When a bar is called Friendly's, one would expect the atmosphere to be, how do you say it, friendly?
A recent customer at Friendly's Sports Bar & Grill, in the Oak Hill neighborhood near Tower Grove Park, thinks the watering hole is anything but congenial, and has a receipt to prove it.
On Sunday, Joe Gibson took his son, who will turn four in August, into the bar and ordered food. After dining, the server dropped the bill on the table. It listed the cost of a soda, a fried chicken dinner, and an additional chicken leg. It also included the following notation:
1 — (F%$#@$% Needy Kids)
Gibson posted this information on the Post-Dispatch's Facebook page on Sunday. Today, Gibson said he didn't post the incident to "get anything out of it. But I was pretty upset that it happened."
Gibson stressed that his son did not misbehave or act rudely while in the restaurant.
Denny Domachowski, the bar's owner, gave a detailed account of events.
He said Gibson called the bar on Father's Day, late in the afternoon, and asked if he could bring his son into the bar.
"Normally, we don't let anyone in who's under 21. But the guy said he was with his kid for Father's Day and they were just leaving the (Missouri) Botanical Garden, so I said 'Sure,'" Domachowski said.
Domachowski said Gibson ordered a chicken dinner for himself and a single chicken leg for his son.
"Now normally, we don't allow substitutions," Domachowski said. "But again, I figured because it was Father's Day, we'd give him the single leg and I'd have the rest for my lunch."
Domachowski said Gibson and his son were nice, as was the waitress who served them. "There were no problems."
The problem came when the waitress typed in additional instructions for the kitchen staff and — as a joke between the waitress and the cook, Domachowski insists — made the "needy kid" remark.
"Normally, those (kitchen) instructions are cleared off the bill before it's printed out and given to the customer," Domachowski said. "But, obviously, they weren't."
"I can understand why the gentleman was upset," Domachowski said, "and that's why I apologize."
Gibson said that he understands that "accidents can happen, but you can also do things to prevent them."
"If it happened to me, it could happen again," Gibson said. "What else are they writing about other people?"