• Report: #1057531

Complaint Review: Annabel's Restaurant

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  • Submitted: Sat, June 08, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, August 02, 2014

  • Reported By: Tom — Cincinnati Ohio
Annabel's Restaurant
1004 Delta Ave Cincinnati, Ohio USA

Annabel's Restaurant and Annabel Stolley Discrimination Cincinnati Ohio

*General Comment: Sad Circumstance part II

*Consumer Comment: Annabel's Was Appalling and Should Apologize to Family

*Consumer Comment: For Anonymous

*Consumer Comment: A Disinvitation Is Wrong If Policy Is Waived

*General Comment: For Trent W

*General Comment: Sad Circumstance

*Consumer Comment: Really?

*Consumer Comment: comment

*General Comment: A few items...

*General Comment: Insensitive owner

*Author of original report: Dear Ms. Stolley:

*General Comment: If your statement is correct

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The following outrageous incident occurred today at Annabel's, at about 10:30 a.m.  We were three adults (my sister, her husband and me) and their two children (an 11-year-old and 8-year-old).  Today was our last opportunity to be together following the funeral yesterday for my dad (he died two days ago; we all flew in from various parts of the country).  We asked if we three adults could be seated at the available, set table for four (a "four-top") and if the girls could sit at the two-top next to it.  We said that our other brother would be joining us and that he would be the fourth at our four-top.  We also said it was not necessary at all to try to time all of our orders to arrive at the same time.  Our ability to be together was paramount after an extremely trying day yesterday.  The waitress seemed relieved to know that we were fine about the food not being served to us all at once, but she told us that it is Annabel's policy not to accommodate parties of six.  My brother-in-law politely explained the extraordinary circumstances of all of us coming in from out of town for our dad's funeral and that this was our  last get-together before their flight in a couple of hours. The waitress indicated she understood and kindly seated us.  It was an entirely friendly interaction.  We three then sat at the table for four, and the two girls sat at the table for two.  We had been sitting and chatting for about five minutes when Annabel walked up to us three and, in an entirely friendly and quiet way, told us that she could not serve us because if she did, then other people would expect to be able to come in in groups of six and be served.  She said she just could not accommodate us.  My sister, next to me, became tearful and quietly asked if she could please make an exception as we were all together for the last time in Cincinnati.  Annabel refused and, quietly but firmly, insisted that we all get up and leave.

 I have thought a lot about the above incident, which occurred today.  I am sure nothing like this will ever happen again in my life (or my family's lives), as it is so bizarre.  As I reflect on it, the actions of this restaurant owner strike me as crossing a line into unlawfulness.  The restaurant's agent, whom we had every reason to believe was authorized to accept patrons, invited us to be seated.  We accepted, and sat down.  We in fact were not "a party of six."  We were a party of three, soon to be four, sitting at the restaurant's four-top and a party of two, sitting at the restaurant's separate two-top.  We did not move, or even ask to move, the two separate tables together.  Moreover, a valid legal issue is whether the two individuals sitting at the two-top were even a "party of two" given that they were children (my 11- and 8-year-old nieces).  As a matter of law, those two girls were charges of the adults, who constituted a party of three (soon to be four).

 The actions of the owner, Annabel, later approaching our table -- after we had been seated for several minutes pursuant to her employee/agent's invitation -- and informing us that we all had to leave was (a) a breach of contract, (b) unlawful discrimination based on familial status or indefensible prejudice, (c) an infliction of emotional distress, intentionally and maliciously.  No legitimate reason existed for this owner's unconscionable actions.  People were not waiting for tables.  The restaurant had at least one other free table in addition to the two-top and four-top where we had been invited to sit down.  It was late morning on a weekday.

 Accordingly, as an attorney, I reserve all rights in relation to the restaurant from which we were evicted today for clearly unlawful discriminatory reasons.

 This is an absolutely amazing story of heartlessness and stupidity and hubris on the part of a restaurant owner.  Where is this woman's humanity?


