Thursday, April 14, 2005


While in other restaurants across the city diners savoured fine foods and conversations, laughed over clinking glasses and tipped waiter's polished smiles, an undeclared war was being waged between the patrons and the staff of Stanley's Bar and Grill.

Nobody was sure how it all began. One rumour had it that all the trouble started in the late 80's with a new owner who had burnt out on the set of Miami Vice and was looking for a little R and R as a restauranteur. When it turned out to be more work than anticipated, he simply let things go to pot. Others swore up and down that the restaurant began as a kind of dinner theater where the staff put on a show of being rude for everyone's amusement. One waitress had carried it too far however by deliberatly dumping coffee on the lap of a regular. "Oh and that's me just pretending to be a bitch," she supposedly shouted at the man. Clearly, the origins for the current state of affairs were unclear.

Everyday a collection of new and familiar faces would scrutinize the workings of the staff at Stanley's Bar and Grill. At best the service was slow and surly. Regulars tried their best to fight back with penny tips, notes of complaint or just plain old looks of astonishment and invokings of basic rules of conduct.

The food was less than delicious, but there was simply a stubborness that brought people back again and again.

One summer a Catholic nun took up the challenge to bring the staff to their knees. "You fight with love. You've gotta be kind to be cruel. That's how you really stick it to somebody. They'll feel ashamed of themselves," she told several of the regulars after she was seen giving flowers to one particularly rude waitress who simply snorted and mumbled her way through her shift.

In revenge the staff of Stanley's hired a punk rock puppeteer to put on a lunch time show which featured heart, liver and kidney puppets coming out from an autopsied Pope (made out of paper machet).

And that's when all hell broke loose.


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