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Twin Cities restaurant owner calls out uptick in rude customers

Milton's Vittles, Vino and Beer is located in Crystal.
Francine Weber with her employees at Milton's VVB.

Francine Weber with her employees at Milton's VVB.

A Twin Cities restaurant owner might go back to banning dine-in service due to a surge in customers being rude to staff during what were already very difficult work conditions because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Francine Weber, owner of Milton's Vittles, Vino and Beer at 3545 Douglas Dr. N. in Crystal, took to Facebook Live Tuesday after another night of dealing with inappropriate guest behavior.

"People have been not very nice coming in," Weber said. "We've got customers coming in, sitting inside, walking around and not really taking into consideration the whole COVID thing. It's really kind of upsetting me ... and people just being mean."

"It's happening so much. I don't know what's going on," she added. "I'm just going to flat out tell you, if you can't check yourself when you go out anywhere, be nice to people these days, then maybe you need to think about staying home." 

Minnesota bars and restaurants were banned from serving customers inside for nearly three months during Gov. Tim Walz's stay-at-home order, and Wednesday marks only two weeks since establishments were granted permission to reopen inside dining at a maximum of 50 percent capacity. 

"We've been very good at doing what we need to do with our space and keeping people separate. I am seriously contemplating not having inside open," Weber said. 

Weber said customers are "not being very nice," moving from table to table – which forces staff to keep disinfecting surfaces – and complaining about price increases and a smaller menu. 

"Please think about what you're asking before the words come out of your mouth," Weber said. "Everybody is experiencing a lot of different things right now. We are all here trying to do the best that we can. 

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"I have the nicest, flexible and caring staff ever and they don't deserve it, so check yourself. If I'm hearing it happens, I'm going to ask you to leave. I'm just not going to tolerate it."

Weber took a line from the Park Tavern (St. Louis Park) bar manager who she said is often asked about specials: "Our specials are: We are open." 

Weber concluded: "We're trying to be here. No, there's no happy hour and yes, prices have raised for various reasons."

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