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/08/2013 12:26 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Annabels-Restaurant/Cincinnati-Ohio-45202/Annabels-Restaurant-and-Annabel-Stolley-Discrimination-Cincinnati-Ohio-1057531. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

Sad Circumstance part II

AUTHOR: Trent W - ()

Looks like you're all still at it. Wonderful. Testy lawyers versus heartless business owners. I'm still coming down on the family's side. "What would happen" if you allowed one family to break your arbitrary and pointless rule? I'm sure the floodgates would open and parties of six would rain down on your sh*thole restaurant like fire and brimstone. Discrimination, shopkeep rules, breach of contract? Who gives a rat's a**. Heartless move. You kicked a grieving family out of your restaurant in the name of a rule. Oh, I get it you were just following orders. Heil Annabell. 

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#2 Consumer Comment

Annabel's Was Appalling and Should Apologize to Family

AUTHOR: Anonymous - ()

 

 
This is my rebuttal to the person who posted, "For Anonymous," on June
15th, claiming that I must be the OP and asking how I could know
whether the complaining party tried moving their two tables together:
 
1.  I did not post the account of this incident.  I was not aware of Ripoff Report's
existence until after that account was posted.  Someone told me about the Ripoff-
Report Web site and about the Annabel's postings.  I subsequently read the 
account and acquainted myself with the site.
 
2.  I was told about Annabel's postings on Ripoff Report while I was telling others
what had happened in Annabel's earlier that day.  One person told me of this site.
 
3.   I was in Annabel's when this incredible incident occurred.  How many times
have you seen a nicely dressed, quiet group of people told to get out of a
restaurant after they were seated, when it was moderately busy and nobody
was waiting for a table?  The group remained quiet and dignified as they left.  The
adult woman in the group seemed about to cry.  
 
4.  The original post says that it happened "on a weekday."  It happened on a Friday
and it was June 7th, late morning.   
 
5.   The post was placed on Ripoff Report on the Saturday, June 8th, and it uses the word
"today" to describe when the incident occurred.  One of two occurrences may explain
the discrepancy.  One, the "today" was a typo.  Or two, what was posted on Ripoff
Report on Sat., June 8th was written on the previous day:  it could have been an email to
someone or it could have been posted on June 7th on another site, e.g., some restaurant-review
site.  The OP may have copied and pasted that June 7 account into Ripoff Report on Sat., June
8th, simply forgetting to substitute "yesterday" for "today."
 
6.   I just now went to the restaurant-review site, Yelp.com, where I found the original post in
Yelp's "filtered review" section.  It was posted on Friday, June 7th, and it is the identical account
posted to Ripoff Report on Sat., June 8th.  On Yelp, you can find "filtered review" at the bottom
of the main page showing a series of reviews of Annabel's.  Click on "filtered review" and type
in the numbers/letters you see on the screen to prove you're an actual person and then you
will see a number of detailed negative reviews of Annabel's (including the account of this
incident).  Evidently, Yelp removes negative reviews of Annabel's Restaurant or Yelp has
an overall bias favoring owners/management:  I don't know.
 
7.  To me, the issue about which exact day the incident occurred on should not detract from the basic
story, which is this:  the restaurant, Annabel's, expelled people whom it had invited in and seated.
 
8.   When those people appeared at Annabel's front door, they were mere visitors seeking
entry.  When they were invited in, they became guests entitled to be served unless
they began acting unruly or unreasonably.  Nobody from Annabel's has come forward to
state that these guests were behaving badly, or were noisy, or were taking up tables that had been
reserved for anyone else.  The guests claim they were quietly chatting, which Annabel's
does not deny.
 
9.   The guests state in their posts that they did not ask to move their two separate tables
closer together or ever try to push them closer together.  I also do not recall seeing anyone
in that party ever doing anything to try to move the two tables together.  Two of their
party was at the two-top, and three of their party was at the four-top.
 
10.   The person I'm rebutting tries to make an issue of "near" vs. "next to," the terms used in
the original posts to describe the two tables in relation to each other. 
 
