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Regular Hours

Mon - Fri, lunch 11:30am - 4pm; dinner, 4 pm - 10pm; Sat, 11am - 11pm (brunch, lunch and dinner); Sun, 11am - 11pm (brunch and dinner only

Payment method
University South

Empire Tap Room

Bar & Grills, Family Style Restaurants, Restaurants


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Provided by Citysearch - 
Good patio bad food

Sitting on the patio is good but that is the only nice thing about that restaurant. I was there 6 years ago thinking the quality of the food changed, but not really! My soup was cold and the white wine was served at room temp. The mussels were tiny, needed a microscope. Certainly, I am not going there again! If you want to, then go on a full stomach and have a drink only.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Outdoor patio is not worth the horrible service

Service here is horrendous!!!! They did not have our reservation for our party of six (which granted, sometimes happens). We waited almost an hour to get served *drinks* on a not-so-crowded Thursday night even after we politely asked if our drinks were on their way. The mediocre food was served over 1 1/2 hours later then our server informed my friend that the entree he had ordered was not available. My friend tried to speak to the manager who shrugged his shoulders and said that his waitstaff was inexperienced. I used to love this place for the outdoor patio and have been coming here for years. The service is so dismal, I refuse to ever set foot in this place again until management changes.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Astoundingly Rude Service...and Mediocre/Bad Food! Why Bother for the Atmosphere?

The Empire has the ambiance of an old-fashioned East Coast bar and is located blocks from my parent's home, so I've dined there several times. The food has always been sub-par to bad but not inedible. My experience on Saturday made it my last visit and inspired me to warn others.

My party of 4 arrived right on time for our lunch reservation for the patio. We were shown a table outside near the fountain and seated next to a 20+ person party. After a few minutes, we realized the party was distracting and since the patio was half-full and I noticed the reservation book was pretty empty, we discreetly asked to move to a quieter table. Shockingly, the response from staff was, 'They have a right to talk. It's a restaurant. I don't see what the the problem is.' Wrong answer! So, we got up to leave without a fuss. As we were walking out, the woman helping us identified herself as the owner and unprompted said 'We have the right to refuse service to anyone.' Other staff members cheered her on. It was surreal!

Tip for the Empire: Keep your owner in the back of the house with no contact with customers.
Tip for any prospective diner: Skip this place and take your business to any other restaurant in Palo Alto. Bad Food + Inexcusably Atrocious Service



Provided by Citysearch - 
Rude people

I have never eaten at the restaurant but got a referral so I called to ask for details about having a private event their and the gal who plans the events (Josie) was very rude. Made it sound like she did not want my business. I was trying to plan a baby shower for a coworker and she told me "" they do not host those kinds of events"" I told her I was not trying to host a typical shower with games and she sighted and ask what date I was looking at and what time..... I started to tell her and she interrupted me to tell me that they get very busy so I finally told her that it sounded like she was interested in my business and she hung up....



Provided by Citysearch - 
Rise of the Empire

Ambience! The Empire Tap Room is set up wonderfully! The outside dining area is a cozy patio, while the inside has a long bar and large booths. Thus, you can dine in a romantic or relaxed atmosphere.

The service is excellent. Very friendly.

The food is the only negative at Empire. It is not bad, just rather pedestrian. The menu is fairly broad, but unspectacular. I had the herb chicken, which was a little dry but otherwise okay. The selection of wines and beers on tap is pretty ho-hum. Overall, it is an average to above-average destination.