Corner Bistro Owner Says There Are Two Sides to Alleged Gay-Bashing

Photo: Therese-Heather Belen

The Corner Bistro’s owner, William O’Donnell, tells us that he has suspended a waiter accused of verbally and physically assaulting a gay couple, and may fire him pending a polling of Friday-night regulars. However, he stresses, “when the dust settles we’ll see these claims are simply untrue.” O’Donnell says the Bistro “does not tolerate or accept this matter lightly, but there are two sides to this story.” For one, the waiter in question says he didn’t use a homophobic slur against Nick Haramis and his boyfriend, as the alleged victim claims. O’Donnell is still looking into that, but says Haramis is “totally whitewashing his part in this” by failing to mention certain details. “This was instigated by the fact that they were unruly and very vituperative in a nasty way toward the server, and it escalated.”

According to accounts, Haramis’s party of five skipped a line of people who had been waiting for twenty minutes, didn’t order food once seated, and then became belligerent when they weren’t served. The waiter claims to have been struck first, and when the party returned, it’s said that someone threw a beer mug at the bartender. O’Donnell says he won’t go into further details until they’re fully investigated. The Bistro celebrates its 42nd anniversary next week, and O’Donnell says, quite earnestly, that “in all these years we’ve never had an incident of this nature or faced allegations such as these. Since we opened our doors, the Corner Bistro has welcomed and will continue to welcome everyone.”

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Corner Bistro Owner Says There Are Two Sides to Alleged Gay-Bashing