11.    I recall that the rectangular four-top's short end was against the wall, and that the
rectangular two-top's long end was against that same wall, behind the four-top and just in front of the
restroom; if you stood at the front door of Annabel's facing the dining room, those two tables
were to your right in the right rear corner, with the four-top closer to the front door and the two-top
just behind it.  The adults sat at the four-top; the 11-year-old and a somewhat younger girl
sat at the two-top, and the adults seemed to be talking among themselves while the girls
sat facing each other.   
 
12.  An interesting issue arises:  what if two of the three adults said, "We two are going to take this
two-top as we have business to discuss, while she will sit at the four-top with her two
daughters.  Please treat us two as a separate party from those three."  Would Annabel's have said:
"You have already revealed you are related to each other.  Since we now know that to be the case,
you just might do a bit of cross-talk over the two tables, so get out -- now." 
 
13.    To me, there are two fundamental issues:  
 
         A.   Is a restaurant's right to refuse service unlimited/unrestricted?  (Correct legal
answer:  "No."  A number of reported legal cases would certainly prevent this restaurant
from defeating a lawsuit by the family before a trial:  the case would most likely go to
trial, at great expense to Annabel's, if this family ever actually filed suit.)
 
         B.   Are visitors who arrive at a small restaurant asking to be seated entitled to 
rely on an employee who greets them, converses with them over seating issues and then
proceeds to seat them?  (Correct legal answer:  "Yes.")
 
14.    I will elaborate on "B" above.  A restaurant employee who holds herself out as able
to seat or not seat visitors is acting for the restaurant when she makes her decision.  The
law regards her approval as the restaurant's approval.  This is the correct legal result under
the doctrine of "apparent authority."  The outsider-visitors will not be required to divine
that the employee was without the "actual authority" to seat them.  Why? The visitors have
no idea if the employee is allowed to make an exception in certain circumstances.  This
family says they explained their circumstances to the employee who greeted them.  They
could not have looked inside the employee's mind and seen that she "didn't understand all of
the ramifications of allowing a party of six."  A restaurant employee's internal mistake was
not this party's problem or responsibility.  The employee-greeter made an exception; the
visitors rightly assumed she was allowed to make that exception.  When she made that
exception, this visiting family became accepted guests of the restaurant. 
 
15.    Once invited guests are seated, must the restaurant serve them?  No.  Those
guests could later do many things to justify the restaurant's refusal to serve them, e.g., 
becoming loud, rowdy, causing trouble, demanding that non-customer friends be allowed
to sit with them (to name a few).  
 
16Nobody from Annabel's has come forward to state that these guests were behaving
 badly, or were noisy, or were taking up tables that had been reserved for anyone else. 
The guests claim they were quietly chatting, which Annabel's does not deny.  I did not
observe or hear any raised voices from the moment the party entered the restaurant
to the moment they left.
 
17.  I am certain that at the time this incident occurred, there was no door sign or any 
written posting anywhere to put visitors on notice about Annabel's seating policy. 
 
18.  The person whose post I'm rebutting argues that this family knew in advance about Annabel's
seating policy because they had been there before, as stated in one of the original
posts.  That post, however, states that the sister went there with her family.  It seems from
the posts that her family comprises a total of four people (herself, her husband
and their two daughters).  Two questions:  if she went there before as a foursome,
how would she know about a seating policy barring parties of 5 or 6 or more? 
Second, if she did know of that policy, why would she choose Annabel's for her
group of 5 or 6?  I don't accept the logic that, because she had been to Annabel's
on prior occasions, she must have known of Annabel's policy not to seat a party of
more than four people.  From the posts, I don't get that the party knew of Annabel's
seating policy and were hoping that Annabel's would make an exception.  But even
if that were the case, and Annabel's made such an exception, which it did, how could
this family be expected to know that she had no authority or right to make that
exception?  Answer:  as stated above, they wouldn't be expected to know that
since they (the family) don't work for Annabel's.
   
19.  Although I was a witness, I have no intention of revealing who I am or involving
myself beyond our discussion on this site.  I agree with those who've rejected a
legal challenge based on "discrimination."  A "family" does not constitute a protected
class and the expulsion of this particular family from the restaurant, as far as I 
know, had nothing to do with their "status" as a family:  it had only to do with the 
restaurant's decision to enforce an announced seating policy based on the 
sheer number of people in a single party of diners. 
 
