• Gay Dining

Top D.C. Steakhouse Reportedly Tells Gay Couple They Clash With the ‘Ambience’

Troubling report out of Washington, D.C. Let's hope The Prime Rib restaurant takes appropriate next steps to correct and ensure all patrons are welcome.

From Grub Street:

A gay couple says their dinner at Washington, D.C.’s Prime Rib, an acclaimed steakhouse that strives to make “every occasion feel like a special one,” ended in total humiliation after being told they couldn’t share a dessert because they’re both men. Ron Gage and Henry McKinnon, both in their 50s, tell the Washington Post that dinner last Thursday had been just fine up until that point. They’d shown up “properly attired in blazers,” enjoyed their mains, and even cracked a few jokes with their server. “When it came time for dessert,” Gage tells the paper, “we asked for one sundae with two spoons.” The server’s alleged response: Sorry, no can do. Gage says he told them: “It wouldn’t look right with two gentlemen eating out of the same sundae. It doesn’t go with the ambience of the restaurant.”

According to Gage, they “were speechless,” but just nodded. They paid their bill, tipped 15 percent instead of the usual 20, and left feeling too “shameful” to address the incident with a manager. The next day, they say they realized they should have, so the Post reports they posted on Facebook and Yelp. (Although neither site’s Prime Rib page currently appears to have a review.) The Prime Rib is reportedly working to piece together what happened. “The waiter in question is Bulgarian,” general manager James MacLeod tells the Post, explaining that while the server “does speak four different languages,” English isn’t his native tongue. MacLeod offered that maybe “he got confused as to what he was saying, or how he was saying it,” before adding: “There’s no way we would condone anything remotely like this.”

The restaurant, which once made Food & Wine’s list of five most-romantic restaurants, is already taking a drubbing on Yelp, where a dozen people have used reviews as a soap box for their political views — and on both sides, too. “Get with the program, this is not the South and you can’t tell people who to love,” one person wrote, while another from Tallahassee, Florida, left this message that’s still up (for now): “Glad I didn’t have to vomit my meal up by watching two gay men parade their degenerate behavior in front of my family. Food is great as well.”

Advocate.com reports this as well here.


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