Katy Ibsen


Rating: 4

Katy Ibsen Downtown Muffler & Brake Shop

I've not taken my car here for work, but I did find myself locked out of it in the nearby city parking lot. Although it was after 5 p.m., the guys offered me a phone to call a locksmith as well as water for me and my dog. Their kindness and assistance was greatly appreciated amid a frustrating situation. Based on that alone, I can only image they have excellent customer service and will take any muffler/brake problems I encounter, to them.

Rating: 3

Katy Ibsen Free State Brewing Co

I love Free State’s menu, beer and iconic status in Lawrence. As an Eighth Wonder of Kansas cuisine, they deserve so much of the accolades they’ve received. However it’s becoming increasingly hard to dine at the brewery with more than four people, which is so unfortunate. On a number of occasions now, I have been asked for a $15 deposit for a large reservation. I can completely understand this detail when I request a special room, I cannot understand being asked for a deposit after they have placed my party in the special room and noted another party will be dining in there with us. It feels as though any request beyond the norm has turned into a “nickel and dime” opportunity, or discouragement. I am torn to give them three stars, the food and beer are worth 10, the accommodations for larger groups, closer to one.

Emily Campbell replies...

I'd agree with this 110%, but even for just a few. I've felt uncomfortable with just three of us. We were put in a corner near a "kitchenette" at a two person table with a third chair pulled up. No room to breath let alone move with the other customers beside us and a water feature. We don't eat there anymore, and it is sad because of the good food and drink.

brewer636 replies...

nesbik, While I understand you feel this represents a “nickel and dime” opportunity, please rest assured that it’s not that way. We don’t charge a penny for the reservations in our meeting room. We do have a long-standing practice of requiring a reservation deposit, but it’s only a deposit, not a fee. The only time groups are impacted by this, is when they fail to arrive for their reservation, and fail to call to cancel. And, we’re such softies that even last minute cancellations don’t risk forfeiting their deposits. We work with large groups as walk-ins, call aheads or reservations everyday. If you ever want to discuss your concerns with this, just call or email and I’d be happy to talk with you.

brewer636 replies...

ylime, I’m sorry you felt uncomfortable with your seating arrangement. We work hard to seat our guests as promptly as possible, and sometimes during very busy periods we have a few tables where we can add another chair to help get folks seated sooner, rather than make them wait longer. However, if customers wish a different seating option, we’ll do our best to make that arrangement. Some people only want booths, and will wait for one, others want to be tucked back in a far corner. If you want a particular table, we’ll work to accommodate, just let us know. When you’re our guest, we want you to be happy.

Dave Greenbaum replies...

I totally agree regarding the room reservation. I don't think I've ever gone into Free State and NOT had to wait for a table. I can understand having the deposit if you want the whole room as those tables might be difficult to fill, but when you are being seated along with non-depositers it doesn't make much sense.

I also agree the food is great. Awesome. Rick Martin is an amazing chef and a Lawrence treasure. Service is generally excellent there.

My main concern is physical health and safety. Walking through a cancer cloud (the smokers in the front )is profoundly disrespectful and in clear violation of state laws. When a restaurant choices to ignore some health codes, it gives me pause for concern. I generally hold my breath when I walk in and if I have a cold or any health problems I avoid the place. Same holds true for any of our friends and family, especially those with compromised immune systems.. You'll see my family there much more if you correct this problem and respect the comfort of all your guests, not just the smokers.

Katy Ibsen replies...

brewer636 - Thank you for the reply.