Putting the Rock it in Rocket
It was probably the Gods punishing me for having both a burger and chilli cheese fries for dinner, but I was completely weirded out when I went to Johnny Rockets yesterday.
First, it’s a little strange that it’s now in Dupont (1718 Connecticut) nestled between that restaurant with the lobster deal and the Pleasure Place. Second, why can't I get a good non-chain burger in Dupont? I have to go to Chinatown to Matchbox or Five Guys, but yesterday, I was really in the mood for a cow sandwich so I caved and went to Johnny Rockets.
If you haven’t been to one, it’s your typical diner setting and standard diner food. And, as I was waiting at the counter for my to-go order and trying to have a conversation with Maime on the phone, they cranked the music. I said goodbye to her and watched puzzled as all the servers got this strange look on their faces, it was a mix of bravado and trepidation. Then, the large sweaty man, skinny girl and awkward white kid filed out to center of the place. The manager with a shit eating grin on this face cranked the music louder. And then, the servers walked to the middle of the crowded restaurant and began to dance.
While I was raised on oldies, I’ll be honest, I was so distracted by the guy who took my order flailing his hands in the air that I don’t remember what the song was. Many of the other customers looked as uncomfortable as I did. However several (with conspicuous fanny packs and I heart DC shirts) started clapping along as our servers sweated though several turns and jazz hand poses. I wanted to scream: Stop clapping you monsters, they’ll think we like it! But then people took out their cameras and started taking pictures of these poor minimum wage workers who not only have to sweat through shitty tips from tourists, but they also have to dance for their paycheck! On the half hour, apparently, according to the Johnny Rockets Web site. It was too much for me to handle. I doubt I can ever return.
Guess you gotta have a gimmick. Feel free to download some of their itunes or check out this map of music facts.