Historic Astoria restaurant and bar Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden is having a rough go at customer service this weekend: Shortly after a controversy over kids at the outdoor bar bubbled up, ABC News reports that a man received a receipt saying to “please spit in” his burger.
Long Islander Curtis Mays tells ABC 11 that he’d already eaten his burger when he saw the receipt, which noted “please spit in it too” under his cheeseburger order. “I felt like I was gonna throw up,” he says. Mays says he got a refund and claims the manager fired the server shortly after seeing the receipt.
Bohemian Hall did not respond to Eater’s request for comment, but a manager told ABC 11 that it’s “very unlikely” that a cook actually followed through on such a request on the receipt. People are also pointing out online that the server could have instead meant to say “please split it in two.”
Update: In a statement posted to Facebook, the restaurant and bar noted that that the employee “was suspended pending the outcome” of an investigation of the incident. “We are committed to taking all appropriate steps to help ensure the well-being of all our patron,” the statement says.
EXCLUSIVE: On a scorching hot summer night, what’s better than a cold brew? Pair it with a juicy burger.— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) June 18, 2018
Cheddar cheese, well done, toast bread, please spit in it too! Don’t forget the mayo! Wait... spit?! At 11pm we’ll tell you which beer garden and what the manager told us. pic.twitter.com/45FWLNsTvS
The popular beer garden with a sprawling outdoor space has been around in some form since 1910, frequently packed in the summers for beers and bar food. Just one day before the spitting receipt, the bar was already on the defense regarding its customer service. On June 16, it posted on Facebook about an incident where staff asked a group with children to leave — saying that unattended children had been throwing rocks in the garden. People started claiming online that the bar is no longer family-friendly, alleging that staff “intimidated and bullied” the family in question.
The bar’s Yelp is now being monitored for clean-up as people flood the page with one-star reviews, mostly based on the spitting receipt.