20.  Again, it's interesting that in the 10 days since this incident, Annabel's has
not claimed that this family was causing a disturbance. 
 
21.  The person I'm rebutting asks, and I'm paraphrasing, "What if Annabel's allowed this family
to remain in the restaurant, and then word got out that Annabel's made this exception,
and a party of six who later heard about this exception arrives at Annabel's and insists
that they be seated because . . . 'Annabel's did it for those other people, they now must
do it for us!'"   The person asks, paraphrasing, "How can Annabel's say 'no' to that
later group of people or any other later groups of people?"   
 
22.  My answer:  You say to these people, "Yes, we made an exception for a family
who were here just for the day from out of town.  They had flown in for their dad's
funeral and didn't have much time before they needed to be at the airport.  Are you
guys all from outside Ohio and are you grieved and bereaved and need to be at
the airport shortly?  No?  Okay then, we therefore really don't have a reason to
depart from our usual policy."  And all of that would have happened at the front door,
before the party were seated, and it is at that point that a restaurant's right to refuse
service is just about unlimited/unrestricted (at the front door) . . .
 
23.   . . . although in cases of possible racial discrimination, things sure do get tricky.
The person whose post I'm rebutting asks that specific question:  what if the people
who show up at Annabel's have heard about the exception that was made for this non-Ohio,
bereaved, headed-for-the-airport family happen to be, say, African-American
 
24.   If I were Annabel's lawyer, I'd tell them this:  You either seat them or you make sure that,
before such a thing ever happens, you post on the front door and on the counter a large,
clear sign that says:  "We do not seat parties of five (5) or more.  No exceptions."
 
25.  If the folks at Annabel's were smart and had a nice sense of humor (clearly, they
are endowed with neither quality), they would put the following sign on the door and on
their counter:  "We do not seat parties of five (5) or more unless you are all out-of-state
residents who need to be at the Greater Cincinnati Airport in a few hours to catch your
flight home and you have attended a family member's funeral in the past 24 hours.
We call this -- as Delta Airlines does -- our bereavement exception."  Smarts,
creativity and humor (you know, the minor mental attributes) are likely not in the
Annabel's arsenal.
 
26.   It seems clear from the Google-posted photo of owner Annabel Stolley, as
compared with the looks of the female who told this family to leave, that it was not
owner Annabel Stolley who told this family to leave.  After this family was seated,
some several minutes later, a woman emerged from the kitchen, appeared to be
in her 20s, tattoos up and down both arms, wearing a bandanna, dark brown or
black hair, more short and squat than tall and lanky and it was she who told them,
calmly, that they had to leave.  Was she a cook?  She was not the Annabel's employee
(a server or hostess or waitress) who talked to the party and decided it was okay to
seat them.  The woman who came out of the kitchen had to keep repeating herself, it seemed, 
because (I think) the family was not absorbing her message, and the place is 
so small that even in their normal voices, hearing them was not a problem.  It does 
not surprise me that a customer told the "tearful sister" that she was astonished
and sympathized.   
 
27.   I also didn't see any posting on this Ripoff-Report board from Ms. Stolley herself, although
I think in one of the original postings it's said that her post appeared "intemperate
and vitriolic" -- but I think that post was from someone other than Ms. Stolley. 
 
28.  Under the law of contract formation,a contract appears to have been 
formed here:  this facility offered its services to this family; the family accepted.  As
I understand it, the law requires that "valid consideration" support the bargain in order
for it to be enforceable and, further, that any material breach of the bargain (agreement,
contract) have resulted in damages.  Clearly, there was an offer and an acceptance.
 
29.   After that acceptance, I saw a member of this party go out to the large car park in the
center of Mt. Lookout Square and appear to feed coins into parking meters.
 
30.  If after accepting Annabel's offer to sit down, that actually happened (i.e., parking was paid),
then such payment would constitute valid consideration, i.e., a change in position.  The 
law does not assess "adequacy of consideration," so in theory it could be merely one
dollar.  And also, that amount paid would likely constitute the grand total of contractual
damages if it were found that Annabel's disinvitation and expulsion of this party were
unjustified under the circumstances.
 
