Keith McNally vs Your Ego

September 15th, 2009 by abbe diaz


okay well— thank you to the peoples who forwarded along all the hoopla about MinettaTavern and former Gawker whatever jesse-oxfeld.
at first i thought it was kinda amusing, but i wasn’t going to address it because— well quite frankly, who gives a shit. woooo somebody who is not a PX got treated like dog poop by a "hott" restaurant! wow that is such the newsflash, i’m amazed there isn’t a whole fucking book about it.
oh wait right, there is. dipshits.

but whatever. you want the astoundingly brilliant wisdom i have come to be known far and wide across the interwebs for distilling with such consistency and remarkable aplomb?

you got it, bitches.


yah so.
okay when i read alls about what (allegedly?) happened, my first instinct was:
aha ha ha ha ahaaah i aint buyin it.

oh i mean— of coooourse i buy the part about some geeky writer dude getting dissed by MinettaTavern. i mean like, DUH.
but sorrrry, i don’t believe the keith-mcnally responsive "excuse" for one second.
you’re dying to know why, aren’t you?

well. lots of reasons!
but mainly cuz i feel like "oh child, i have BEEN THERE, honey."

see, i never had the (assuredly awesome) experience of working for keith-mcnally, but i have worked for his brother brian-mcnally (as you’re all well aware).
anyways one time, a former manager of Pastis told me it’s pretty much "the same" situation. and i believe it cuz even keith-mcnally’s beautiful and enchanting wife alina-johnson.mcnally a whiles ago remarked to me how she and her hubby used to "have screaming matches at the front desk" back when she was a maiterdee (wow that’s just like me and brian! without the ring, the house, and the babies). and then later a former manager of Balthazar confirmed all this with a little anecdote of his own. oh but i digress.

when i attempt to re-enact the whole scenario in my imagination, this is how i envision (with all the vast knowledge and undeniable insight i possess) the whole rigmarole musta gone down:

– geeky writer dude phones in, can’t get his rezzie, blah blah, pitches a hissy fit.

– reservationist "hannan" puts him on hold, checks his name in the OpenTable database and voilà— just as she suspected— he aint shit.
but wait! maybe there’s no OpenTable? fine. so okay she does the next best (and smartest) thing: she checks with big dawg himself. just in case. cuz ya know— some of the most obnoxious peoples on the telephone are often the most important peoples in the wooooorld, yes?

– keith-mcnally replies to her inquiry: "jesse ox what? who the fuck is he?"

– and unfortunately, hannan doesn’t have an answer. tsk tsk bad hannan bad hannan. (that’s why you’re just a reservationist and not a maiterdee where all the big money and prestige is, hannan! start keeping up with that PageSix/GothamMag/blogger-circle-jerk, girl! unless of course this is just some stupid side gig to you, because you are too busy working on that PhD— in which case, you GO. carry on. just ignore me.)

– and so keith-mcnally decides: "i would throw out any peasant in the place…!" oh whoops, sorry! wrong restaurateur. i meant

– and so keith-mcnally decides: "eh. i’m too sexy for that clown." or something like that.

– and so hannan goes back to the telephone to inform jesse-ollyollyoxenfree he is not welcome EVERRRR. unless he wants to come at 6 or 11pm.



– so keith-mcnally responds to all the blogga blogga drama the only typically unimaginative way he can— he blames it all on poor stupid idiotic hannan. he claims:
"…Mr. Oxfeld was so pushy and aggressive on the telephone that she took it upon herself to distort the reservation policy to ensure that someone as unpleasant-sounding as Mr. Oxfeld would not be eating at Minetta Tavern…" 


mmmm… hmm?

riiiiight. hannan gives a rat’s ass WHO comes to MinettaTavern, WHY again? cuz i mean, it’s not like she CLOCKS OUT and GOES THE FUCK HOME after her shift working the phone lines or anything.
and she "took it upon herself" to brandish her sword and become the official guardian of the sanctity of the restaurant, cuz i’m sure they’ve NEVER HAD AN OBNOXIOUS PATRON BEFORE, and she really really really felt she wanted to EARN that $7.00 per hour, boy— cuz answering the neverending ringadings and saying the same exact shit a bazillion times a day simply isn’t exhibiting enough dedication to her field. right?

and let’s never mind that if mcnally’s excuse were true, hannan would soooo be FIRED right now. at least, that’s what would have happened at a brian-mcnally establishment. no wait, i’m sorry. she would be FIRED, unless she was really gorgeous and coquettish, and then she would be ‘FIRED with the option of re-employment.’

in short:

come on now. GET SERIOUS.

gawd you people are silly.



