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VC10er
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United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:18 pm

Yesterday I got my usual daily United promotional email, but this one was a real surprise. The title was "Shh...it's Classified". It was a special invitation to a new (apparently hidden) upscale restaurant called "CLASSIFIED".

I have to assume that this is either an experiment, or created due to the fact that United is still far from opening a Polaris lounge, BUT the food is not free, far from apparently. It looks very pretty in the pictures, the menu has Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and touts upscale American fare created by Michelin Star chefs. It has windows that look out onto the parked aircraft (cool), it has the iPad ordering system. The style of the decor is along the lines of classic white cloth meets ultra modern restaurant, and just a bit "Polaris" looking. "Classified" was created in a partnership with 'OTG" and United, and while UA wont run it, it apparently is only for United fliers (wonder if LH and other Star Alliance uber-premium fliers with be invited?).

I read that only a select group got invites have gone out, and I guess I was one of the lucky ones to part with my money! Apparently, anyone can go on the site and put in your MP number and "potentially" get an invite...but they don't reveal the criteria as to what gets you in: GS? 1k? Polaris/First class ticket? I also read "don't try and call and ask either, because nobody knows", something like GS used to be, it's selection criteria is secretive, I also read that it is quite small. I wonder if it will stay there after the Polaris lounge does open?

I am off to Miami on a 1pm flight on Thursday and in paid First (perhaps the reason why I may have been selected) and I took them up on the invite and I will arrive there for a late breakfast and I shall report back. I simply couldn't resist the invite...I was too curious about the somewhat hidden and tucked away part of TC that "you didn't realize was there."

The little bit I could find online about it were critical comments (of course). That it was "just another marketing ploy to try and polish the turd that United is", and that "regular fliers will only feel even less valued", and many conflicting POVs about the iPad ordering system, etc. That said it seems (to me) like a very United thing to do (at least legacy UA), they have always made a big fuss over their most loyal premium fliers (E.G; GS) at the risk of devaluing others who buy less expensive tickets, and fly UA less often. I will reserve judgement until I go and experience it myself.

Does anyone know more about their strategy for this new invitation only restaurant? Will "CLASSIFIED" be opened at other hubs?
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
DBKissORD
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Re: United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:47 pm

They have a website you can check and see if you are "On the List". I can tell you 10 years of Gold for me nowhere.
 
ChrisKen
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Re: United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:28 pm

Best I can work out is it's just a backroom of another restaurant. By select few, you're one of the thousands heading through Newark in the near future.

Smoke & Mirrors marketing to get people through the doors.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:32 pm

Looks overpriced and underwhelming.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
Zachbt
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Re: United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:42 pm

The menu is on the website in the below link:

https://thepointsguy.com/2017/08/united ... -at-newark

Looks really "affordable"
 
Yflyer
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Re: United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:51 pm

VC10er wrote:
Yesterday I got my usual daily United promotional email, but this one was a real surprise. The title was "Shh...it's Classified". It was a special invitation to a new (apparently hidden) upscale restaurant called "CLASSIFIED".


Wait... so you mean you're receiving classified emails on an unsecure server? ;)

Zachbt wrote:
Looks really "affordable"


I imagine the sort of flyers United is sending these invitations to can afford it (Especially, as that article points out, if their employer is paying for it).
 
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ua900
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Re: United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:54 am

Some restaurants in SF cost more. Will go nicely with the Mercedes GLS and the Global Services counter, even though there's no Global First lounge or even Polaris lounge at EWR. Nice way to promote consistency and alienate us lowly 1Ks UA ;-)

They should focus on solving the overcrowding at C, plus their membership fees aren't worth it. Maybe it's just my fellow 1Ks who overcrowd it due to lack of options, e.g. Amex Centurion or any other *A lounge without extra hassle / security / questions. The minute Amex Centurion comes to EWR all the UA clubs are done, including this little place. We even get a $28 dining credit in many places now where there is no good lounge but decent restaurants, a trend that will only accelerate and contribute further to the demise of the UA club revenue stream.
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VC10er
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Re: United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:20 pm

I am a lowly 1k. I was GS for many years, and the difference is seriously felt when downgraded. But, I also don't fly 250,000 paid business class miles a year anymore, and when I was spending $75k on UA a year, being GS felt as if they appreciated your business. I don't think GS is bad idea in that regard, but it sucks when you lose it! I think I got this "special invite" because I am flying this week on a paid F ticket (domestic) and 1k. (I am also almost 3 million miles, but officially 2 million miler). But, again who knows?

The serious issues that TC faces (IMHO) for premium fliers, especially international and p.s., is that the old CO clubs still look the same as they did when they opened. They are over crowded and dated and over lit at night. As I said above, I will go to this "Classified" restaurant this week out of curiosity - and then make a judgement.

