Solo Diner Sues Portland Restaurant For $100K Claiming Staff Refused To Serve Her On Valentine’s Day

On the one hand, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a table for one for Valentine’s Day, or any day. On the other hand, restaurants want to fit as many patrons as they can on busy nights like Feb. 14. So is it wrong to boost a patron when the other half of her reservation can’t make it?

A Portland-area woman believes it is, reports KGW.com, and is suing a local eatery claiming staff told her to leave when her husband didn’t come to dinner with her on Valentine’s Day.

She says she and her husband had a reservation on the night of Feb. 14 at a local Italian restaurant, that was serving a five-course meal as a special holiday menu. But after eating a big lunch, the husband backed out. She decided to go have dinner by herself anyway.

In her lawsuit, she says that she started feeling uncomfortable as soon as she arrived. She claims she was seated after others coming in after her, and found it strange. She also says in the court documents that when was finally seated and told a waitress she was ready to order, she was instead asked to leave and give up her table.

But there are two sides to every story, and the owner of the restaurant tells it a bit differently to KGW, based in his staff’s accounts of how things went done.

According to the restaurant’s version, when the woman arrived alone, she didn’t tell staff that the other member of her party wouldn’t be coming. They assumed that meant her date was still on the way, so they gave her a glass of wine for her wait.

The owner says that when the place is serving special menus, the staff won’t usually seat patrons until everyone shows up, and that the tables are reserved for parties of at least two so the restaurant can sell every seat in the house.

When her date didn’t show up, she was finally seated at a table and given a second glass of wine. That’s when the waitress asked if her other person was going to be joining her, and she said that he wasn’t coming.

“At that time, because of that day – Valentine’s Day – the waitress said, ‘Sorry, you cannot take a table by yourself, you can either sit at the bar or outside,’ ” the owner says.

In her lawsuit, the customer says she didn’t feel like eating anymore.

“I was so hurt. I’ve never experienced this before here in Portland and I was crushed,” she said. “I even gave them away [sic] out by saying I will do take out and they told me they don’t do take out.”

To that point, the restaurant owner says that while takeout is usually allowed, it wasn’t available that night because of the five-course special. He claims that before a server could explain, the woman had left.

She’s now seeking $100,00 in damages and a public apology, “to make sure all business owners in N.E. Alberta know we are serious about our community,” according to the court documents.

The owner says he won’t accept those demands, but that he’d like to talk to the woman, who is welcome back at the restaurant.

“‘I am so sorry. It was in no way intentional. Please let me make up for it.’ That is what I would say if I could talk to her,” he told KGW.

Woman sues Portland restaurant, demands public apology [KGW.com]