Houston, Texas, Bar and Restaurant Kicks out Customer over Insulting Tweet

We’ve all heard the stories about how insulting your boss on Facebook or Twitter, or complaining about your job generally speaking, can, in some cases, land you in trouble; it can even get you fired. Recently, however, an opinion purveyed on a the social networking site Twitter got one restaurant patron thrown out of the restaurant, causing a veritable media frenzy that was eventually even covered by international news outlets.

So what happened precisely? Allison Matsu, a local Houstonian recently named by the local weekly “Best Late Night Twitterer,” was enjoying a beer or two at Down House, a new establishment located in the Houston Heights area.  After overhearing a conversation the bartender was having with another customer, Matsu misunderstood the context of the conversation, thinking that the bartender was insulting another renowned Houston restaurateur.

Matsu then proceeded to tweet, “I like how I’m sitting at Down House and the twerp behind the bar is saying, ‘And I quote Bobby Heugel [the restaurateur]…’ #jackoff.” Since Matsu is a well-known foodie and Twitterer, a Down House general manager, Forrest DeSpain, saw Matsu’s tweet. Angered that one of his employees was insulted, DeSpain called Down House, and asked to speak to Matsu who was sitting at the bar. Although the details of the conversation aren’t clear, DeSpain firmly asked Matsu to leave the restaurant. Matsu reportedly left in tears, and later said that she was verbally assaulted.

Although the incident perhaps didn’t warrant the media attention that it did subsequently receive, food blogs, newspapers, and Twitter itself was abuzz after the incident. Most were shocked that a patron could actually be thrown out of an establishment because of a tweet. Although the owner of Down House, Chris Cusak, later apologized for not talking to Matsu personally, he recently issued a public statement, which still defended the intentions behind the general manager’s actions. Bobby Heugel, the restaurateur who was brought up in the bartender’s conversation that sparked the tweet, likewise issued a public statement, in which he told the restaurant critic community of Houston to “chill out.”

Now that the hype over the incident has somewhat subsided, in trying to make light of what happened, Down House has begun an insulting tweet contest, awarding a $50 gift certificate to the best insult. In retrospect, the whole debacle may seem a trifle silly, as noted in the Houston Press: “the incident on Sunday night marks one of the first times that a diner has been asked to leave for being disruptive online.” If anything, then, the story demonstrates the power of social networking activity to affect events in real life.

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About Brandon Leibowitz

is a Social Media fanatic. His blog, Bosmol, is based on trending stories on various topics related to social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Plus, Internet Marketing, Social Bookmarking, Smartphones, SEO, and many other topics. Established in Los Angeles, California in 2007. Subscribe to us to receive the latest news and updates first. Please feel free to comment back.

  • http://www.losangelessewingmachine.com Sewing Machine Expert

    Gotta be careful with what you tweet especially if your account can be viewed by the public. How many media personalities have receive lots of disapproval from their tweets?

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  • http://www.hisgadget.com/tools-hardware/digital-multimeter.html Mastech

    The decisive advantage of social network is that the info there is open and available for all people. The effect multiplies if the source is celebrity. So be careful, everyone is watching on you.

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  • http://www.metalcarportsandkits.com Carport

    I think it’s justified, if she had a problem with the people/their conversation then talk to them directly about it, don’t hide behind Twitter and be all passive-aggressive about it.

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  • http://www.travelgrove.com/cheap-flights-to-Fort-Lauderdale.html Cheap Flights to Fort Lauderdale

    Wow, social media really gets under our skin more and more. Such incidents are just the beginning and there will be much more of them, today is just someone thrown out of a bar, tomorrow it might be someone arrested for what they tweeted, shared, whatever… That’s what happens when the world becomes a small village.

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  • http://www.forixwebdesign.com/ Tessa@Web Development Portland

    Its better keep the personnel info get rid of social networking public profile.

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  • http://www.evolvinginteractive.com Chicago SEO

    I don’t think it’s totally unreasonable to kick out a customer who is insulting one of your employees, especially when the insult is based upon a conversation that apparently wasn’t even heard correctly. And then she sobbed after getting kicked out? Kudos to the restaurant for making lemonade out of this lemon and creating the insult contest.

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  • http://www.halfpricetourtickets.com Miami Tours

    That’s pretty insane, a tweet can get you kicked out, people should be able to express their own feelings on their own twitter without being kicked out or yelled at. Freedom of speech.

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  • http://reverselookupsearch.blogspot.com/ Robert@Reverse Phone Search

    This is completely ridiculous.After all everyone is free to express his/her feelings.I wonder how we let Social media control our life.Maturity is missing from the Society.

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  • http://www.personalsolutions.com.au/ hypnosis

    Yes, social media is both related to science and technology. Technology means the tools and platforms needed to complete your social media marketing campaign and science means studying the psychology of people using social media or even the behavior patterns of your target market.

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  • http://www.xlargemedia.com/google.reklam/ google reklam

    This is completely ridiculous.After all everyone is free to express his/her feelings.I wonder how we let Social media control our life.Maturity is missing from the Society

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  • http://www.gmesources.com web designing

    i think positive use of social media is a good thing , i think peoples think of that please try to do positive use of all sort of technologies including social media ,

    thanks

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  • http://www.bestoceansideduiattorney.com/practice-areas/dui-felony/ Oceanside Felony DUI Attorneys

    Campaigns about responsible use of social networking sites are aired regularly in my country. And that is good because I starting to get irritated with people on Facebook and Twitter posting nonsense.

    As to the incident, I am still thinking If kicking out a customer just because of the bad tweet is right.

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  • http://www.jooksed.com/watch-nfl-online Dave Thomas @ Watch NFL Online

    I’ve seen that happen locally too, it’s happening more and more. I’ve also actually been asked by a restaurant owner, while I’m eating at the restaurant, to update my status saying the restaurant was good. That’s a bit much I think, I’m a customer not an employee.

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  • http://www.herbalvaporizerreview.org/ Vaporizer

    No no no it is not good idea to share on twitter.I think u talk directly with MD.

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  • http://www.over50lifeinsurancex.com Over 50s Life Insurance

    tweeting all types of crap about people and businesses should get you thrown out and sued. Its one thing to have a private conversation with your buddies but another thing to defame/slander people…..last time I heard you could be sued for that…..

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