• Report: #1119312
Complaint Review:

The Corner Room Restaurant, Portland Maine

  • Submitted: Wed, January 29, 2014
  • Updated: Wed, January 29, 2014

  • Reported By: Joseph B. — Portland Maine
The Corner Room Restaurant, Portland Maine
110 Exchange Street at the corner of Federal Portl Portland, Maine USA

The Corner Room Restaurant Kate McDonough, Manager - Racism is alive and well in Portland Maine

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I'm Sure You Weren't There...

*General Comment: Im sure...

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Kate McDonough, the manger at The Corner Room of Portland Maine barred me from entering the restaurant for a year due to the fact that I described one of the hostess' as the "black lady"...!

Back in October of 2013 I went to The Corner Room for dinner/drinks.  Upon entering the Corner Room I proceeded to the hostess station and asked about seating.  A hostess informed me that reservations were full but I was welcome to sit at the kitchen bar as they don't take reservations for that section and it is first come first serve.  She also informed me that I had to wait for happy hour to end and then just grab a seat.  I thanked her and proceeded to order a wine from the regular bar and wait for happy hour to end.

Right at 6:00, a woman started to clear the kitchen bar and I proceeded to set my wine down at the kitchen bar so I could have dinner.  The woman clearing the bar, Kate McDonough, in a loud stern voice told me I could not sit at the bar because the seats were reserved.  I was perplexed and I approached her and said "your hostess informed me 30 minutes ago that the kitchen bar seating is first come-first serve, no reservations required".

Kate McDonough, again with a stern tone, asked me which hostess told me that.  I turned to look at the hostess station, where two ladies were standing, one "black", one "white".  I turned back to Kate McDonough and calmly said "The Black Lady".

Kate McDonough at that point said to me in an angry, terse voice, "how do you think she would feel being described that way?"  Feeling bad, I responded "I don't know, lets go ask her..."  At that point Kate had a melt down..!

She started to SCREAM at me...  "You are Fu**kin out of here..!",  "Get the F out of my restaurant..!"  She also called upon wait staff to escort me out of the building.  All the while screaming at the top of her lungs.

She called the police and had people trying to physically remover me from the restaurant.  I stated that I needed to pay my bill for my half finished wine and get my coat from the coat rack.

I left the The Corner Room restaurant and proceeded to have dinner at Boone's Fish House, also in Portland Maine.

Boone's Fish House is where I then met Harding Lee Smith, who I found out is also the owner of The Corner Room.  I didn't speak with Harding Lee Smith that night about what transpired at The Corner Room because he was very busy.

I came back the next morning at 11:00 as Boone's Fish House was opening and I explained the unfortunate situation from the night before.  I expressed the desire to still patronage The Corner Room but I did not want to cause any problems.  Harding assured me that I'd be welcome at his restaurant The Corner Room.

Well..., I went back to The Corner Room restaurant late December 2013, a full eight weeks after the first incident.  Again I was waiting for a seat to open up at the bar so I could have dinner.  Again, Kate McDonough was working and after about 30 minutes she recognized me and called the police.

I was simply and patiently waiting for a seat to open and when I sat down, Portland Police Officer, Michael Bennis removed me from the restaurant.  Outside, Officer Bennis served me with a Criminal Trespass Notice, ordering me not to enter The Corner Room Restaurant for a full year...?!?!

I'm saddened to say the least over this whole situation.  Was I "wrong" in describing someone as a "black lady"?  Does that warrant being barred from a restaurant for a year?  I'm confused.  I'm perplexed.  I'm sad.  And feeling that no one is hearing my side of the story, I wanted to share this experience with others.

I like The Corner Room Restaurant, I think the atmosphere is great and the food superb.  I must admit though, that I'm not a fan of Kate McDonough and I think she over reacted and is simply "punishing" me.

That being said, I look forward to entering The Corner Room Restaurant on December 28th, 2014 and hopefully have a nice, hassle free dinner....!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/29/2014 11:54 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/the-corner-room-restaurant-portland-maine/portland-maine-04101/the-corner-room-restaurant-kate-mcdonough-manager-racism-is-alive-and-well-in-portla-1119312. 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 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I'm Sure You Weren't There...

AUTHOR: Shawn R. - ()

The original complain I'm sure is 100% correct!!!

The corner room restaurtant in portland maine is owned and operated by one of the biggest d**** in town..!

I worked there and witnessed verbal abuse of the customers and staff by both Harding Lee Smith and his "right hand" girl Kate Mcdonough.  I personaly witnessed her verbally abuse the staff on numerous occasions as well as many customers who dared complain to her!!  When one employee complaind to Harding Lee Smith about the abuse from Kate Mcdonough, the poor employee got fired..!

Also once a customer went to the owner about how they were treated so badly by Kate Mcdonough and he did nothing.  When that customer showed up agian she kicked him out of the restaurant and to not bother coming back.

If anyone wants more stories on this you can go to thebollard.com/2013/07/01/satans-sous-chef/

or maine.eater.com/archives/2013/09/03/the-bollard-smith-promoted-to-head-chef-in-hell.php

where Harding Lee Smtih threatened to "throw darts at a n****r baby's head"...!

or portlandpsst.blogspot.com/2008/12/luna-rossa-corner-room.html

which tells of his filthy kitchen conditions or pressherald.com/news/projects/maine_restaurants_inspections_closed_2013.html

where you can see how the corner room restaurant failed a state health inspection...!

And the list goes on and on and on...

This A-hole and his D-Bag manager Kate Mcdonough from The Corner Room in Portland Maine also operates:

Boones Fish House, Portland ME

The Grill Room, also in Portland maine

and The Front Room, Portland me too.

If you want the truth about this guy just ask any hospitality worker in the Portland Maine area...


Harding Lee Smith = The devil's sous chef

Kate Mcdonough = A wannabe Harding Lee Smith


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#2 General Comment

Im sure...

AUTHOR: Tyg - ()

 If after 8 WEEKS she STILL recognized you, then you said or did more then just say "Black Lady". That was probably the originating incident but your behavour AFTER that was probably what set her off. It was a bit flippant of you to respond as you did to her question. Maybe YOU dont see color, but EVERYONE else does. As such they have to ensure that ALL employees are treated fairly. Maybe you should have said the african american lady. or the dark skinned lady. No manager WANTS to lose customers but there are things they just wont stand for in their shop. You were probably pushing her buttons by using a GENERIC term to describe one of her employees. I know that as a manager in my shop, I WILL NOT allow customers to verbally or physically abuse my staff. So you MAY have just pissed her off.

Did you go back and try and apologize? Many times this can resolve the situation and open a productive dialog.

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