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February 22, 2005 12:25 AM

Broken: Restaurant website

Daniel writes: "Village 247 is a restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. But look around the site and you'll soon discover that nowhere in the entire web site is the restaurant's address, hours, or any sort of contact information other than a phone number at the bottom of the Catering page.

You'd think that an address and directions would be one thing a restaurant would need to put on their web site. It's even more important than the menu!"


This is just stupid. If you don't already know the restaurant, good luck learning about it. I'm also getting some really funky looking pages on the specials menu and others. I'll file this under my never ending list of poorly designed, poorly executed websites.

Posted by: Joshua Wood at February 22, 2005 09:05 AM

Yeah, you'd think this would be obvious. But having spent a lot of time trying to find address info ( on various bar and restaurant sites, I'm no longer even surprised by this.

You want to blame the site designers, but that's like blaming the sign companies that create comically-misspelled restaurant signs. Yeah, it's their job -- but it's your site. Give it a few seconds' thought.

Posted by: Paul Roub at February 22, 2005 09:10 AM

We should be careful of making assumptions about the user and their tasks. We do not know the purpose or context of this website.

Maybe it is not meant for external use. Maybe it's only used inside the restaurant (unlikely, but it's food for thinking outside the box).

(Regardless of what the purpose is though,

I do wonder what browser the owners were using to proof it. It's sure not IE6 - it looks like it's been attacked by a mad coupon-clipper with scissors and a glue stick.)

Posted by: DaveC426913 at February 22, 2005 09:26 AM


The site itself is broken too. It was made using Microsoft Word 10. Ewww! It doesn't play back in any standards compliant browser.

And several sections of text aren't text at all, but nasty unaliased images of text set in GIF images.


BTW, how does the poster know the reseraunt is in Brooklyn, NY if it doesn't say so on the site? I guess that they actually went there.

Posted by: Kenny F at February 22, 2005 09:30 AM

Heck, maybe all that's happened is that we've stumbled across their only method for printing menus. They write them up in a WYSIWYG web editor, and then print them off and bind them.

Context. It's not just a job, it's a way of life!

Posted by: DaveC426913 at February 22, 2005 09:30 AM

Word 10 eh? That makes me think even more that my hypotheses are plausible.

Posted by: DaveC426913 at February 22, 2005 09:31 AM

Actually, I've noticed this a lot - restaurants and small businesses forgetting to display their location. Or hide it deep inside their site.

Personally, I think every business must display a full address plus a map (or a link to MapQuest). It's common sense!

Posted by: quanta at February 22, 2005 10:27 AM

I might add that the restaurant itself is tacky. I live a few blocks away, and have tried the food - not good!

Not telling you how to get there - in this case - is a good thing.

Posted by: gordon at February 22, 2005 10:54 AM

Wow, that looks equally bad-- and unreadable-- in IE and Mozilla. That's a first.

Posted by: codeman38 at February 22, 2005 11:31 AM

Based on the fact that the site was put together using Microsoft Word, it's pretty clear that it was designed and built by the restaurant owner, or staff member, or a friend, or... anybody but a professional web designer.

Sometimes, it's better to pay money to somebody who knows what they are doing.

Based on what I can see of the content, and how it is put together, this appears to be a straight copying of menus and brochures that have already been produced. They've probably been produced using MS-Word which would explain why the site is done with MS-Word. Where the original content wasn't in a Word document, it appears they've scanned it and pasted it in as an image rather than re-keying it.

Most menus are for table use, and as such, don't need to include the address of the restaurant since you are already there sitting at a table. This might explain why there's no address anywhere on the web site.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at February 22, 2005 11:59 AM

If you think that site is bad, check out some gas station websites.

Posted by: GSW at February 22, 2005 04:22 PM

Oh, there's still so many small business sites like this. So many don't even have an email address to ask a quick question. It's a small business so I don't expect an instant answer... when they can get around to it is fine.

Posted by: Citizen Of Trantor at February 22, 2005 04:34 PM

If Carlos is right, the people who do the scanning must be as incompetent as the people who do the web design.

Posted by: fuzzy at February 22, 2005 06:52 PM

Why do people continue to center text?