31.  The family complains of emotional distress and of the restaurant ejecting them 
knowing they were bereaved, even visibly bereaved.  It's unlikely such damages or 
any exemplary or punitive damages would be allowed, but who knows what a judge
would do.  A lot depends on the quality of the party's lawyer, and my advice to this
family is this -- finally: Forget about this case.  Drop it.  It's beneath you.   
 
32.  "Cry aloud for the man who is dead, for the woman and children bereaved."  Alex Paton
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#3 Consumer Comment

For Anonymous

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

 Nice try...but it is obvious that you know the Original Poster(or perhaps you are them).

At about 10:30 on Friday, June 7th

No where in this post did anyone mention a specific date.  In fact the report was posted on June 8th, and the OP stated the event occured "today".  So the only way you would know the exact date is if you have direct knowlege of the events in question.

But even if you aren't the original poster..there is only one side of the story.  How do you know that no chairs or tables were moved?  How do you know that they didn't cause a disturbance?  How do you even know that there were open tables?  After the OP went from having the kids at the table next to them..to one "near" them. 

You are also taking the assumption that the waitress had the "authority" to override the policy.  Perhaps she didn't understand all of the ramifications of allowing a party of 6.  After all because of one mistake by a waitress..what happens the next time a party of 6 comes in because they heard that they made an exception?  What if they are told NO, and to add another wrinkle say they are a minority and decide to claim true discrimination(not this family size B.S. the OP is trying to pull)...all because of one mistake one waitress who didn't fully understand the policy.  So the OWNER who has the authority to make this decision did exactly what they needed to do. 

Of course you still can't get by the fact that the entire purpose for this Breakfast was so that EVERYONE could be together for one last time.  Yet they still went to a place they had prior knowlege of the seating policy AND were so willing to let the two greaving kids sit off by themselves.   I'm sorry but I don't care if the place is the hotest 5-Star place in town giving away free food.  If the reason(as the OP stated) is to be together, I am not going to go to a place where we might be separated.  I definatly would not go there in the hopes that we could talk our way into having them make an exception.

So sympathy for your loss..Yes of course.  But sympathy for the situation you found yourself in by your actions already knowing the policy..No.

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#4 Consumer Comment

A Disinvitation Is Wrong If Policy Is Waived

AUTHOR: Anonymous - ()

The right of a restaurant to refuse service when it is open for business during its usual hours of operation is not unlimited.  If a restaurant has, for example, a "no flip-flops" policy and people arrive wearing flip-flops, the restaurant may turn them away.  What happens, though, if the restaurant decides to permit an exception and invites them in and seats them?  Here is the issue:  Does the restaurant have the right to later disinvite them solely for wearing flip-flops?  I would say "no."  Didn't the restaurant give up its right to refuse service for that reason alone?  I would say "yes."

Annabel's totally disagrees.  At about 10:30 on Friday, June 7th, this party arrived at Annabel's and was told it exceeded Annabel's seating limit.  The party had a conversation based on which Annabel's decided to forgo its apparent seating policy, and invited the party in and seated them.  Several minutes after being seated, Annabel's decided to demand that the party leave, even though it had neither disturbed any of the patrons or altered the position of any tables or chairs.  No one was waiting for a table.  It was late morning on a weekday. 

The party then re-explained their personal circumstances (they were family from other states who'd come to Cincinnati for a family member's funeral the day before).  Even though no new fact or anything at all occurred after Annabel's invited in this party of six people, Annabel's nonetheless later disinvited them, forcing them out of their seats, the sole offered explanation being:  "If we do this for you, we have to do this for everybody."  

I knew someone well who represented the Hotel and Restaurant Employees' Union, and those workers were called "hospitality workers" and their business, the "hospitality business."  What happened to the notion of "hospitality" at Annabel's in Cincinnati?  How is this not arbitrary and indefensible conduct that warrants a serious rebuke?

