The Lion Learns Not To Turn Away Journalists The Hard Way

by BILLY GRAY · May 14, 2010

A couple of "nattily dressed" Wall Street Journal reporters were turned away from next-Waverly Inn aspirant The Lion Wednesday night. Their revenge? Writing up Hotel Griffou, The Lion's competitor just down 9th Street. I am a spurned journo, here me roar!-

Note to trendy restaurants: this is what happens when your haughty maitre d turns down a couple of pen- or mouse-wielding writers:

"A pair of nattily dressed reporters were turned away for a two-top; a maitre d' said the restaurant closed the kitchen an hour early and suggested they come back "one day really early."

Burn. Time for a fallback plan:

"The reporters instead went to Griffou, where they were ushered right to a table and a few waiters grumbled about the 'place down the street.'"

Sure they did! OK, the quote is probably accurate. But the power of having a readership exacerbates such a rivalry, even if the writer trumpeted the naysaying original restaurant in the process. Which isn't to say the reporters praised their Plan B. Hotel Griffou lacked boldfacers and the writeup lacked any mention of the restaurant's grub.

A Lion spokesman downplayed any tension, saying:

"Any angst between the two restaurants is simply in a reporter's head. John DeLucie, the chef at The Lion, 'is very close friends'with Larry Poston...a co-owner of Griffou. 'Larry was actually in for dinner on Tuesday.' At least he can get a table."

Anyway, the piece is a reminder of the potentially democratizing power of online food writing. Not any schlub can get into The Lion, but anyone can put up a blog entry biting the paw that didn't feed him.

Photo via Eater