Fair’s fair. I told the story of what happened at Conrad’s a couple of days ago, and it’s only fair I publish owner Nicolas Bissias’s statement on the matter that he sent to Is It Any Good yesterday. It is published here in its entirely. The bolding is mine, just so you can see the good stuff, as it were. Just make sure to click “more” if you want to read the whole thing.
More importantly, he answered the question who called the cops:
I am deeply saddened by all the erroneous and harmful social media reports over the last several days regarding an incident at Conrad’s Restaurant in Pasadena, so I want to take this opportunity to set the record straight. At the end of the day this is nothing more than a misunderstanding of the events that took place on the morning of March 21, 2015.
As the owner of Conrad’s, I came to this country with no shoes and only the clothes on my back. I know what it is like to not have money, and in part because of that, I have a lot of compassion for those who find themselves on hard times. We are a local business that has been in the community for a long time – over 40 years. The only way to stay in business is to have great customer service, put your heart into your food, and to give back to the community. We have done this regularly over the past 40 years.
It has been erroneously reported in certain social media outlets that on the morning of March 21, 2015, a homeless gentleman by the name of “Michael” was refused service at the Conrad’s Restaurant in Pasadena. This is not true. What really happened was that a gentleman identified as “Michael” was panhandling and trespassing in the Conrad’s parking lot and confronted two customers as they approached the restaurant. After having received a complaint from a customer, Conrad’s contacted the Pasadena Police Department and asked that the police come and ask the gentleman to stop this activity. Pasadena Police Department records establish that this call was received by the Police Department at 8:40 a.m. with specific reference being made to an individual harassing customers in the parking lot.
After the call was received by the police at 8:40 a.m., a customer and her son entered the restaurant with the homeless gentleman at 9:10 a.m. She directed the homeless gentleman to sit at the counter while she and her son sat in a booth across the restaurant from him. This customer advised the restaurant staff that she would pay for his meal. The restaurant allowed this gentleman to stay and eat his meal. At no time was he refused service.
The Pasadena Police Department sent several police officers to the restaurant in response to the 8:40 a.m. complaint about panhandling by this gentleman in the parking lot. One officer entered the restaurant at 9:24 a.m. When the police officer arrived, the gentleman was sitting in the restaurant eating his meal and the owner spoke with the police officer who indicated that the restaurant had the right to refuse service to anyone. The owner told the police officer that everything was taken care of, that the gentleman could remain in the restaurant to finish his meal. The police officer left the restaurant at 9:31 a.m.
Apparently the woman who has circulated social media accounts of this incident was under the misunderstanding that the police officer was called when the gentleman entered the restaurant. This was a misunderstanding on her part. Unfortunately she did not speak to the police officer and if she had, then the misunderstanding would have been corrected.
These erroneous reports are particularly troubling because of the service my wife and I have provided to the community over the past four decades, including regularly donating to the Red Cross and to the Salvation Army, local churches as well as providing food to charitable organizations.
With this new age of social media must come some responsibility. The good work of my family and our service to the community over the past 40 years cannot and should not be negatively impacted by these erroneous reports.
But, given the circumstances, we want to make it clear that we care about our community, and we simply did not turn a homeless person away from our restaurant. Without your patronage, we would never have been able to give back to our community as we have.
I hope this clarifies this misunderstanding and reassures our customers and the community that Conrad’s has and will continue to operate our business responsibly with the highest integrity. We serve to serve again.