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Customer Sues Restaurant For $100,000 Over Allegedly Poor Valentine's Day Service

03/05/2015 03:05 pm ET | Updated Mar 05, 2015

Bad service at a restaurant? Most patrons would stop giving the establishment their business, or perhaps leave a negative review on Yelp.

Not Kathleen Hampton. After experiencing what she says was poor service at an Italian restaurant in Portland, Oregon, she's filed a lawsuit for $100,000.

As first reported by Oregon Live, Hampton says she and her husband made reservations to eat at Enzo’s Caffe Italiano on Valentine's Day. At the last minute, her husband decided not to join her because, she writes in the suit, "he was still full from lunch." So she decided to attend by herself.

She sat alone at the table for two, amid what local news station KOIN 6 reports was a busy Valentine's Day crowd, but says no one would take her order. Instead, she says, she was asked to give up the table.

Hampton says she was "crushed." In a copy of the suit obtained by Oregon Live, she says she tried to give the restaurant a way out by ordering to go, "and they told me they don't do take out."

"That was the final straw," she writes. "I've never heard of a food place not having to go. I was so devastated I cried for one day ... I don't want this to happen to anyone else that's why I'm filing this complaint."

She told KOIN 6 she believes her race played a factor in the decision, though she does not make that claim in her suit.

Restaurant owner Enzo Lanzadoro recalls a very different scenario:

"She made [a] reservation for two and when she got there, said 'Oh, just by myself,'" Lanzadoro told Oregon Live. "We offered for her to sit at the bar with other single diners since Valentine's Day is very busy and all we know is she got up [from the table] and left without paying after she drank two glasses of wine."

In a statement on Facebook, the restaurant added:

Our deepest gratitude to all that are supporting us through this false accusation. It's cooking great Italian food as usual at Enzo's Caffe Italiano, and we sincerely thank everyone for their tremendous support. We look forward to seeing you all very soon. Ci Vediamo Presto!

Hampton, who is representing herself in the lawsuit, is asking for $100,000 from the restaurant and a "public apology both in person and in writing in news and community papers."

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