." Turning serious, he added, "We don't gouge our people. That is the height of alienation."
WalletPop almost forgot to mention that the $500 cut-in-line fee also includes an autographed picture of Remy.
Red Sox sports bar charging $500 to skip the wait