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Gallager's Steak House


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Is there no point where the customer has the right to give within the same proportion as they get? Do we just take the insults and abuse, put our tail between out legs and slink out the door? Do we check our pride and dignity at the door of a restaurant?

Absolutely not.

But I am of the belief that pride and dignity come not only from defending yourself, but also from knowing when backing out of a no-win situation makes you the bigger person. In this case, leaving was the dignified thing to do.

IMHO, of course.

You're right Megan, but just leaving last night left a hollow feeling that they got away with a lot more than they should have. I'm sure after I left they all had a good laugh and business went on as usual - the incident never to be thought of again. I guess that's what really bothers me.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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You're right Megan, but just leaving last night left a hollow feeling that they got away with a lot more than they should have. I'm sure after I left they all had a good laugh and business went on as usual - the incident never to be thought of again. I guess that's what really bothers me.

Ah, but you have the power of the pen - this incident may have larger repercussions. If the powers that be at Gallaghers were to read this thread, there very well may be hell to pay among the staff, presuming that what the maitre d' did wasn't behavior sanctioned by the upper management.

Perhaps venting here is a more effective means of dealing with your anger than what occurred face-to-face.

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I disagree the boucer had the right to touch me. I never touched the MD nor was I threatening to touch him, so he had no right to do so. Legally, that's assault.

Fair enough ... agree to disagree ... I've just finished my second year of law school, though, and I can tell you that what you describe would never fly as an assault in New York state. Even 3rd degree misdemeanor assault requires physical injury. Further, business owners have broad protection from both criminal prosecution and civil tort actions when they're acting in the interests of their business and property. It's why Macy's has a jail on their premises and if they suspect you of stealing they can physically detain you. And if it turns out they were wrong and you weren't stealing, you don't really have a criminal or civil remedy, even if they put handcuffs on you and locked you up in a cell. [For the record, I'm not a lawyer, and this isn't legal advice ...]

that's not quite true.

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Rich,

This easily could have turned into a major scene with someone ending up in the hospital or dead. Not worth it. (though I did enjoy your wife egging you on)

I'm sorry it had to be at your expense but I would just like to thank you for creating a very entertaining thread. A nice break from the Per Se's, Gilt's and WD's.

Who's got the popcorn?

:biggrin:

That wasn't chicken

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Rich,

This easily could have turned into a major scene with someone ending up in the hospital or dead.  Not worth it.  (though I did enjoy your wife egging you on) 

I'm sorry it had to be at your expense but I would just like to thank you for creating a very entertaining thread.  A nice break from the Per Se's, Gilt's and WD's.

Who's got the popcorn?

:biggrin:

I guess you're right. The people in the restaurant must have enjoyed the show. I know I've witnessed similar incidents over the years in different venues - and always found it an interesting watch.

Yes, my wife, who is a mild-mannered Irish-Catholic pediatrician (and self-proclaimed pacifist) in real life, was actually more upset then me at first. I was calming her down. She picked up on the MD's intent to be duked right away. With his accent, it sounded like they came from the same part of Ireland.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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I think the valid points and counterpoints have all been made but it's still a mind boggling story.

And the lesson I've learned is this:

Next time I enter a half-empty restaruant and the MD says

"Let me see if I can find you a table"

I'll reply

"While you're doing that I'm going to go look for another half empty restaurant that values my business enough to seat me promptly without your B.S."

And then I'll leave.

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I think the valid points and counterpoints have all been made but it's still a mind boggling story. 

And the lesson I've learned is this:

Next time I enter a half-empty restaruant and the MD says

"Let me see if I can find you a table" 

I'll reply

"While you're doing that I'm going to go look for another half empty restaurant that values my business enough to seat me promptly without your B.S."

And then I'll leave.

Yes, but make sure you didn't check anything in the coat room because leaving may not be as easy as you think.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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The bouncer acted appropriately. He did his job (I'm not defending the MD at all).

When he sees a customer in a heated argument with a staff member with a raised hand (which you admit to having had...and for the record, that could be seen as physically threatening..in fact, I'm sure the bouncer saw it that way) its his job to get you out the door...by physically intimidating you if necessary. He probably thought you were drunk until he actually talked to you.

Although I am a lawyer, I do not practice criminal law and the following does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion:

I find it highly unlikely that it would have been assault for him to grab a hand that you had raised in front of an employee.

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The bouncer acted appropriately.  He did his job (I'm not defending the MD at all).

When he sees a customer in a heated argument with a staff member with a raised hand (which you admit to having had...and for the record, that could be seen as physically threatening..in fact, I'm sure the bouncer saw it that way) its his job to get you out the door...by physically intimidating you if necessary.  He probably thought you were drunk until he actually talked to you.

Although I am a lawyer, I do not practice criminal law and the following does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion:

I find it highly unlikely that it would have been assault for him to grab a hand that you had raised in front of an employee.

I could buy that argument if he asked me to leave. But just grabbing my hand and attempting to hold it down by my side without saying anything and then just staring does not define appropriate behavior - at least in my opinion. And as I stated, he never asked me to leave - at any point.

Ironically, you mention he may have thought I was drunk. That was my thought about him both then and now. He really had a very strange affect.

I'm certain he would say I was threatening the MD, but remember the description. I had my finger pointing at him (the MD) and in the other hand I was carrying my garment bag and vanity bag, so it was hardly a threatening position. I didn't drop the garment bag until the bouncer refused to let go of my hand. As soon as I did, he relinquished his grasp.

