Welcome to the final weekly installment of Weird Restaurant Stories for 2010. I have once again scoured the internet for the oddest, strangest, and weirdest stories to happen in restaurants this week. Next week I will be posting the weird restaurant stories year in review. I will dig through each weeks stories and find the dozen best of 2010. These stories will score double points for their region and we will know once and for all what region is the weirdest.
Before we get there, here is one more weeks worth of truly bizarre stories.
Let’s start off with some stories that seem to be spreading. Regular readers of this column will recognize many of them. It is fitting that so many of these themes pop back up for us at the end of the year. Lets see how many you recognize:
Fake health inspectors have arrives in California. (Sacramento, CA)
Another ATM machine is stolen from a restaurant. (Mount Pleasant, PA)
Show Me’s in Naperville gets their liquor license, with restrictions. (Naperville, IL)
A $20,000 reward has been offered to solve “The Great Chinese Restaurant Robbery Spree of 2010” (Charleston, SC)
Still the fun in this column is that each week something new and different occurs. Like this story where a restaurant was robbed by it’s owner. Investors want to know what happened to the pizza oven, other equipment, and 50 plasma TVs. The investors, employees, and vendors all are owed money. The owner is heading to jail. (Las Vegas, NV)
At least he didn’t try to make ends meet by running a cocaine distribution ring out of his restaurant. I cannot stress location enough to restaurant owners. If you think there is a possibility that you might one day start a cocaine distribution ring, please make sure you are over 1000 of a school zone. This owner might be learning that lesson the hard way. (Smyrna, GA)
This chef needs to stay much, much further away from school zones. Some restaurateurs felt pretty good about buying a restaurant from an award-winning chef. What they did not know is that he would soon be facing kiddie porn charges. I would imagine this is bad for business. (San Jose, CA)
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about server safety during the holidays. I knew sooner or later I was going to have to post a story like this. I am glad it waited until this long. Seriously servers, you have to be careful this time of year. (Solebury Township, PA)
Safe cracking seems like a very valuable skill. It is one that should be used sparingly and with high reward. Stealing the petty cash from a pizza joint is probably not the best use of this skill. Upon reading this story, I think the headline was a bit misleading. I checked with Al Gore who informed me that is was less of a safe and more of a lockbox. (Asheville, NC)
Employees are picketing in front of Prime Steakhouse for back pay. The owner acknowledges owing them. He also fired them. Let’s make it clear that if you cannot pay your employees what you owe them, any offense they commit is pretty much irrelevant. This owner even had the audacity to play his current employees against his former ones in front of the media. This guy would most weeks win the restaurant jerk award. This week he has been edged out. (Brockville, ON)
This week’s Chef Justus Award for the restaurant hero goes to Mike Roberts, aka Mr Rooter. It seems a guest lost a $78,000 engagement ring down the toilet in a restaurant. The city showed up and couldn’t get it out. That is when Mr Roberts stepped up and saved the day. He sent an infrared camera into the toilet and found the ring. The guests made it very much worth the time of all parties involved making this a very happy ending. (Phoenix, AZ)
The newly renamed Kevin Fitzgerald Award for the restaurant jerk goes to the National Organization for Women. They have finally found out that there was a restaurant chain called Hooters that they feel is an adult establishment. As such they feel like Hooters should be forced to hire security and deny entrance to children under 18. There are thousands of restaurants that employ attractive waitresses to bring in guests. I daily see people dressed in less than what a Hooters Girl wears nearly evertime I leave the house in summer. Women should be empowered and most of all they should be empowered against other women telling them what is and is not a valid occupation. This is a desperate attempt by NOW to use Hooters to fit their attention whor… empowered sexually liberated woman needs. (San Bruno, CA)
That is all for this week. It is time for the scoreboard.
The Pacific and South Atlantic Regions tied for the win this week. This further extends the South Atlantic’s lead. The other contenders had a very off week. Next week’s “best of” posts will receive double points. Will this be enough to knock off the South Atlantic? Come back next week to find out.
This week’s international story comes to us from Malaysia. Health inspection standards are significantly lower in other parts of the world. It sounds like it takes a pretty severe violation to get a restaurant shut down there. I hope they checked the inspector for his credentials. Either way it takes far more than a dirty restaurant to win this week. USA: 10, World: 7
That is it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the posts and their new home at RestaurantLaughs.com. Stick around and check out some other content on the site. Posting will be a bit limited this week with the final crunch of the holidays. I will still be working hard on interesting posts throughout the network for the new year.