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« Short term | Main | Money to burn »

Feb 07, 2013


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I'd say there'd be a lot of potential for it to be a fantastic addition were they to return to the original concept of what was once located at the Friendly location. I mean, it's gonna be located awfully close to train track. However, I heard a few years ago that the new owner was involved in a legal dispute with the original owner over naming and design/advertising rights (No more Charlie's cheeseburger, a new logo, etc.).
One hopes that the downtown location will be far different than the Lakeside, HP Road, and former Brassfield locations. Downtown is basically getting a TGI Friday's, which is fine if you like to pay someone to microwave your food for you.


ham's is a laxative on a bun.


Older people like Ham's because they recall the glory days of Friendly Road. Younger people pretty much think it sucks. It all depends on the demographics of the clientele they hope to attract.


This old fart thinks it sucks too. Those glory days are long gone, tried Lakeside way back, worst meal I've ever had. As far as Friendly, I prefered the joint across the street. Boar's Head Tavern?


To be fair, they stumbled initially. Interesting how all these high brows couldn't keep Bin 33 open. Lakeside is typically slammed with young parents and kids. The wings come out quickly as ordered and they always have drink specials.

It would be great if people could separate their feelings for Ham's from their feelings about Scarfone, most of which is envy.


"Food was meh and service was worse..."

I don't think it will get any better with Ham's.
In my experience, the food's not very good but they make up for it with poor service.
At least it will be a little bit cheaper.

Ed Cone

The lower prices might make a real difference. People go to Ham's for comfort food and booze; Bin 33 was trying to sell something different and more expensive, and not doing a very good job of it. Truly a great looking bar, though, with good management it could do well.

ginia zenke

We stuck our heads in Bin 33 a couple of months after it opened. We knew it wouldn't be cheap, and thought we could get by with a few beers and an appetizer. Faced with stratospheric numbers we about faced and never looked back.
Beware of restaurants with a schtick - like buying and storing your wine there - remember "charachters" a couple of decades ago? Ditto result.
I'm tempted to say its difficult to raise the bar in Greensboro in many respects, but fine food can be found in a number of good restaurants. They are the ones that concentrate on providing great food that makes the money you spend seem worth it.

Ed Cone

We once ended up having drinks at Bin 33 with the owner of another, truly fine restaurant in town. After about 15 minutes of slipshod service I could see him itching to get behind the bar and just do the damn job himself, which is what he would have done had problems arisen at his own place. I think B33 lacked that kind of hands-on ownership.


Yes, it is possible to have a high quality, good food restaurant in town - 1618, Table 16 and Undercurrent are frequently mentioned for good reason. And they have lasted. I don't like the idea of Ham's downtown, but it might do just fine because it is a bit formulaic and, frankly, it'll appeal to the family crowd for which there isn't much downtown outside of Mellow Mushroom. For some reason or another, it seems Rocco Scarfone's places have an ability to stay open for a long time inspite of whether they are busy or good (see Underground). Then again, I think Summit Station lasted much longer than I thought it could. I don't mind the rotating door to a certain degree. I kind of liked Worx but was very disappointed in the beer selection.
Disclaimer: I worked at Bin 33 for 1 day and could tell it wouldn't live up to the hype and didn't want to be part of the sinking ship and left.


"The lower prices might make a real difference. People go to Ham's for comfort food and booze;"

This is why me and my cohorts (a lot of whom live at City View) see this as a potential winner. Natty's, M'coul's, Grey's, etc. all serve a purpose and have done well for downtown, but they're pretty damn expensive - esp. for those who prefer more than one drink in a sitting. If the ultimate goal of downtown fluffers/advocates is to "bring people to the downtown," they need to grasp the reality that not everyone can afford to sip on craft brew and eat coriander crusted Australian lamb rack with foie gras stuffed prunes, spinach and port wine reduction.

The Hams of today is nothing remotely close to the Hams I grew up going to every Saturday afternoon with my family, but it's one of the few remaining Greensboro dining "institutions" (I.P.D./Anton's, Jay's, etc.), despite its ultimately failed expansion into places like Hickory, Blowing Rock, Lynchburg, etc. I know plenty of former and current GSO residents who still go to Hams just because there was a time when it was one of the few restaurants in town.

Now if they would consider removing the seafood options from the menu, kill half-priced pasta night, and return to the original burger, sandwich, and beer concept, I'd be a happy man.

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