Date of visit December 14, 2012
19350 Sumpter Road
Township of Sumpter, MI 48111
The saga continues. We returned to Tinpan, yes, we came back, this time we had made reservations for our Christmas party and expected to have the entire same enclosed back porch room we had dined in during our first visit all to ourselves. And we did. This was our private Christmas party, we are all there to relax and enjoy – there’s a bar, no one was in a hurry, live MP3 music (oxymoron) and well, we (hubby and I) planned to order Pizza and a small dinner salad, how could you go wrong?
As we walked into the back room, there stood a man, totally out of place (no vest, no class) wearing a dingy gray tee shirt, with a chip on his shoulder. He’s talking or in this case on the verge of yelling at the group of us, about the room we had reserved on this Friday night. As he slurred his words, he loudly told us that this particular room normally turns over at least three times during dinner hours, and gee if we don’t have the number of people like we promised he hinted we should just leave: order now – eat and get out. A restaurant can only get attitude if they’re an Ed Debevics and Tinpan is no Ed Debevics.
I expect the owner wanted to make sure we all heard him, so he repeated his demand, not once, not twice but three times. Okay he’s the owner and a jerk – I was sure about him being a jerk, yelling at a room full of MC members…not a good thing (probably not smart either). Most of the guys seemed more amused than those who were annoyed. There was no hostile response from our group, he finally quieted down and dragged his own ass out of the room. When he left we all discussed the great opportunity to stay there or take our money and go elsewhere. We stayed. Our attendance never did reach the promised number, there were a few no shows, the count was down, but that didn’t make us order more or eat faster.
I had heard that one of the guys told the waitress to keep the loud obnoxious owner out of our “reserved private room” and to the owners credit, he never did make another appearance, which is a good thing: Some people shouldn’t drink, especially tavern owners who want repeat business.
Speaking about repeat, enters the same waitress from our last dinner run: a bit more confident, wearing a lower cut tee shirt than last time, topping off her outfit with a Santa hat. She didn’t take orders, in fact from what I could tell, she was only there to set the table and pour coffee. So, instead of one slightly inexperienced waitress we were taken care of by two skilled waitresses and one slightly inexperienced waitress.
Our waitress took our drink order – they actually carry and had PBR (Did they have it last time and our Santa waitress was just clueless?). That was good they had the beer that most of the guys order. They were happy. I opted for Absolute and grapefruit. For dinner we both ordered a small dinner salad and a medium pizza. I checked the salad price and the salad size with the waitress relaying our last dinner run at Tinpan. The waitress said: “Tinpan does not do some things well; claiming to have a Caesar Salad is one of those things.” Speaking in a lower tone she explained Tinpan Caesar was only iceberg lettuce and the dressing wasn’t that good. Too bad she wasn’t our waitress the first time we came here, we would have saved $13.00+.
The salads and soups were served, with the exception of the couple sitting in front of us. Their order was one of the firsts and simple, just a cup of chicken noodle soup, sandwiches, chili fries and onion rings. When they finally got their food, the last served, it was only their chili fries and sandwiches. The cup of soup made an appearance at the table about 30 minutes later (They tried to cancel the soup) the onion rings, delivered after the soup seemed hot enough.… They rated the food a 6 on a 1 to 10 scale.
Our pizza was good, in spite of being served on a filthy, greasy, fingerprinted, smudged pizza pedestal, unlike the picture you see here, it was nasty. SO’s comment: “Don’t they clean this shit” but we reasoned the pizza was sitting on a tray on top of the pedestal, so we ignored the germs ate the pizza and I lived to tell the story. It’s all good. By the way the pizza was much better than the previous $50 meal (steak).
We socialized for the next hour or so after dinner. Besides, someone was still eating onion rings and soup so technically the group wasn’t finished. It was all you can eat fish so more of those crispy filets were ordered too. The waitresses came back in the room to collect the money and clear the place settings. Thereafter we were left on our own to get drinks from the bar on a pay as you go basis. Our favorite waitress, Santa’s helper, did keep hot coffee flowing for those who wanted it.
As the evening continued, most parted, the rest moved to the bar, and who to appear at the side of my SO, our favorite waitress. She wanted to make sure my SO remembered her from last time, (The tip he left her last time wasn’t that good), standing straight with boobs eye level to my SO, she told him “I was Santa and now I’m a Christmas elf, I can be anyone you like.” She had an elf hat on. My comment, “I can be your worst Nightmare before Christmas” with or without a hat. She flittered away.
I switched to White Russians and decided to discuss the owner’s attitude with the bartender. I told her the story of the loud, semi inebriated owner with his uncalled for unfriendly comments. The bartender told us the guy was a part owner and an Asshole, with a true just add alcoholic type of personality, otherwise, when sober, he was a sweetheart. When I mentioned his concern with the room, she laughed and said, Tinpan would be lucky if they got customers in that room at all. I said it was not a good idea to antagonize an MC on any level: she said the owner picks on Bikers all the time, loves to get in their face to the point of driving customers away. I’m sure there’s a story behind that attitude.
She told us that most people have told her, if the owner’s car is in the parking lot, they will pass on a visit. In fact as we were leaving for the night, three of us were chatting about the owner, as we passed a lone patron heading into Tinpan. He caught part of our conversation; turned and said “do you know if the owner is here?” we said no, his comment “Good that guy is such an asshole”.
Biker restaurant, perhaps, in fact I can’t wait until the spring as I will be riding to Tinpan for a pizza. The pizza is decent and if the owner is in it will make an interesting story or at least be entertaining.
Would I recommend it to Biker’s? Enter at your own discretion, order pizza and enjoy.