Rude restaurant-goers plague Vanessa’s Bistro in Berkeley

Plus: Farley’s loses its SBA grant; ADA suits strike Alameda restaurants; more Quick Bites.

Vi Nguyen, the co-owner of Vanessa’s Bistro, says some post-pandemic customers have gotten so nasty she’s asked them to leave. Credit: Anna Mindess
  • Vanessa’s Bistro, a mother-and-daughter-run Vietnamese spot known for its comforting clay pot dishes, is seeing an uptick in “super rude” patrons, co-owner Vi Nguyen told SF Gate. In fact, some customers have gotten so challenging that Nguyen has had to ask the diners to leave. “People who were already nice prior to the pandemic are super nice, and people who were a little bit difficult to deal with pre-pandemic are now completely just unbearable to even serve,” Nguyen said.
  • Restaurants along Alameda’s Park Street have been hit with a spate of Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits, KPIX reports, all filed by serial litigant Orlando Garcia. While the suits are frustrating to many business owners and even members of the disability community, current California law requires compliance with certain accessibility rules, making these suits difficult to defend against in court. That means that many businesses settle with the filers for a few thousand bucks, prompting some to characterize the filings as a “shakedown.” A prominent filer of suits like these actually lives in Oakland, the New York Times reported last week: Albert Dytch has sued 180 businesses including San Leandro’s Top Hatters Kitchen and Bar over alleged ADA violations. He says that without legal threats, most area businesses refuse to do what it takes to allow wheelchair users to visit their spots, but “If there weren’t some money involved, I probably wouldn’t do it.”
  • Walnut Creek Police have arrested a suspect in the shooting outside Spoontonic Lounge that killed 25-year-old Lutfi Abbushi and injured three others, Bay City News reports. Police have not said why they believe the suspect, a 22-year-old Brentwood man, opened fire on bar patrons as he left the bar’s parking lot early in the morning of July 18.
  • Bay Area coffee company Farley’s, the employee-profit-sharing business with a popular shop in Uptown Oakland, was told in May that it had been awarded a $381,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. According to Reuters, a successful lawsuit by former Trump staffers against prioritizing businesses owned by historically marginalized people means that the grant has been canceled, and Farley’s is unlikely to ever see those funds.
Eve Batey is Berkeleyside's interim Nosh editor. Email: eve@berkeleyside.org.