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#5 General Comment

For Trent W

AUTHOR: Striderq - ()

 Wrong on most if not all claims. The people responding are not employed by Annabel's, just as we are not employed by any of the other places responders have claimed we are. We're not defending this place so much as trying to share common sense and logic to the report. And a family of 5 is welcome a Annabel's, it's parties of 6 or more that aren't accepted.

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#6 General Comment

Sad Circumstance

AUTHOR: Trent W - ()

Wow, looks like Annabel's corporate office got their pretend lawyers (employees) out in full force to rebut this complaint. I am sorry for your loss and the way you all were treated. These heartless losers are falling all over themselves to defend their arbitrary and unbreakable seating policy. And as for familial discrimination, seems funny that a family of four can sit but a family of 5 or more can go to h*ll. Gee i wonder who they are trying to keep out with that rule? Sounds like discrimination to me. By the way I have eaten at this dump before and let me tell you... it is gross, dirty and overpriced.

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#7 Consumer Comment

Really?

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

There is something a bit odd about this report.  Perhaps it could be chaulked up to you being upset about your fathers passing, and if so then I am sorry about your loss..but you are still as others have said being a total A** about it.  But there are quite a few inconsistancies and things that just don't make sense that could make one wonder if this really happened.

First off you go into this place apparently already knowing the seating policy.  You then continue to try and get them to make an exception, at which time it looks like the waitress finally did.   But that still does not mean that they must serve you, they could still ask you to leave because it is private property.  

But you are also trying to claim that you were not a party of 6 but a party of 2 and a party of 4.  Even as a lawyer you should know that is not a logical claim to say that the two kids were not part of your party.  But it goes farther.  In your original report you stated that they were seated at the table right next to yours.  In your update they magically moved to the opposite corner that was "nearby".  Which is it?

You are also trying to claim some "familial status" discrimination.  Well as a laywer I defy you to find one piece of law that makes the number of people in a group/family a "protected class". 

Then we have the date issue.  The original report was posted on a SATURDAY from the events that happened that day, yet you claimed this happened on a WEEKDAY.  Again..which is it?

By the way since one person in your party apparently knew of the policy in advance why didn't you go to the many other places you could have gone if in fact the main goal was to be together one last time?    Why if your main goal was for everyone to be together..was your group so open to separating out the two kids?  Which arguably could be seen as the ones who may need the most support. 

Anyways..what ever your motives were thanks for the post if I am ever in Cinci I will definatly have to give this place a try.

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#8 Consumer Comment

comment

AUTHOR: Jeanski - ()

To the OP: You’re being an ass and perhaps your grief over your father’s death has you a little confused. (BTW – I am sorry for your loss)

Sure, this wasn’t very nice of the restaurant owner, but at least she was polite about it.  It also seems like a weird policy. But she has the right to enforce it.

You should have paid more attention in your constitutional law class.  There is no such thing as “familial discrimination” in this context.

Lastly, you argue both sides (typical lawyer) and it’s illogical. To wit:

“We in fact were not "a party of six."  We were a party of three, soon to be four, sitting at the restaurant's four-top and a party of two, sitting at the restaurant's separate two-top... Moreover, a valid legal issue is whether the two individuals sitting at the two-top were even a "party of two" given that they were children (my 11- and 8-year-old nieces).  As a matter of law, those two girls were charges of the adults, who constituted a party of three (soon to be four).

I think any reasonable person would see you as a party of six since it’s unlikely two children would be there unsupervised.

Let us know what happens.

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#9 General Comment

A few items...

AUTHOR: Striderq - ()

 1) Make up your mind. You try to claim the kids were a separate party but then say they were charges of the adult. The facts are 5 people went in together and with 1 more expected t join makes 6. Doesn't matter on ages, matters how many total.

2) As your sister had been there before she should have known this restriction as it's probably posted on the wall or in the menu.

3) If your sister explained in such a quiet voice as you described, how did theother customers hear to show their sympathy on your way out?

4) Very interesting that in you first post your describe Annabel as "quiet and firm". But in your second post she has become "intemperate and vitriolic".

5) Discrimination can only be claimed if you & your party are members of one of the protected groups and the transaction was based on that trait. You were refused because your party was too large, sorry no discrimination.

