After circling the block 10 times like a shark around its prey, a spot eventually became available in the nowhere-to-park, meter maid infested streets of Shadyside. Then a stroll to the other side of Walnut Street, past a few empty storefronts (one being a closed Thai restaurant), around the corner to what used to be a pizza joint with a bar full of Cheers type regulars.
Ah, finally! A new ramen, yakitori, sake bar in Pittsburgh! So exciting, let’s go in! Then, at eye level, a white sign with bold, all-caps typeface against a blood red background. Impossible not to notice:
CASH ONLY / NO CREDIT CARDS
The eager hand releases the door handle as if in slow-mo. Disbelief sets in. Followed by disappointment. Followed by #WTFPGH!?
It’s 2017. We understand that some businesses want to try their best at avoiding paying taxes, but there’s no excuse for not accepting credit card. Maybe business owners like this don’t actually want to be in business for the right reason. Tan Izakaya had the front garage door pulled up and inside was a sea of empty seats… so they are on the right track if what they’re looking for is a failed venture.
Credit card machines can be installed in no time. The fees are nominal. But what’s more interesting here is that Tan Izakaya was opened by a restaurant veteran: Michael Chen of Everyday Noodles fame (also former owner of China Palace and Sushi Two just around the corner from Tan Izakaya). They even have the Mike Chen signature hours: close at 2:30pm then reopen at 4:30pm.
Dear Mike: Not only do you know how to hook up a credit card machine, you probably have connections to get excellent rates. What’s going on here?
To not accept credit cards in a mid price sushi joint in the high end shopping district of the city is crazy. It’s also suicide. What about afternoon patrons who are having a lunch meeting as a business expense? What about rich broke people who are living on their Amex cards until payday?
So what if there is an ATM two block down the street. People shouldn’t have to walk to get cash because you don’t feel like dealing with a credit card machine.
The only thing worse would be if they had one of those non-bank ATMs setup at the front door. The ones that charge a transaction fee which the restaurant owner gets a slice of at the end of the month. Some places in Pittsburgh actually have this!
The bar looked nice and the menu is appetizing, but in conclusion, Tan Izakaya could not be reviewed. They burned the bridge before we even got to it. It’s the only review they deserve until they get their s*** together and start caring more about the convenience of their customers more than the convenience of their Quickbooks.
When the CASH ONLY sign comes down, we will try again.
What are the hours?
Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 2:30pm then 4:30pm – 10pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:30am – 2:30pm then 4:30pm – 2am
Sunday: 12pm – 9:00pm