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Continued Shady Marketing: Shabu Pub on Geary

See, now THIS pisses me off.

I reviewed Shabu Pub sometime ago here.  I really didn’t like it, and as always, I said as much. While a lot of it had to do with the food and untrained ineffective service, I really don’t understand how you advertise “all you can drink” — only to seat us, bring our food and tell us that they actually don’t have a liquor license. What does one do then – -get up and leave?

I don’t know how you post that in all of your material, the building, and your website, stating that it’s become one of the hottest drinking spots in SF — only to have your customer sit down and discover that you have no liquor license.

But all was said and done, and I am one to leave well enough alone; I’m not going back so that’s that. That is, so long as I have nothing new to report.

But then today, I get invited to this on Facebook:

shabu pub
Shabu Pub’s Facebook page

It’s an ongoing invite until 9/30, and the location is now called, “Shabu Pub Beef House Cafe” — BEEF house; SHABU SHABU — beef! Nowhere on the invite does it state that there won’t be any beef offered, and nowhere does it state that there is any limitation on meat of any kind.

(Thankfully, it does appear they received their liquor license since my visit — but then again, who really knows until you go? They said as much last time!)

Only when you scroll all the way down the page to one person’s comment thread do you see the following:

shabu pub
The truth comes out. What kind of ridiculousness is this!?

Why would you do that to your customers? They walk  in thinking they will receive beef shabu shabu, at the very least, for $19.99, and you’re going to tell them then and there that this price only includes non-beef items? They do you the honor of choosing your establishment for a meal and THIS is how you want to return the favor?



Pay the extra $10 and go to Shabu House just further down Geary. They may charge you more but when you go there, you’re sure to get beef, lamb, pork and NO CHICKEN (who does chicken for shabu shabu?)–and they do have their liquor license and the food WILL arrive, and it won’t be sliced thinner than paper.

Shame on you, Shabu Pub!

Grace Keh

Managing Editor

Grace Keh is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to San Francisco" and the critic, editor and photographer behind San Francisco Food. In her regular day job, she consults for corporate clients in marketing and event strategy. Once the sun sets, she's on the hunt for great food in what she considers to be one of the world's greatest cities, San Francisco.

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San Francisco Food® has been providing trusted restaurant reviews and recipes since 2009, led by food author Grace Keh & read by food lovers worldwide.


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