6) Remember what they say about someone, especially a lawyer, who defends himself in court...they have a fool for a client. Over all as my grandkids would say "suck it up buttercup". I'm soory for your loss but you're trying to make this out to be way more than it was.

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#10 General Comment

Insensitive owner

AUTHOR: srb - ()

What happened to Ms. Stolley's response, which is referred to in the original complaint? It seems to have vanished. I wonder why? This incident is shocking and outrageous. I know the customers involved, and cannot believe they were refused service. Forcing a bereaved family to leave the premises is curiously insensitive and inhospitable, petty behaviour certainly not to be expected from the chef/owner of a neighborhood restaurant. To the author of the "consumer comment" posted above, I find your use of profanity and general tone offensive and in breach of "Rip-off Report" rebuttal rules. Are you a friend of the owner?

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#11 Author of original report

Dear Ms. Stolley:

AUTHOR: Dhf - ()

 

The facts of this matter are simple and straightforward.

 

We were three adults and two children.  My brother was on his way.The woman who greeted us seated the two kids at a table for two,

and us at a four-top, in the rear right corner.  She let us know Annabel's policy that parties of six or more are not seated.  We explained our unique

circumstances and said that we would not need food orders delivered all at once, whereupon she invited us to sit down at those two tables.  It was

about 10:30 a.m. One other two-top was available in an opposite corner, and diners occupied the remaining tables.  Our presence did not dislodge or

at all affect any other diner.  We did not ask the restaurant to put our tables together or ever try to move them closer together.  The girls sat quietly at

their table for two and we three chatted at our nearby table. 

 

As we are not employees of Annabel's, we had every reason to believe that the person who greeted us and waived Annabel's usual seating

policy, and in fact welcomed us, had the authority to do so.

 

About five minutes after we were seated, owner Annabel Stolley walked over and calmly but clearly told us that all of us would have to leave because

in her view, we were a party of six and if she seated us, "then I would have to accommodate everybody else in this way."  Our

mouths were agape and my sister next to me became tearful.  The circumstances that we had explained to Annabel's colleague who

had seated us were now re-told to Annabel, by my teary sister (a middle-aged, educated, kind woman).  "Could you please, please

just make an exception," my sister pleaded quietly, her voice quavering.  "We are all here from out of town for our father's funeral

yesterday and this is our last chance to be together before we leave and we don't know where we can, right now, find a place to be

together.  We love your restaurant.  We came here a few times when we visited our dad in hospice a few weeks ago.  Can you please

make this one exception?"

 

Annabel, with an utterly chilling faint smile, repeated that she could not help us and that we would have to leave.  We, a bereaved

family, complied; upon our leaving, a few customers sympathized with my sister and conveyed their own astonishment.

 

Ms. Stolley's intemperate and vitriolic response to my initial complaint reflects exactly who she is.  How such a person can make a living in

the hospitality business is truly remarkable.

 

I am in fact an attorney and as such I appreciate the admissions Ms. Stolley made in her written response.  They lend support to my

true account of what transpired and I trust Ms. Stolley will choose to settle the matter with me, either on her own or through her

attorney, in due course.  You may anticipate hearing from me shortly through traditional means of communication.  I look forward

to resolving the matter amicably without resort to litigation.

 

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#12 General Comment

If your statement is correct

AUTHOR: Tyg - ()

 If your statement is correct and you yourself are an attorney then you know that ALL businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. As you said, the hostess was polite. She however IS NOT the owner of the company. She is paid, as well as everyone that works in that resturant, to follow company policy. You asking her to make an exception simply put her in a situation she had no control over. There is no breach of contract and you know it. EVERY state has a shop keep law that allows for ANy business to refuse service.

Instead of being such an ass about the whole situation, why didnt you just move to a different table? It seems to me that would have been the most equitable of solutions. But let me guess, as an attorney you feel that you should get your way in everything. And because the poor hostess was doing the job that she IS contracted to do by the company she works for, you have the nerve to complain about the company? This is not a ripoff. This is you being butthurt that you didnt get your way.

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