Having worked for more than two months as a server, I feel the need to share some thoughts on what a server feels and thinks (or at least MY thoughts and feelings) in almost every customer interaction.
Dear customer, if you see that the lights are still dim and the stanchions are still by the entry way, please assume that we're still closed. Check the signs by the door re our opening time. Asking the staff if they're already open annoys the hell out of us (ehem, me). Common sense, context clues, please. If we're already open, all lights should have been turned on and there will be nothing by the entrance to keep you from going in.