Five O'Clock Steakhouse struggles after phone system goes down

CREATED Feb 28, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - A popular restaurant says it's dealing with a big problem that's costing it thousands of dollars.  Workers at the 5 O'Clock club say they can't take reservations of process credit cards. Their problems with AT&T began five weeks ago, and after much frustration, managers decided to go public with the story. 

They've been in business since 1948.  

"A good night for us, we'll have 150 to 200 guests and so now we're keeping our fingers crossed," said Stelio Kalkounos, general manager.
 
Fingers are crossed because business has been challenged and they're blaming AT&T. It started in January. Kalkounos began to notice they weren't getting any internet reservations.
 
"Then the problem happened again and then the problem happened again, then another service call over the last five weeks. So, they've been out three or four times to work on the problem," said Kalkounos.
 
With the internet still down, this week Five O'Clock's phone service also went dead.  Kalkounos decided to reach out to his local alderman.
 
"I said, what's the problem? And he said, well we haven't had phone service in four days. I said, come on, you haven't had phone service in four days?," questioned Milwaukee's 4th District Alderman Robert Bauman.
 
For five weeks, the resolution's felt so out of reach for management at Five O'Clock Steakhouse and yet, it seemed so ironically close.  AT & T's got offices just a block away from the restaurant.
 
"A major switching station is a block and a half from where we're standing and I can guarantee you, their phones are working," said Alderman Bauman.
 
Ninety-five percent of their business is credit cards, and with no internet to process them, they've been forced to take the credit card info and wait to process them.  Because of the problems, the restaurant has had to lay off some workers for now.
 
AT&T apologizes. The company says the problem actually runs along State Street from 20th to 27th and it's weather-related. They hope to have the problem fixed next week.