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Mar 4, 2011 04:42 PM

Michael Mina staff unresponsive to foul-mouthed, loud drunk [moved from SF board]

Two nights ago (I gave this some thought before posting), we endured an evening of foul language, yelling and clapping coming mostly from one of four men siting at the adjacent table at Michael Mina. The staff was very much aware of it. Even the hostess across the room turned around when the boisterous drunk began clapping loudly. The commotion made it difficult at times to carry on a conversation.

After making the best of it most of the evening, we finally complained to the captain. He apologized, we exchanged business cards, and he walked away. No one from the staff intervened or tried to quell the ongoing outbursts. (Michael Mina himself was in the house, visiting guests at a table toward the rear, but he was not aware of the commotion toward the front of the house.)

I've heard plenty of foul and obscene language, but this was clearly not the place to expect such behavior. We tolerated it and made the best of the situation. However, at what point should a fine dining establishment intervene? At what point does a restaurant need to demonstrate concern for its legal exposure if an inebriated patron leaves the restaurant and drives drunk?

I have not heard from the restaurant, and after two days, I doubt that I will. There wasn't even a final gracious apology on the way out when the captain presented my checked coat. I expected better of Michael Mina's staff.

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  1. Sorry to hear about this. I'd consider writing a letter to MM. It seems to more attention...and my guess is the captain tossed your card or handed it someone else. They get a lot.

    p.s. I know it doesn't help but I read an article about drunk patrons (NY Times or Saveur?) a ways back and it described much, much worse...patrons engaging in public sex, patrons defecating in public, etc.

    1. Why didn't you go over to the table yourself and ask the guy to tone it down? :)

      4 Replies
      1. re: john333

        Because he didn't want punched in the face?

        1. re: occula

          That's a good point, if foodlover is a man. On the other hand if foodlover is a lady it might have been safe since most men wouldn't hit a girl.

          1. re: john333

            An excellent point, and I shouldn't have made the assumption. A woman myself, I try to avoid complaining to obnoxious, loud drunks about their behavior because generally it gets me nowhere and I hate being sneered at and cursed. ymmv

        2. re: john333

          Because it's the job of the management of the restaurant, and not that of the patron. And also because the offending party was obviously drunk.

        3. so sorry for the events...totally unacceptable.

          As you did speak with captain with the following:

          1- eat , pay and leave
          2 - tell the captain you are leaving unless you are moved
          3 - ask the captain to tell them to bring down the volume
          4 - call 911

          Me? I would have asked the captain to move us, if that did not work, i would ask for the check for the items we already ate and if we were in the middle of one of the courses, i would not pay for it. pay and leave. I would then follow up with management to describe the events the total lack of intervention by the MOD and see what happens. That will be cathartic and give you an indication of whether management wants a civil or locker room reputation.

          1. Something that can be said of many, many situations in life is that people grossly underestimate the value of at least giving others the perception that they are attempting to deal with said situation.

            I was witness to a similar situation last year, and I can say that had the staff given this impression, mine, of this restaurant, would have been very different. Instead the lout was catered to, given claps on the back, and generally allowed to carry on and get worse and worse, to the point where he nearly careened straight across our table before we left.

            I'm all for everyone having a good time, being a bit boisterous etc. But when it gets to the point that one group is obviously taking over the dining room (or any room), it's time for someone to intervene, fine dining or no.

            1 Reply
            1. re: im_nomad

              I agree so strongly with the first paragraph; in my job, when I can't help someone, I want them at least to feel that I wanted to, wish I could have, or would if I could, you know?

            2. Call me a cynic, but the first question that pops into my mind is whether the loud and boisterous drunk was Michael Mina's brother? I suspect there has to be some reason that the restaurant condoned (by not interceding) the guy's behavior! Godfather of the local mafia? The Cardinal in plain clothes? A known $500.00 tipper? Frank Sinatra reincarnated? There HAS to be a reason!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Caroline1

                Yup. I think the customer was probably a VIP, and the restaurant didn't want to risk offending him.