Woman Says Pasadena Restaurant Refused Service To Her Homeless Guest
A Pasadena restaurant is facing backlash after a woman's post on Facebook claims the restaurant mistreated a homeless man she offered to buy breakfast. The restaurant, however, disagrees with her version of events. Attorney Florencia Albert said in a post on her Facebook page that she has been a long-time customer of Conrad's Restaurant in Pasadena for many years, but has no desire to return after what transpired over the weekend.
On Saturday morning, she said she and her son encountered a homeless man named Michael near the entrance of the restaurant who asked her if she'd buy him some French toast. She said yes, and invited him inside. She said she asked the hostess if the restaurant would send Michael's bill to her table when he was finished. Michael sat at the counter and Albert's party sat elsewhere. Soon, however, she said she saw Michael outside again. She followed him and asked why he was leaving, and he told her that the restaurant would only allow him to take the food to-go.
I invited him back in. I called for the owner who said, "We don't want him here." Uh, no. "Why not?" "Michael sits outside and panhandles, bothering our customers asking for food." "He's not bothering anyone," I replied, "and he's my guest." To make a much longer story short(er), they let Michael eat at the counter but "today is the last time." Then, the restaurant owner called the police and told me she would send them to talk to me. Really? Ok. In an admirable show of humanity, the police talked only to the restaurant owner. Not to Michael. Not to me. Michael ate his meal and left. I paid the bills. And left this note for the owner. Join me in refusing ever to eat at Conrad's again.
The post also contains an image of both receipts, Michael's showing a ham and eggs special and a coke, totalling $16.57. As Albert's post spread, so did the backlash against Conrad's. The restaurant now has a not-so-great 2.5-star rating on Yelp, with numerous one-star reviews reposting Albert's note and declaring shame on Conrad's.
However, the family that owns Conrad's has a different version of events. Their lawyer, Frank Gooch, told ABC 7 that they had no issues with Michael eating inside the restaurant. Rather, the police were called because Michael had been panhandling outside beforehand. "He was not refused service. He was given service, and there was no intention of ever having him thrown out. Although the police officer who came indicated that was an option that the family had," Gooch said.
Gooch also said that the family has previously given to charities and provided food to the homeless at the restaurant before. Gooch wants Albert to retract her post, CBS LA reports, but Albert refuses.