New Eatery Worries GPS Is Leading Customers Astray

by ARLnow.com November 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm 4,527 27 Comments

A new restaurant in the far southeastern corner of Arlington is worried that its customers are having a hard time finding it due to outdated GPS data.

Melody Tavern is located at 3650 S. Glebe Road, near Potomac Yard — but mapping software and GPS systems often interpret the address incorrectly. For instance, Google Maps will steer users to a vacant lot several blocks away.

The restaurant recommends that customers use the address 3600 S. Glebe Road, instead, when using navigation systems. That address seems to work in most cases.

The 150+ seat, 6,700 square foot restaurant, which opened with a series of food tastings and soft openings earlier this month, is facing another challenge: it’s barely visible from the street.

“Much of its outdoor signage is difficult to see or obscured by trees,” a press release acknowledged. Still, owner Michel Daley says that the people who do finally find Melody Tavern are becoming loyal fans of the restaurant’s “creative American cuisine, warm and intimate atmosphere and ‘40s style jazz and blues music.”

“We think of ourselves as a ‘hidden jewel,'” Daley said. “We are definitely a destination place, but people do find us, and they are being drawn in by our good, reasonably-priced food. We offer plenty of free parking, and our application to offer live music is being processed.”

Daley hopes to be able to host live jazz and blues acts once his live entertainment application works its way through the Arlington County approval process.

  • Dogma Bakery

    Well, this caught my eye because we have the same problem. I’ve asked Google maps to correct it for over a year now and GPS providers still have us in the wrong spot as well. If anyone has any ideas on how to get it corrected – we are all ears!!!

    • Tabby

      Especially the basset hounds.

  • Voice of Reason

    Have these so-called “businesspeople” considered that perhaps Google Maps is right, and they are conducting their business in entirely the wrong location? I for one ate at that empty lot prior to the Melody Tavern opening and had a delightful time.

    • nicole

      just… thank you for this.

  • brendan

    sponsored post? joking, kinda. looks good.

    for map issues — pretty simple in terms of getting in touch w/ google and gps companies to fix errors. Google is sometimes slow to make the changes, tho for businesses they tend to be a lot faster than updating closed roads or no-through routes (which can take years). Feedback/error correction forms for all the companies are easily found online, tho some you might want to call and follow up with.

    good luck!

  • BC

    Yup – that must be the problem. I think the Artisphere said the same thing.

  • Hillz

    If I were the owners, I would be less worried about the GPS issue and more concerned with marketing to the local area. I live less than a mile from Melody Tavern and frequently shop at Harris Teeter – in the same building. I was not even aware that construction was complete and the Tavern was open. I believe this was the same fate as the previous restaurant – amazing food and great service but unless you live in the condos or immediate apartments, it was virtually unknown. I’d suggest getting the word out in the nearby neighborhoods and start to draw in the locals.

    • Andy

      I agree. I was just there over the weekend and while it was semi busy they need to market the area heavily. The place looks great, the food is great and it deserves a better outcome then the previous place.

    • Jake

      If I were the owners, I would be less worried about the GPS issue and more concerned with turning off potential customers by lying to them. Melody Tavern’s web site shows “Washington Post” followed by five stars, and “Zagat” followed by four stars, but neither the Post or Zagat have ever rated this place, let alone given all those starts. If Melody Tavern lies about ratings, then what else is it lying about–what’s in the burgers?

  • Beware of mayhem! Recalculating! CRASH!

    • Bluemontsince1961

      LOL! That’s a pretty funny commercial!

  • MC 703

    How are their HH specials? I live in Shirlington and am always looking for new local places to drink at.

    • Andy

      Beer and wine specials but mainly a great Happy Hour appetizers menu

  • Lyon Village Speedbump

    Google Sucks!

  • CW

    Seriously? No one has posted this yet?


  • shirley

    somewhere on the county website was a link and listing of all the google map errors in arlington. hope you can find it.

  • OX4

    According to Michael Landrum, all you need is a piece of notebook paper and a Sharpie. People will then flock to your restaurant.

    • brendan

      oh man, went to the new “steak n cheese” place for the first time last week. was pretty excited to try but what a let down. over priced, overcooked meat (burnt & sinewy) and generally overrated sandwich. will put up w/ the cash only and dark/dingy interior in exchange for a good sandwich but didn’t happen.

    • CW

      I thought it tasted pretty good, but I feel that there is less space in which to innovate with a steak and cheese than with a burger (basically two-dimensional meat with stuff melted into it) so it didn’t quite blow me away the way that first trip to Hell Burger (and subsequent trips) did. Though the line sure was shorter!!!

      • Ray’s the Disappointment

        Seventeen dollars for a sandwich and a beer. Won’t be going back there.

  • Schulz

    I also ate in that empty lot once…If I remember correctly it was a hamburger and a frosty….albeit without a spoon….a minor inconvenience of course….anyone been to Utah?

    • Tabby

      We love Frosty!

  • arlcyclist

    Pictures of food on the menu is never a good sign.

  • Arlingtron

    It’s too bad the place is in the back of the building. I suppose Arlington will not allow more than a postcard-sized sign on the main street. Work the social media. Offer Groupon-type specials with huge discounts. Happy Hour specials. Special events and business meetings.

    There’s a busy bike route just a few steps away. Unfortunately, it is down a dirt embankment. Improve access there and more foot and bike traffic will pass by. I would stop for refreshments if easier to get to.

  • Andy

    Melody Tavern is the concept Arlington has needed for a long time. Live jazz and blues with beautiful decor. The food and service were great and everything on the menu was very well priced. See for yourself

  • drax

    I laugh when I can get around easier with my $12 paper map than these people with $200 GPS units or phones who don’t even remember how to read one anyway.


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