Gordon Biersch Pinches Your Pennies

Gordon Biersch, a small chain of brewery-restaurants, stole a penny from our reader. Consumerist “Punkrawka” used a credit card to hold open a tab at the bar, then closed the with a gift card. Gordon Biersch then passed a one-cent charge onto our reader’s credit card a few days later. More funny than anything else, the bizarre details, inside…

Hi Consumerist,

I’m amused by this and I’ve noticed that you often tend to be amused by this sort of thing as well. I’m attaching a screen cap of my online credit card statement, which just posted a cleared transaction from Gordon Biersch (a microbrew restaurant chain) for… a penny.

Obviously it’s not worth my time to do a chargeback or inquire with the restaurant, but I only used this credit card to hold open a tab at the bar; we paid the tab off with a gift card and I never authorized any charge to my card. I saw the pending transaction for a dollar yesterday, but today the one-cent transaction actually posted!

I assume that, practically speaking, this is because GB’s credit card processing system can’t correctly reverse a credit card charge once it’s in the system, but this probably adds up to a lot of pennies when you think about how many tabs they open and close that may be paid by other means. Oh well.

And for the record, I don’t send this to bash GB, because I enjoy their food and beer and have no serious complaints with their service.


While they do serve a delicious Ahi Salad, it’s simply not cool to make mysterious tiny charges to your card. It could be an innocent case of incompetent staff not knowing how to close your tab without charging your card, or a stupidly designed credit card processing system, but either way Gordon Biersch is taking pennies that don’t belong to them. Anyone else have this happen to them? Leave us a note in the comments.

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