HOSPITALITY CHECKPOINT SPOTTER SERVICE
Woman wants $100K, public apology for Valentine’s service
PORTLAND, Ore. – A Northeast Portland woman is suing a local Italian restaurant because she claims the staff refused to serve her on Valentine’s Day.
Kathleen Hampton made a 7 p.m. reservation for two people at Enzo’s Caffe Italiano, on Northeast 29th Avenue, on Feb. 14. The restaurant was serving a special five-course meal that day, in honor of the romantic holiday.
According to court documents, Hampton said her husband backed out at the last minute, so she decided to go by herself. The two had apparently gone on a lunch date earlier in the day and her husband didn’t think he had the appetite for the big Italian meal.
The court documents stated that Hampton, who is representing herself in the lawsuit, first felt uncomfortable about the way she was treated when she arrived for her reservation.
“I was finally seated after people coming in after me was (sic) seated. I thought that was strange but I was not getting any services,” she said.
Hampton also complained in the court documents that when she told her waitress she was ready to order, she was instead asked to leave and give up her table.
Enzo Lanzadoro, the owner of the restaurant, said when Hampton arrived alone, they assumed her date was still on the way. So they offered her a glass of wine to sip on while she waited.
Lanzadoro said on nights when his restaurant is serving special menus, the staff typically does not seat people until their entire party arrives. In addition, the tables are used only for parties of two or more, because the restaurant is so busy it needs every seat in the house.
Hampton did not tell the host that her date had cancelled, so she was eventually seated at a table, Lanzadoro said, and she was also given a second glass of wine.
“When the waitress asked her if the other person was coming, she said, ‘No, he’s not coming.’ At that time, because of that day – Valentine’s Day – the waitress said, ‘Sorry you cannot take a table by yourself, you can either sit at the bar or outside.'”
The court documents stated that at that point, Hampton just wanted to leave. “I was so hurt. I’ve never experienced this before here in Portland and I was crushed,” she said. “I even gave them away (sic) out by saying I will do take out and they told me they don’t do take out.”
Lanzadoro told KGW the restaurant usually allows customers to order food to go, but it was not available on that particular night, because of the special five-course menu. He said before the waitress could explain, Hampton had walked out.
Hampton said she decided to sue Enzo’s after talking about the devastating ordeal with family and friends. Her lawsuit asks for a public apology and $100,000 “to make sure all business owners in N.E. Alberta know we are serious about our community,” according to the court documents.
While Lanzadoro is not willing to meet those demands, he said he would like to talk to Hampton and she is welcome back at Enzo’s Caffe Italiano any time.
“‘I am so sorry. It was in no way intentional. Please let me make up for it.’ That is what I would say if I could talk to her,” he told KGW.
© Hospitality Checkpoint LLC 2015