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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Crazy story.  I'm not really surprised though.  I've seen this "we're doing you a favor by allowing you eat here" tough guy attitude in a few steak houses.  Is it just me?  The fact that a steak house even has a bouncer (if that's what he was) is strange.

I found that strange too. But I'm sure that's what he was - looked the part - very heavy (trying to look tough), shaved head, dumb looking and a very bad suit.

That could have been me before I found a decent tailor.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Crazy story.  I'm not really surprised though.  I've seen this "we're doing you a favor by allowing you eat here" tough guy attitude in a few steak houses.   Is it just me?  The fact that a steak house even has a bouncer (if that's what he was) is strange.

I found that strange too. But I'm sure that's what he was - looked the part - very heavy (trying to look tough), shaved head, dumb looking and a very bad suit.

That could have been me before I found a decent tailor.

So where were you Tuesday evening about 9:45? :laugh:

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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Every time a customer has waved a finger in my face (it happened a lot when I was hosting), I wanted to break it off. Not that the guy was in the right all, but finger waving, screaming, and being generally hostile do nothing to get you what you want.

Please note, I am not defending the MD's behavior. However, I do agree that the bouncer was in the right (but why does a restaurant need a bouncer??) and that the situation could have been handled better. In your defense I really hope the MD gets fired. That was uncalled for. It was a bad situation all around.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Every time a customer has waved a finger in my face (it happened a lot when I was hosting), I wanted to break it off. Not that the guy was in the right all, but finger waving, screaming, and being generally hostile do nothing to get you what you want.

Yes, Amy very true and that's why I mentioned earlier that my first thought was I overeacted. But looking back, he deserved getting a finger in his face in my opinion. (Sometimes things not normally justifed are.)

Don't forget, at that point I didn't want anything, I was leaving and he just hurled a final, personal insult. I had already turned four cheeks. And while I dislike what I did (waving my finger), I honestly believe my actions were justified. Sometimes, and at some point, everyone has to do unpleasant things.

I know you don't know me, but my friends will tell you I'm probably the calmest individual in the world, but everyone has a point where you say enough is enough. This was one of those rare occasions where some sought of physical response was not only appropriate but mandatory.

My friend and wife were both schocked - they coudn't believe it was me taking that type of action.

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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It must be very hard to maintain your self-control when some restaurant has held your luggage hostage toward a bribe to the maitre d' for a table.

Hey, I would have given up my luggage if it would have avoided all this. :smile:

Looking back, I still find the whole episode sureal - something that should have been a Law & Order episode with Jerry Orbach providing the wisecrack.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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Every time a customer has waved a finger in my face (it happened a lot when I was hosting), I wanted to break it off. Not that the guy was in the right all, but finger waving, screaming, and being generally hostile do nothing to get you what you want.

Yes, Amy very true and that's why I mentioned earlier that my first thought was I overeacted. But looking back, he deserved getting a finger in his face in my opinion. (Sometimes things not normally justifed are.)

Don't forget, at that point I didn't want anything, I was leaving and he just hurled a final, personal insult. I had already turned four cheeks. And while I dislike what I did (waving my finger), I honestly believe my actions were justified. Sometimes, and at some point, everyone has to do unpleasant things.

I know you don't know me, but my friends will tell you I'm probably the calmest individual in the world, but everyone has a point where you say enough is enough. This was one of those rare occasions where some sought of physical response was not only appropriate but mandatory.

My friend and wife were both schocked - they coudn't believe it was me taking that type of action.

I totally see where you are coming from, and I don't want you to think that I was judging you. I reread my post and can see how you came to that conclusion, and I apologize.

I have also been really pissed off in restaurants before, and I've been the recipient of pissed-offedness as a restaurant worker, and I see both sides. (Although I NEVER would DREAM of trying to coerce a bribe! My GOD!)

All in all, like I said before, it was a bad situation all around. That MD should be fired, and the restuarant should take serious flack for allowing that kind of behavior. And, you've inspired me to never, ever give Gallaghers any money on my future trips to New York. Thank you.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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I totally see where you are coming from, and I don't want you to think that I was judging you. I reread my post and can see how you came to that conclusion, and I apologize.

Oh, no apology needed. I know it's difficult for anyone to understand how a situation develops unless they were there. And I understand and accept your points as valid. Hey, I was there and questioned my own actions afterward.

It's something I never experienced and hopefully never will again.

I really believe (the longer I think about it) I was treated in that manner because the the MD saw the luggage and thought I was a tourist - what a shame if true.

And yes, what is Gallagher's doing with a bouncer anyway? :hmmm:

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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I really believe (the longer I think about it) I was treated in that manner because the the MD saw the luggage and thought I was a tourist - what a shame if true.

That the MD would treat any customer in this manner is unconscionable.

We can only speculate as to what his motives were. Regardless of why he did what he did, he did it - and Gallaghers has to live with the consequences of his actions.

I would blackball this place to anyone who asked.

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Anyone notice a NYC bouncer was arrested yesterday and charged with assault? Hmmmm.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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Well, since Jersey Boys just about swept the board last evening, I guess all the trouble at Gallagher's was worth while.

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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However, I do agree that the bouncer was in the right (but why does a restaurant need a bouncer??)

I have never been to Gallagher's, so am just speculating, but most of the upscale steak houses I am familiar with do serve alcohol and in fact, have a bar. Anywhere that has the possibility of folks getting drunk is undoubtedly wise to employ a bouncer.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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