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Oak Cliff’s Ten Bells Tavern gets national attention for angry Yelp review

Posted on September 23, 2013


Sarah Blaskovich

Ten Bells Tavern (David Worthington)

OAK CLIFF — When Ten Bells Tavern in Oak Cliff received a one-star review from a Yelper alleging the bar and restaurant “smells” and “some of the staff look cracked out,” the owners fired back a response that likely won’t seeYelper “Mark G.” back in anytime soon.

The episode made national news on Reddit and Gawker.

Here’s the story, as told by Ten Bells co-owner Michael Hickey: The man didn’t have his ID when he asked for a Miller Lite, and then the man “proceeded to open his shirt to expose his chest hair to one of our servers,” Hickey explained by phone. When the man posted a nasty comment on Yelp about his evening at Ten Bells, the owners responded in a way that Gawker calls ”public shaming.” The exchange in full:

From Mark G. on Yelp: I live in Oak Cliff and really wanted to like this place. But, frankly, it smells. Maybe if you sit outside you can’t smell the nastiness, but inside is gross. It smells like it has been there for 50 years and never been clean, but it is a newer place. Some of the staff look cracked out. Looks like something you’d find a seedy part of town. I will avoid this place in the future. There are plenty of other places in the area to have a better experience.

The owners’ response: Hi Mark G.

Thank you so much for the valuable input. Quick question for you!

Which part made it smell worse? The part where we didn’t serve you any alcohol or the part where you harassed the female staff by exposing your chest hair in lieu of showing your ID? Next time you want a Miller Lite, please bring the appropriate ID that is required when you go to a bar and we’ll gladly serve you.

The Reddit stream has nearly 1,500 comments. So does national coverage translate to higher bar sales at Ten Bells? So far not yet, said Hickey, who co-owns Ten Bells with two others. “It hasn’t had time to translate into new bodies yet, but I’m hoping it does,” he said.

Hickey said they pay attention to their reviews on Yelp and try to answer people when they are unsatisfied. “I think there are a lot of people that do defer to Yelp, especially for areas they’re not familiar with [like Oak Cliff]. If you have a high-star rating, of course, that’s going to be beneficial,” he said.

Ten Bells currently has four stars and 45 reviews on Yelp; Mark. G’s post was the only one-star.

Yelper Mark G. reviewed two Oak Cliff establishments on the same day besides Ten Bells Tavern, giving neighbor Oak Cliff Social House one star and Eno’s Pizza Tavernfive.


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Mystic Maggie

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