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Posted: July 07, 2017

Vegan cafe owners fire back at customer who complained about naked child in restaurant


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Vegan cafe owners fire back at customer who complained about naked child in restaurant
A vegan cafe in Memphis, Tennessee, has gone viral after a negative review was posted online and the owner responded.

By Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk and Fox13Memphis.com

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —

A social media argument between a customer and the owners of a vegan cafe in Memphis, Tennessee, is now going viral. 

The Washington Post reported that customer Chelsea Bartley left a review for Imagine Vegan Cafe on Google Reviews and it was picked up across multiple social media platforms and outlets.

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The customer said one of the owners’ children ran around naked, bent over and showed the table their private parts, and another child “yodeled” at customers. 

“On the real, I eat here all the time. I still probably will bc (sic) I like to go out and there are few options available to me BUT y'all listen,” Bartley wrote. “During my visit, a bare butt naked baby was running around, stood up on a table with its black theyre (sic) so dirty feet, and bent over to show me it’s (private part). I wish I was exaggerating.” 

“This is like while I'm eating, and it's the owners kids? (sic) An older kid came over and started like yodeling and staring at me during my meal. I was SO uncomfortable. Like I get it's a family establishment and kids do weird things but naked baby was running around for like 15 minutes while all the workers started are just standing to the side talking and laughing over it,” the two-star review said.

“And for my food, I can heat up a tofurky sausage just as well and in under half the time.”

One of the owners responded to the negative review on the restaurant’s since-deleted Facebook page, according to The Post.

“I am about to start calling out names and pictures of people who leave us bad reviews, especially when it deals with our children. You will no longer be allowed to come and dine at Imagine. Especially when you lie about our babies,” the post said. “We do not want or need your business. Be our guest and go eat at the other vegan restaurants down the street ... You’ve thoroughly (sic) irritated mama bear!!!!!!!!!!!! We’re starting with Chelsea Bartley!”

“For anyone who reads this and instantly is scared this might affect our business, I cannot begin to tell you how much we do not care. Haters are not welcome at Imagine!!!!”

The owners called the review an attack on their restaurant and said anyone who would have a problem with what the children were doing is not welcome in their restaurant. 

“If a one-year-old baby was upside down on a table showing everyone there (sic) (bottom) I don’t think that’s the biggest problem,” the page said, according to The Post.

According to its official website, Imagine Vegan Cafe, created by couple Adam and Kristie Jeffrey, is “a family owned and operated community.”

“We are not a cookie cut, corporate business. In fact, we are the antithesis of this model. Thus, your experience may vary from visit to visit,”  the website says. “Sometimes you may not have to wait long for a table or food. Sometimes it may take an hour. Sometimes there may be children running around your table, singing very loudly. Sometimes you will have a very quiet, candlelight experience. So please leave your expectations at the door.”

News of the review and the restaurant’s reply appears to have picked up the most steam from a tweet by user @curtofranklin Thursday afternoon.

Since news of the review has spread, the cafe’s Yelp page has been flooded with negative reviews, causing the site to clean up a number of reviews. 

Yelp has a policy of working to “remove both positive and negative posts that appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business,” according to a notification on the cafe’s page.


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