Restaurant Owner Offended by T-Shirt Profanity

November 8, 2013

in Odds & Ends Stories

Came to “B House” at Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara, California yesterday for breakfast and I fell in love with the view. We left our dog in the car since we could not bring her on the patio (only service dogs allowed) which is completely understandable. We ate as fast as we could so we could take her out to dog beach. We have lived in beach cities all of our lives but this view was amazing. I had the corned beef hash; it was very unique but I really enjoyed it, and my husband had the yogurt and granola which were delicious. The service was non-existent but hey, the environment and ambiance made up for it. I met such awesome people and dogs there on the beach.

Today, I came back for breakfast because I had such a remarkable time yesterday. The bartender was super friendly, had great suggestions and was great for conversing since I was there by myself. I explained to him how I’m from Los Angeles but was moving up here on December 1 and that I really loved this place, and since I’m a creature of habit this place could be my new breakfast place.

I was sitting in the sun at the bar and moved inside due to the sun getting a bit too hot outside. I started chatting with the regulars there and they seemed really intriguing and nice. Very diverse restaurant; young people, elderly people, business people, everyone that came to the bar whether it was just for a coffee refill or someone in town for business seemed like wholesome people.

I ordered a Pacifico Michelada which are usually my favorites, along with two eggs, extra crispy bacon and a side of fruit. The food and bartender’s attentiveness were on point. I was just sitting there finishing my beer about 9:30 am because I had to go back to Long Beach at noon and still had to pack my things at the hotel.

Then the dreaded UNIMAGINABLE happened. There was an older man who was apparently the owner who just started literally picking me apart due to my shirt. I was wearing yellow shorts and a cut off shirt and sandals. Yes, my shirt did say “Fuck off.” I’m sorry, I’m not from here, just came for a few days and came for a quick breakfast by myself to enjoy the sun. Not that it matters, but the bar counter was so tall it completely covered my shirt anyway.

There HAS TO BE a better more respectful way of letting me know I am out of dress code instead of the offensive and demeaning way that he did. How dare you question my morals and principles in front of your staff and customers in your restaurant. I would’ve definitely understood if he asked me RESPECTFULLY to leave because of my shirt or whatever the matter was, not only because I am in nursing school and ALSO in the restaurant industry and my husband is a General Manager of a bar on State Street, BUT I am a human being. You don’t just treat people in that impolite and rude manner.

He said that his restaurant was a family establishment and I had to put my sweater on because my shirt was completely unacceptable. Mind you I didn’t see any dress code sign at the front and since I was one of two customers inside (the other customer was literally saying “Are you kidding?!” to the owner while he was on his rant to me, and the bartender just stared at me and looked sorry for me).

I was already on my way out; like I said just enjoying the conversation before my three-hour drive to Long Beach. Nonetheless, I completely complied and put my sweater on, saying I completely understood the situation and respected his wishes the whole time. THEN he just kept going on and on, started talking about my hat, asked me what I was thinking wearing it, and completely started talking about my ethics, telling me he didn’t understand what was up with me and asked me if it was a Los Angeles thing. He mentioned that he was trying to entertain his guests and that my outfit was deplorable. There was no one inside the restaurant! He even offered to pay for my breakfast if I put on my jacket (but in a very offensive way). I’m sorry sir I AM NOT A LEPER.

I did my best to comply and apologized and even left your bartender $10 on $20. I even said thank-you on my way out to all of your staff members because I don’t stoop down to people’s levels. Were you trying to get a reaction out of me? Is that why you kept pushing the subject? Do you feel better about yourself and your restaurant patronizing people and making them feel humiliated? YOU set the example in your own restaurant for your employees and are the reflection of your staff. I can’t imagine how they can deal with your snobbiness and incompetence. Sure, I wore a shirt with profanity; I apologized for offending you. I’m 24 years old; I am NOT your daughter and certainly did not deserve the insolent and uncouth attitude coming from an elderly man and bar owner like yourself. I know you don’t know me and I don’t know you but I suggest when taking things in your own hands, keep the brashness and arrogance out and politely ask someone to leave.

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