HAROLD SELTZERS STEAK HOUSE



NOT WORTH A REVIEW, AND NEEDS NEW OWNERS AGAIN 

MAY - 2019 26 Fines and Violations


HAROLD SELTZERS STEAK HOUSE
(VERSION 4.0)


3500 Tyrone Blvd. No.
St. Petersburg,
FL 33710 
727.954.7777

Version One - THE SAGA OF SAM SELTZER  “Michaels Mess”
They went bottom up and filed a two year reorganization, the famous Chapter eleven but eventually they went chapter seven.  As a food place and restaurant it was a crap shoot anyway.  A beautiful display of baroque architecture rivaling some of the better places and an incredible letdown in food and service. It was bad people knew it and they closed.

They could have recovered sooner had they put good food out and worked on the help.  Better back-end management and stop substituting lower class meat on the specials. I doubt it.  Sam Seltzer was a butcher but had nothing to do with the restaurant. The Times, the TV stations all advertising followed the released "Sam the Butcher" story.  

EPILOGUE
Sam was a butcher in Montreal, Canada,  and his grandsons Harold and Michael Seltzer named their restaurants for him, but Sam was never in the restaurant business.
Thats good because some of the worst grizzled steak I ever had on two out of two occasions was at the Tyrone location.  I ordered and we sent the better cut of sirloin and t-bone back.   It would have taken a machete to cut it, and a Tasmanian Devil to chew it.  I rated it two Vultures. Sam never would have served that. But Sam was not a business man he was a butcher which makes the accusation even worse.  Bad food , you will in the end close your doors.

ROUND TWO  (VERSION 4.25)
On another occasion I could not decide which was worse, the attempt at a Blooming Onion or the Blooming Idiot who served it.  We were benevolent, we tried five times at both Tyrone and on US 19 and the some servers did a average to good job on the four times, they tried. 

The fifth and last time we met the Village Idiot. The census, we went with two, four and five folks to try different dishes and the composite reaction was abysmal.  No one really thought of going back, ever.

END RESULT
Harold Seltzer sold his interest in 2004 while his cousin Michael ceded control to lenders in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy five years later.  That might explain a few things.

SYNOPSIS
Borrowing deeply to bankroll expansion to 30 stores, the chain’s fortunes headed south with a faltering economy in 2007. Experts from Vomitus Americanus thought low-end food might have had something to do with it.  I summed it up a lot more specific. Their food gave the Golden Corral a run for the money and possibly your intestines too.

MY SIMPLE OPINION
The food sucked, the service was about as bad as service can be, poor management and for Gods sake get good chefs,  and meat buyers. Stop running a burger joint and calling it a Steakhouse.  You attract penny-pinching diners, drawn by ads selling $12.95 slabs of prime rib was the bait. Unfortunately the picture was of the larger cuts and another case of what you see is not what you get.  Same crap ads the other bait and switch restaurants do.

To this day the newer version of Seltzers is doing the same thing with the disclaimers more prominent. Advertising the  prime rib on special with the large portion picture only there is a disclosure there now explaining this is a larger cut in the picture.  

I laughed because I was wondering if the car dealers were writing their ads.  You know after you read the small print at the bottom, you find you weren't qualified for the prices shown.  And it's done everyday in the car business and people still fall for it.   Add a poor experience when you got there and this doomed Sam Seltzer's and other casual sit-down restaurants nationally over the past three years. I call it "fulfillment problems". You simply don't get what they show you.

After the company filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2008, it quickly closed four unprofitable stores and ditched plans for a store in Ocala that would have been the chain's 11th. Lenders who were owed $11 million ended up with ownership of the shrunken company and some stale meat.

HAROLD SELTZER (Version 5.0)

I was right, when I drove by, they just shut the doors and never told the help.  A cowards way out. NOTE:  Another bad taste, was screwing customers who bought or held gift cards, some sold as recently as one day before the chain's last day in business.  People paid for those cards now were stuck with empty plates.  

We are talking about many, many, thousands of dollars, estimates might be in the quarter million dollar range and that went down with the bankruptcy failure.  

The new Seltzers under Harold is not responsible for the dealings of the old Seltzers but he has come forward and has offered one dinner per card and will eat about 10,000 free meals with that offer.  That is a noble gesture to redeem ones family name.

The brother, Harold came in like the Seventh Calvary, and they just reopened at the northern Pinellas County location near Tarpon springs, New Port Richey and in southern Pinellas County near Tyrone Boulevard and 38th avenue under "Harold Seltzers”.  Harold is trying to rebuild, restore a legacy and undo what I would call a bad management mess, even down to the PR companies and advisors they had.  

Well,  how do you fire your family, obviously they can’t get it right.  He admits he is working to be able to bring back the business that originally bore his grandfather's name, and is still working to get back in other markets. He says he did it to be there for employees he thought were unceremoniously let go by previous management and to fill a niche with a dedicated customer base and he shows a lot of humility and humbleness when conversing about it.

He was quoted in the Times, "Every night, I'm in the dining room and people tell me how glad they are we're back. It gets emotional. They remember birthday parties here, or this was their dad's favorite place, or they were engaged here. It has been a little overwhelming.”  We will check them out.  

We did get our hands on a menu and the costs went up about 15-38% on certain items cross the board compared to the before the bankruptcy. The Times revisited them and gave them 2.5 stars.  It's a work in progress. They started the 2015 new year with one of the worst inspections for the month.  Four years later they were consistent!  Bad Really Bad.

JULY 18, 2019 Inspection 2899723  Reinspected 4


MAY 20, 2019  INSPECTION  # 2875009  26 Violations