Monday, November 28, 2011

Shadyside Market District

Grade: B

My apologies for the extended absence. It seems I am doomed to post with great regularity for six months, only to go into hibernation for the next six. I will try to post at least once a week, or possibly more if my schedule allows me to visit multiple new restrooms in a week.

For those of you who were not aware, we have moved our headquarters back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While a great deal of the posts going forward will be for establishments located in Pittsburgh, we as always welcome guest restroom reviews from anywhere in the world. We are also interested in receiving reviews of women's rooms, if you are so inclined. Please leave a comment, visit our Facebook page, tweet at us, or e-mail if you are interested in writing for us.

But on to the Shadyside Market District men's room. This is a solid public restroom, with automatic flushing urinals and toilets and some nice decorative details (see: wall paint, fake potted plant, above-average floor and wall tiles). The hand dryer is a little weak, but I appreciate that both paper towels and a hand dryer are offered.

My one major qualm with this men's room is its proximity to the front end/registers. The restroom is so close, and is accessed through an open corridor - as opposed to a door - so the noise from the front end is quite loud. This really diminishes the feeling of privacy and solitude that a great restroom offers.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Getty Center, Tram Station

1200 Getty Center Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90049
Grade: B

The Getty Center's tram station men's room is nothing particularly special, but it does rise above the average public restroom thanks to its (I'm assuming faux-) marble floors and walls and its automatic faucets. Unfortunately there are no hand dryers, and the bathroom somehow feels a little dirty and soulless, lending to an oddly uncomfortable experience.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chevron, Santa Ynez

3595 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez, CA 93460
Grade: F

My sister came out of this restroom and told me that it was not the worst restroom she had ever seen in her life. After experiencing the facilities for myself, I would say that I agree; it is not the worst I have ever seen. It is probably in the top 20, though.

Where do I start with something like this? Absolutely everything is wrong with it. It's completely filthy, despite the (empty) "Operation Clean Restrooms" sheet on the door. There is only a cold water tap on the sink. Instead of a paper towel dispenser or hand dryer, the bathroom features one of those continuous-towel loops, which I find extremely unsanitary to begin with. This one also has the distinction of being broken: the towel has become detached at the top, and is constantly falling from its precarious position on top of the unit to lie on the disgusting concrete floor.

But hey, at least there are two soap dispensers.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Curtis Winery

5249 Foxen Canyon Road, Solvang, CA 93441
Grade: B+

In terms of decoration and convenience, this restroom is really pretty all right. The walls are a simple white but feature two framed pieces of art, the wastebasket is made of wicker and there is a cabinet beside the sink on which you can rest your wine glass or souvenirs. The toilet and sink are manually operated, but the paper towel dispenser and soap dispenser are both automatic. There is also a can of air freshener sitting on the back of toilet, which becomes particularly helpful when considering that this is a...

...unisex bathroom. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with a unisex restroom (provided that it locks, as this one does). I can understand the need for one if it is a smaller establishment that does not have room for two separate restrooms. But Curtis Winery has two separate restrooms, both of which are unisex. What is the point?  I could see this potentially yielding many red-faced, "do-not-go-in-there" type situations when a member of one sex exits the restroom to find a member of the opposite sex waiting to use it. The management presumably tried to rectify this situation with the aforementioned can of air freshener, but if you smell mad air freshener in the bathroom when you enter, that just means that whoever was in there before you did something just as nasty as if you smelled something... nasty. I lost my train of thought. Unisex bathrooms are awkward.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Coral Beach Cantina

Ste 310, 29350 Pacific Coast Hwy , Malibu, CA 90265-3970
Grade: A-

Coral Beach Cantina features a small yet comfortable and decorative men's room. There is little in the way of above-average convenience features, but it does include toilet seat covers and appears to be kept extremely clean. The pedestal sink and wood/metal mirror frame are nice.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sonoma Wine Garden

395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Grade: A+

Places to Do Business had the pleasure of traveling to Los Angeles last week, and my posts for the next week or so will cover the various men's rooms - and one unisex restroom - that I came across. In general I found many of the facilities to be quite nice, though it is true that we mostly only visited nice establishments (it being a vacation and all).

Sonoma Wine Garden in Santa Monica has a fantastically decorated men's room. In keeping with the restaurant's theme, the floor-to-ceiling wallpaper displays a wide variety of wine bottle labels. The sliding door includes a fun illustration with directions on how to lock it, just in case a rube such as myself finds themselves very confused by the non-traditional setup. The toilet automatically flushes, and the urinal is of the water-free design that I encountered almost everywhere in Los Angeles.

Perhaps my favorite part of this restroom, though, is the layout. While some might find the sink placement awkward (outside of the restrooms themselves and directly in between the men's and women's rooms, so that men and women share the two sinks), I find that this is a great way of keeping people honest when it comes to washing their hands. Everyone will know if you do not wash your hands, as you will simply exit the bathroom and walk right past the sinks. This is not just great for appearance's sake, but for helping to stop the spread of germs and bacteria in general.

Plus, the sinks - and the sink area in general - are beautiful.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Papa Gallo Mexican Restaurant

205 West Genesee Street, Fayetteville, NY 13066
Grade: A

First of all, my apologies for being away for so long. I was on vacation last week and am preparing for a big move in the next two weeks, so it's going to be hard to keep up with posting for a bit. I will certainly try, though.

Here's one I've had on deck since several weeks ago. Papa Gallo's men's room pulls off its Mexican-themed decor very well, especially with its wooden cabinet and backsplash. The sink basin and faucet are very nice, as are the wall tiles, mirror frame and light fixtures. There is nothing particularly special in terms of convenience - pretty much everything is manually operated - but it's a pleasant atmosphere nonetheless.

Also, the time-release air freshener is definitely working overtime. While I was taking a picture of the sink, it somehow managed to spray me directly in my eye.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wendy's, Erie, PA

5902 Wattsburg Road, Erie, PA 16509-4034
Grade: C-

No surprises here. This Wendy's off of Interstate 90 features a very standard men's room. The facilities are a little on the dirty side, the hand dryer offers very weak performance and the toilet paper dispenser is a bit of a reach from the toilet itself. Not much more to say, really.