John Dugan, TOC Nightlife editor:
On the face of it, bottle service is absurd: an outrageous charge ($300 and up) for a bottle of liquor served to your party at your table by a more-or-less dedicated drink server. And in the continued down economy, it has become less popular than it once was. Still, you’ll find it rampant at 8Fifty8, Bodi and Studio Paris—places where there are some justifications for it, including:
Space. Bottles are typically connected with table reservations.
Time. If you’ve reserved a table, your party will stroll in past the line, which could save you up to an hour.
Service. You won’t wait in line for a damn thing. And you might come home with a good story—a young lady from The Hills poured my drinks at 8Fifty8 one night.
Money. Do the math: $300-plus is not as expensive as it sounds if you consider that cover ($20 or more each) should be waived for everyone in your party, and you’ll get somewhere between a dozen and 20 mixed drinks out of a 750ml bottle.