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Skip the line? Just skip it altogether

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  March 10, 2010 09:14 AM

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Now, I don't want to sound judgmental, but Jerry Remy's decision to charge patrons of his new restaurant $500 to skip the line and have a dedicated table might just be the most idiotic promotion to hit the Boston dining industry.

And to the 170 of you that have already signed up for the deal, let me just say that I hope Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grill serves your food with plastic silverware for the safety of everyone.

But hey, we're talking about it right? So I guess general manager Don Bailey's plan worked to a certain degree. I mean, I wasn't even aware Remy was opening a new restaurant in the Fenway despite the dozens of daily emails in my Inbox announcing its arrival. I'm sure that hit you over the head approach will die down though and we won't hear about the place 6,787,765 times over the course of the year during NESN telecasts.

Even if Remy's new place is garnering a lot of water cooler talk today, how can the sane among us not be turned off by this gimmick? Frankly, if the people signing up for this sort of thing are going to be Remy's frequent patrons, that is the last group of people I want to hang around in an environment with alcohol.

“This $500 season-ticket package can deliver an experience as close to an actual season ticketholder as possible, at a fraction of the price,’’ Bailey told the Globe's Jenn Abelson.

So, I'm sorry…they're playing the games in there?

Get this: Your $500 dedicated table is yours only when the game begins. You ever been in a Fenway bar around 7:30 p.m., once we're well into the second inning? Let's just say finding a barstool isn't exactly the hardest thing to do. But at Remy's, you'll have the added bonus of a $25 food voucher and a free beer. Really? For $500, Reid Nichols better emerge from the kitchen and give me a foot massage under the table.

If Red Sox hysteria isn't necessarily at its height any longer, it's certainly at its most desperate. Let's face it, the buzz isn’t what it once was, which is sort of fine with folks who used to enjoy the game that wasn't littered and diluted with all the other peripheral nonsense the team has forced down our throats the past half-decade or so. Five years ago, this sort of promotion would have sold out in an instant, even if Dr. Charles had to work his magic and purchase the remaining 50 available. Not that the Red Sox have experience with that sort of thing. (Hack…phony sellout streak…cough.)

So, your $500 gets you $25 worth of food and a free beer every time you go. Yippee. You still need to go to Remy's 20 times during the season to break even, and can only apply the credits during the game. I haven't seen the beer list yet, but I'm going to imagine this place won't exactly have stuff you'd normally find at Beer Works, Cornwall's, or Lower Depths. So, you get a free Bud Light? Awesome.

I hope other establishments in the area are thrilled with this story, if only because the combatant marketing campaign writes itself. In turn, Remy's may be shooting itself in the foot, immediately turning possible patrons off with its apparent greed. I won't be waiting in line at Remy's because I'm already sort of keen to the kind of place it's going to be. And frankly, well it's tough to tear me away from any one of the three aforementioned establishments anyway. Now we know where the Red Sox suckers and "alternative" hats will spend their time, so I guess really we ought to be grateful for Remy's new place. More room for the rational fans everywhere else.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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