A.V. Club Madison,
Walker gets booted from Merchant, igniting argument and protest ratings on restaurant’s Yelp page
These days, it seems that even casual conversation is pulled into the gaping maw of l’affaire Walker, from whose hideous pull no topic can escape. When rumors first surfaced that Scott Walker tried to dine at stylish downtown Merchant (121 S. Pinckney St., 608-259-9799) but was booed so vociferously by the guests that restaurant management asked him to leave, The A.V. Club thought it a good bit of water cooler gossip (and also completely hilarious).
Since then, however, a more interesting situation has evolved. Merchant took so many phone calls about the blog post—both negative and positive—that it asked Naomi Houser, the blogger, to remove it. The original text:
The Merchant in Madison, WI confirms that on Friday night, Patrick Sweeney (one of the owners) politely asked Scott Walker to leave the establishment when other customers began boo-ing him. A bartender at The Merchant said that, “his presence was causing a disturbance to the other customers and management asked him to leave.”
Houser removed that text and replaced it with the following:
Come looking for an article about Scott Walker being booted from a Madison restaurant? Yes, you came to the right place, but at the request of the restaurant owner due to abusive phone calls, the article has been hidden for the time being.
And now, Merchant is unreachable. It should be open for business today, but has not yet answered its phone nor returned messages.
The story continues to evolve as both Walker supporters (“Before listening to the naysayers, keep in mind how several of them have made zero contribution to Yelp so far, and just registered to slam a business they dislike”) and their antagonists (“First of all, the amount of new reviewers who gave merchant 5 stars sketches me out”) tussle through protest ratings on Merchant’s Yelp page. And the rumor now has its own topic: “So now what to do about all of these people giving them one star ratings because they voted for Walker?”