By Maureen Post Special to Published Feb 18, 2010 at 8:26 AM

You can find valet parking, mainly on Friday and Saturday nights, at nearly every fine dining restaurant in town. Bacchus, Mo’s Steakhouse, Hinterland, Milwaukee Chophouse, Sanford -- they all offer it.

It’s always an option, never a requirement when dining out, and the cost is determined by the contracted valet company based on the part of town and parking availability.

But, in a city obsessed with affordability, what’s the perception of paying for valet parking?

Unlike Chicago, more often than not, parking fees, even in Downtown Milwaukee, are limited by how much you can plug into a meter. Unless you work Downtown and rent a parking space, we all get by relatively cheaply on parking.

Take Downtown during a sporting event at the Bradley Center or in the Third Ward during theater season: street parking is limited, forcing many into structures for $5 or $10 charges. So, at what price level should valet enter the picture?

When it comes to valet, what’s the appropriate charge? There are only one or two restaurants in the city that opt to pick up the customer’s tab, and while many think it’s the restaurants job to do so, it’s not financially possible for most. What would happen? Well, you’d see the price of your entrée jump a few dollars to cover it.

So, what should it cost to have your car parked on a busy Friday or Saturday night?

Maureen Post Special to staff writer Maureen Post grew up in Wauwatosa. A lover of international and urban culture, Maureen received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

After living on the east side of Madison for several years, Maureen returned to Milwaukee in 2006.

After a brief stint of travel, Maureen joined as the city’s oldest intern and has been hooked ever since. Combining her three key infatuations, Milwaukee’s great music, incredible food and inspiring art (and yes, in that order), Maureen’s job just about fits her perfectly.

Residing in Bay View, Maureen vehemently believes the city can become fresh and new with a simple move across town.