Restaurants are a wide-ranging location with hole-in-the-wall greasy spoons, fast food joints, and even fine luxury dining halls falling under their classification.
Restaurants differ in three things: size, quality of food and service, and cleanliness. There are some tiny unsanitary cafes that have the best food you will ever find. Similarly, a high-priced, immaculate restaurant might have incredibly poor service or mediocre food.
Restaurants are great places to test players and their characters. Have them be served by an incredibly rude waiter or a maitre’d who demands they wear semi-formal attire (dresses or a coat and tie) while dining. There’s also nothing quite like the shock on players’ faces when their characters wander into a restaurant’s kitchen and see how vile it really is – no matter how good their food was.
A restaurant exists as a great place to plant hidden foes of the characters. Is that annoying waiter just trying to get a big tip, or is he really refilling the water glasses a little too much just to keep tabs on the conversation the characters are having? Could the real chef be tied up in the freezer in the back while his “replacement” is secretly plotting to poison the characters? And maybe that waitress with the plunging neckline is just a little too friendly for the characters’ own good.
Restaurants are great meeting places as they are in public and tend to have such a din in the background that all but the most boisterous conversations go unnoticed even by people sitting nearby. This may require Perception or search checks if the characters are trying to spy on someone, but it also gives them cover for clandestine conversations.
Don’t Miss …
Jimmy opened his restaurant with a little help from his Uncle Vinnie. Taking a clue from other popular restaurants of the time, he decorated it with chachkis of the neighborhood he grew up in and the city itself It’s by no means a large location, but it’s big enough for Jimmy. He contents himself with a fairly regular flow of customers, which keeps him busy.
Booths line the walls of Jimmy’s Place. Jimmy hadn’t wanted booths, but it was one of several “recommendations” Uncle Vinnie required him to undertake if he wanted the start up money. With some tips from an old girlfriend, he found suitably nostalgic decorations to match the red leather booths, and now he’s grown to like the look.
Four booths each occupy the right and left walls, with a single large booth against the back wall. This booth is almost always reserved for Uncle Vinnie and his friends, who eat there most nights. The center of the restaurant has a mix of square tables just large enough for four to sit at and small enough to be easily combined to make a seating arrangement for a larger group.
Lit candles stand on all the tables, and the lights are turned down low. Jimmy likes the ambience, and he was happy that his uncle had recommended setting up the restaurant chis way. It offers enough light to keep the restaurant from being hazardous co the wait staff, but it allows chose seated in booths a measure of privacy. This has attracted a number of couples, young and old, to Jimmy’s Place, and they are often the bigger tippers.
The service counter sics just inside the front door facing into the restaurant. Jimmy likes to watch his wait staff as they help the clientele. The windows are mirrored, with Jimmy’s Place emblazoned on them (a “restaurant warming” gift from Uncle Vinnie), so no one can see he has his back to the street that often. Jimmy wouldn’t admit it, but he secretly enjoys watching people go by when the restaurant isn’t open. He finds it especially amusing when they stop and fix themselves up in the window like it was a mirror.
To the left of the booth against the back wall are the restrooms. To its right are the swinging doors into the kitchen. Not an overly large kitchen by any means, it has two grills, a counter in the middle to prepare food on, a walk-in freezer, a large sink, and a dishwasher. The back door of the restaurant opens onto an alley with a light just above the door and the dumpster immediately co the door’s right.
Things to See
+ Ceramic plates
+ Metal forks, spoons, and knives
+ Glass drinking ware
+ Cloth napkins and tablecloths
+ Votive candles in colored glass holders
+ Paper menus with the restaurants name and logo on the front and two to six pages of food and drink selections inside; some menus are kept in plastic sleeves and sometimes dessert and alcoholic beverage menus are offered separately
+ Large plastic serving trays
+ Wooden cables and matching wooden chairs with cloth seats
+ Cooking utensils in the kitchen (pots, pans, knives, ladles, platters, and so on)
+ Cash register
+ Metal goodie dispenser with mints in its glass jar and proceeds going co a local charity
+ Padded bench in the waiting area
+ For additional ideas, see the “Bar/Nightclub” entry
People to Meet
Wait staff at a restaurant have 2D in every attribute with up to +2D in melee combat to reflect their ability to deftly handle large trays of food. Cooks of course have a pip or two in scholar: cooking, artist: cooking, and know-how: cooking – some more than others. A host, hostess, or maitre d’ has a pip or two in charm or persuasion and possibly some in business.
Wait Staff: Reflexes 2D, sneak 2D+1, Coordination 2D, sleight of hand 2D+2, Physique 2D, lifting 2D+2, Knowledge 2D, business 2D+1, medicine 2D+1, scholar: restaurant 2D+2, Perception 2D, know-how: waiting 20+1, Presence 2D, charm 2D+2. Move: 10. Strength Damage: 1D. Body Points: 8. Wound levels: 2.
Things to Do
+ Jimmy’s Uncle Vinnie isn’t as altruistic as the nephew may think. Vinnie is better known as Vinnie Two-Toes (he used to be Vinnie Three-Toes before that unfortunate accident). He’s a capo in the local mafia. He helped Jimmy set up the restaurant to serve as his de facto headquarters. Vinnie has nothing to do with the running of the business; it’s strictly on the up and up, and he likes it that way. He can come to Jimmy’s Place and meet with his people in the booth in the back and not worry about the Feds busting in on the joint. The candle holders in the restaurant actually serve as jammers for any eavesdropping devices that might be brought into the restaurant. Furthermore, the booth in the back is far enough away from any other to keep its conversations private.
The characters are eating at Jimmy’s Place when three masked men in suits walk in with shotguns and proceed to tell everyone to get down: “This is a robbery.” Uncle Vinnie and his friends are outraged by the audacity of such an action and begin shooting at the men from their booth. The gunmen flip over a few tables, and pretty soon, the characters are caught in the crossfire of a mob war.
Mobster: Reflexes 2D, brawling 2D+2, dodge 3D Coordination 2D, marksmanship 3D, Physique 2D, lifting 3D Knowledge 2D, business 2D+2, scholar: mob family regulations 30, security 2D+2, Perception 20, streetwise 20+2, Presence 20, intimidation 3D, persuasion 2D+2, willpower 2D+2. Move: 10. Strength Damage: 2D. Body Points: 11. Wound levels: 2.