The single best thing at TC are the new security lines with the new conveyer belt system....and yes, if your GS, then the special check-in is great.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
VC10er
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Re: United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:24 pm

VC10er wrote:
I am a lowly 1k. I was GS for many years, and the difference is seriously felt when downgraded. But, I also don't fly 250,000 paid business class miles a year anymore, and when I was spending $75k on UA a year, being GS felt as if they appreciated your business. I don't think GS is bad idea in that regard, but it sucks when you lose it! I think I got this "special invite" because I am flying this week on a paid F ticket (domestic) and 1k. (I am also almost 3 million miles, but officially 2 million miler). But, again who knows?

The serious issues that TC faces (IMHO) for premium fliers, especially international and p.s., is that the old CO clubs still look the same as they did when they opened. They are over crowded and dated and over lit at night. Why they chose not to invest sooner in a true Polaris lounge and upgrade the other United Club - just stuns me given the importance EWR is to them, what UA is trying to do there and the fact there are so many Star Alliance carriers there. You will get the Polaris seat and product in full "if" you happen to be going to Tel Aviv, but other than that, it's all O-L-D.

As I said above, I will go to this "Classified" restaurant this week out of curiosity - and then make a judgement.

On the bright side: The single best thing (IMHO) at TC are the new security lines with the new conveyer belt system....and yes, if your GS, then the special check-in is great.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
VC10er
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Re: United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:30 pm

Hello,

So, I am here at CLASSIFIED as I type this. I just finished my meal. I decided to reserve judgement about this new "invite only" restaurant until after I experienced it first hand.

It's actually quite well done and it is very "exclusive" and "hidden". Once you confirm your reservation you get an email with directions. You go to Saison restaurant where a maitre 'd in a grey suit is standing. I told her I had a reservation at Classified and she checked my name on an iPad- she confirmed and welcomed me, and walked me through the restaurant to the back, down a corridor to an plain unmarked door. Upon opening the door another corridor is revealed which is dark and decorated with contemporary lighting, it turns onto the main restaurant which would hold about 50-60 people. IMHO: it's quite classy and quite beautiful with amazing windows facing United aircraft parked at the gates. The staff trips over themselves to provide the white glove treatment.

While you do indeed order off an iPad there is more than one person who takes care of you so there is very attentive human service. You can pay using a credit card or MP miles. No, it's not cheap. It's not prohibitively expensive but a bagel is $7.50!

I asked "is this restaurant truly for United passengers only?" and the hostess said "yes, for VIPs only" - I asked as there is zero United branding anywhere other than on the iPad screen. "The invitations are extended from UA exclusively", she said, but the criteria is secret as to who will granted a reservation. Is it a tad snobby? Yes, it here to make you feel superior due to your status. (IMO)

Richard Quest of CNN was here. This makes the 3rd time I've seen him at a United club or on board. If you don't know Richard Quest, he is a reporter/anchor of a few things on CNN, he has his own segment focused on business and financial markets and he also covers ALL CNN aviation news. Often he's done specials, like the launch of the 787 or an airline's new First Class or other aviation milestones. I think it's rather interesting, he could probably fly ANY AIRLINE HE WANTS as he is CNN's aviation guru, but he's clearly a United lover.

Ok, I admit it, it's a job well done. The food was amazing and equally as good as a Manhattan brunch at some trendy place downtown and while my large breakfast was $65, this beats any other spot at EWR so far, but I'm unsure I'd get to the airport more than an hour before necessary to dine here.

Are United risking making other fliers feel devalued? I don't know to be honest. "Classified" is far from free (in either dollars or miles) and nobody has to walk through it on the way to economy class. But, sure, when I went to Studio 54 and wasn't chosen on a particular night, I was bummed. Question will be once Polaris opens and serves food, will this place be needed?
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
GolfBravoRomeo
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Re: United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:12 pm

A $65 breakfast? And they don't put bourbon in it or nothing?

Would you go back? How long is the invite good for?
 
VC10er
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Re: United launches "Classified" an invite-only restaurant at EWR

Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:30 pm

I could have had bourbon I guess! If I asked they'd have poured bourbon on my Special K. The service is exceptional.

I would absolutely go back and plan to use it vs the club- especially as it's under construction. But I'd have to EAT to do that. It's a restaurant, not a lounge. But the food is very good (at least my one meal was very good)

You can't get a reservation unless it's approved by United. You can try and make one online and it will come back as "yes" if your status cuts it. They don't reveal what status is required- you'll simply get a "what time would you like" or "sorry, no can do"

I would bet if you're 1K or GS you're in. If you have a paid F or Polaris ticket that day, maybe.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.

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