The following letter was sent to the restaurant's manager.
A friend and I dined at your establishment last night. After first going to the bar area and each enjoying a flight of wine and 2 separate appetizers (cost approximately $50.00) we were shown to our seats and ordered a bottle of your excellent Sauvignon Blanc. We then ordered our meal, which was also excellent. As we were eating, a couple was seated next to us. They ordered miller lite beers and the man's cell phone began to ring. Loudly. VERRY loudly. So loudly that it really startled me. It startled me almost as much as his loud conversation which began "HEY NIGGA! WHAT THE FUCK YOU UP TO? YEAH, WE FUCKIN' KICKIN IT...." After continuing in this vein for a minute or so he hung up. His cell phone then rang again. He did not make any attempt to lower the volume. When his phone rang the 3rd time I turned to him and said "That's really loud." He said "So fucking move!" I got up and discreetly told a waitress that this man was disrupting our meal and could someone possibly ask him to lower the volume of his phone and curb his language. She said she'd get a manager.
I went back to my seat and tried to continue my meal. This was very uncomfortable because now the guy next to us was continuously pushing the button to make his phone ring. Other patrons were beginning to look over. A manager came and kneeled down next to our table and another one next to the couple's table. Our manager said he understood we'd like to change tables. I replied that no, we were in the middle of our wine and meals and that the other couple had just sat down. I suggested they either gather up their lite beers and move to another table, or that someone simply ask him to turn his phone down and stop swearing. At this point the man jumps up and yells "YOU FUCKIN' WITH THE WRONG NIGGA, BITCH!" Your manager's response was to tell us he'd be back in a few minutes with a solution that would be agreeable to us both. Then he ran away. He never came back, leaving my friend and I (2 small, professional white women) with this large black man cursing at us and taunting us. We should have just walked out, but we tried to finish our bottle of wine. When it became clear that no solution was forthcoming, we asked for our check and left. We received no discount, no free appetizer or drink at all. I paid the bill in full (over $100.00) left a 20% tip for the waitress, but told her we were NEVER going to come back again and neither were any of our family or friends.
As we left, another manager ran after us and said he was sorry, but there wasn't really anything he could do. He said he can't ask people to lower the volume on their cell phones. I told him that even Dunkin' Donuts has cell phone policies and he certainly could take action to protect his clientele from unruly customers. He said no he couldn't. Quite frankly I believe he was afraid to say anything to the man because he's black. It was much easier to avoid a confrontation and let the white ladies leave. Well, if that's the kind of clientele you would prefer, that's the kind you'll get.
I am a married, white, 40+ year old woman. I am an upper manager in a company which employees 20,000 people. My husband and I dine out often. We spend LOTS of money at restaurants. The girlfriend I was dining with is a 30 year old single, professional white woman. She also works with me. Between the two of us we thought nothing of dropping over $150.00 for a meal at your establishment. Had this incident been handled properly we would have undoubtedly returned and had even planned on purchasing a case of wine. I now never planon spending a cent at your establishment again. We were halfway out the door when your manager gave us each a little coupon (1 to be used per meal only!) for a free entree and glass of wine (tax included!) Woo Hoo! I will not use this coupon and may, in fact, give it to the next homeless person I see under a viaduct by the expressway begging for food. Racism cuts both ways, and I plan on telling everyone I know (including on-line reviews) how badly we were treated at Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant. (name withheld)
What's so maddening about this is that if the person on the cell phone had been a white man wearing dockers and a polo shirt, the restaurant staff wouldn't have hesitated on asking him to leave - if his actions were similar to the above mentioned black man's. Out of intimidation or a misguided sense of political correctness, the offender wasn't reseated in another area nor asked to leave the premises.
I suggest you, your family and friends avoid this particular restaurant. There are plenty of other places to dine in Orland without having rude, discourteous and offensive people sitting right next to you.