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8 Responses to “Keith McNally vs Your Ego”

  1. fek Says:

    meh. the reservationist wouldn’t have talked to mcnally. probably would’ve been roberta, kevin king, whoever’s at the wheel at the time. i sincerely doubt mcnally was the one who didn’t know who oxfeld was. oxfeld was still editing jess coen when isabelle mcnally’s underware hipster pic went up on gawker, and denton was dining at balth just as much every morning then as he does now. also mcnally’s pretty good with names.

    n.b. they start at $13 an hour, and most of them are aspiring actors and part-timers, or were when i had that gig. so, there’s that.

  2. abbe Says:

    really?! $13 per hour GET OUTTA TOWN

    since when?

    cuz i know when i applied (and scored) a job at Balthazar, they said starting salary was $10 per hour, no ifs ands or buts. and that was for a hostess position— ON THE FLOOR.

    i think this was in… 2000? yah, probably. 2000.

    i turned it down, because at that point in my “career” my salary requirements were a wee higher than that.
    i’m just sayin.

  3. abbe Says:

    oh and– i could be wrong but i think Kevin is solely at Balthazar now.

  4. funny Says:

    I worked at Pastis when it first opened and it was the same thing. The “policy” was that they don’t take reservations, so when people would walk in they would be mad bc the whole dining room is empty but obvs we couldn’t seat them bc it was all reserved for VIP. What a nightmare.

  5. Dick Johnson Says:

    Who’s “Roberta”?

    Or is that a code name, like “Fritzie”?


  6. Inkslinger Says:

    Hi “fek”! Nice to see you!

    Are you going to tell us more about your “Contrarian Opinion on Abbe Diaz” just because BlackBook magazine was so interested in her battle with Gawker?

    Oh, right, you write for Gawker on the weekends now, don’t you? That’s very interesting.

    Please, remind us again how we’re all “Koreshian” cultists, because we don’t enjoy having our salaries stolen from us. Tell me, when you were making that $13 per hour working for Keith, how much of it did you have to give up to pay the managers?

  7. Jason Has-Binn Says:

    does this feking gawker person realize that abbe has friends that WORK FOR MINETTA TAVERN RIGHT NOW

    it would appear he doesn’t

  8. fek Says:

    yeah, i know kevin’s at balth full-time, but he was at minetta for their opening and a few weeks thereafter. don’t know if they (or he) was/are still deciding whether or not to try to move over all the way, or if he’s still subbing in, but it wouldn’t surprise. yeah abbe, $13, that was in 2005, when i just got to new york. i was 21. it was enough to live off of and scrap fun, and it’s not a tipped gig.

    dick, roberta’s keith’s right hand woman/girl friday. she runs the office and also does floor work as well during openings. you want keith, you go through her.

    inkslinger: i called abbe’s followers koreshian. not her (go read that first sentence again). those followers still include you. i didn’t give up shit to the managers, because – and i don’t know how long its been since you’ve worked in the service industry – but that wasn’t at all a practice when i was there (or at schiller’s with josh and dean). believe me, if i had the chance to grease them up, i would’ve. fun stuff. i’m sure you’re trying to cook up some conspiracy theory about me working for the gawk and being “interested” in them or whatever, but jesus christ, cut the shit, take a lude or something (you olds still do those?). i’ve been running around with that for a while now. it’s no surprise to anyone (least of all former gawker managing ed. mohney, my boss at blackbook) that i’m there batting weekend cleanup.

    finally, jason, what would make you think i don’t know (or wouldn’t be able to guess) that abbe has friends at minetta? i’m operating under the assumption that she has friends everywhere. but the floors at mcnally’s restaurants and the offices might as well be two different dimensions; forget mission control, these are satellite morse signals of two tops, nothing more. they override the office all the time, at their discretion.

    l’chayim, etc.

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