"#wedontnegotiatewithyelpers," Alden & Harlow owner Michael Scelfo posted on Instagram yesterday, sharing a clear photo of two smug-looking customers (or not) who, he wrote, "seat[ed] themselves with no reservations, insult[ed] and berat[ed] our staff, refusing to leave and all the while yelping away in front of us as a means of threat."
"It's one thing to be entitled," he added later, "but mistreat my family. Hell no."
Various industry folks have chimed into the conversation with a call to ban the duo from other restaurants if they're recognized. One Instagram user claiming to have witnessed the drama noted that they told the bartender they weren't tipping since they couldn't get a table.
At this point, it appears the women did not follow through on their Yelp threats; there are no reviews posted (yet) from last night (except for a non-review calling the women out).
UPDATE: This afternoon, Scelfo elaborated more on the situation via a follow-up comment on Instagram:
We tried to have them leave, they refused. Taking their drink away and being forceful is not hospitable. So in lieu of calling the police (only other recourse imo) which seemed too strong a response, we opted to kill them with kindness until they left. We as a team endured a ton of abuse but ultimately chose the high road. My choice to post this is not to slander on them per say but to call attention to a major flaw in the current 'online review system & entitled mentality.' Ultimately, it's about protecting the integrity of our (well documented) humble and gracious staff. Feel free to vilify me for posting, but I stand by my post.
UPDATE 2 (3/3/2015): Instagram has pulled the original photo, writes Scelfo in a new post. It had accumulated thousands of "likes" and hundreds of comments. "#wedontnegotiatewithyelpers stands true though," he writes, "and I would encourage more people to be responsible with it. Uber allows for service providers to rate customers, we should move to that system. I will always stand by my staff, always."