Posted by: j straw at February 22, 2005 07:17 PM

Holy crap it's hard not to cry at the sight of all that bloated markup. Any responsible designer could at least allow that bland, ugly, buggy mess load a hell of a lot faster by simply cleaning all that Office crud and horrendously redundant markup out of there. Of course, a responsible designer also would never have allowed this to go public in such poor condition. If this is the public face they're willing to present, I shudder to think of what the kitchen must be like. Better to have no site than to have one that implicitely warns that their business model = cheapo slop, no apparent customer service, and general slovenliness.

Site very broken.

Posted by: Carina at February 23, 2005 01:09 AM

Maybe the owner is a genious, perhaps he let it slip out that the sight is horrible. Therefor people would go there to see how bad it is. There it is, free advertising. Some people believe that any publicity is good publicity. This, being the mindset, the sight is not only not broken, it is up and running smoothly.

Posted by: claude at February 23, 2005 06:21 PM

Isn't that a stupid NYC trend, not listing the address in advertising? I remember Kyle Baker calling it out in the graphic novel Something Something Why I Hate Saturn Something back in the day. So someone just extended that practice to the net. That's my theory, I hope you have enjoyed it.

I haven't enjoyed faking the email address to get this posted. But that's just me. I gotta be me.

Posted by: Jimmy Jimson at February 23, 2005 08:13 PM

The Catering Events page has a phone and fax number at the bottom.

Posted by: Tobin at February 24, 2005 12:52 PM

The same thing happened with this place called "De Dutch Pannekoek House." Google it and see!

Posted by: This Is Broken Writer at February 24, 2005 04:51 PM

Huh? I don't see anything wrong with "De Dutch Pannekoek House".

Posted by: fuzzy at February 24, 2005 05:41 PM

carina said

"Any responsible designer could at least allow that bland, ugly, buggy mess load a hell of a lot faster by simply cleaning all that Office crud and horrendously redundant markup out of there."

Actually, a responsible designer would look at the page and rewrite it in notepad. Once something like office, word, or NS composer mangles source, you're better off recoding it. (or, if possible, using a backup copy)

Posted by: Superfly at February 24, 2005 09:21 PM

Try this game:

1. Create/Open new Word document

2. Type in a single word like 'Hello'

3. Save as a .HTML file

4. Open the file with notepad or any plain text editor

5. Try to find the word 'Hello' in the file.


Posted by: Nyth at February 25, 2005 02:14 PM

What's odd is that, on my browser (IE 6.0), the catering page doesn't display the phone and fax numbers normally, but if I do a "Find" for "718" (the area code for Brooklyn), an extra line of text appears at the bottom of the page with the phone and fax numbers.

Doesn't anyone who works at this restaurant realize that their web site looks awful?

Posted by: Joshua at February 26, 2005 01:57 AM

This is another site that doesn't have an email addy for contact. I had some information on a virus that they listed several files for except for the ones I had on my computer. I had info on 3 more dll files for them and no way to contact them in order for the product to be improved. I do use the freeware version of the software and it does find more than McAfee and Nortons believe it or not, but I have to manual remove everything it finds. Yahoo's toolbar even found something M&N didn't.

Enigma's website: slightly broken

Posted by: Poindexter T Quakenfuss at March 10, 2005 12:19 PM

This is old, but I wanted to comment: I see this type of thing all the time with roller skating rink websites (I run a site devoted to roller skating). Sometimes they don't even have the city or state on their site! And rinks, like restaurants, rely on people visiting their location.

Of course, you have to remember that the primary website customers are people that are already familiar with the rink. But it's still funny - after all, someone new to the city or just visiting might type "City Name, State roller rink" into a search engine to look for rinks.

Posted by: RJ at March 19, 2005 09:12 PM

What a screwed up site. Everything is all over the place, some parts of things are cut off and overlapped. The text is horrilbly centered too.

In the part that says kid's menu there is a guy on the bottom of the page that is from Clip Art on MSW

Posted by: unknown at March 24, 2005 04:16 PM

wow, yeah posting the menu is good, but not if half of it is running vertically on the sides! that has got to be one of the worst executed websites I've ever seen

Posted by: Joyce at September 4, 2005 06:32 AM

I agree the website bites , but the info was very easy to find.

Village 247 247 Smith St., Brooklyn, New York 718-855-2848

Posted by: Jolidog56 at February 19, 2006 11:42 AM

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