The anonymous blog post (which was later taken down but is still available on Scribd), accusing the Lemp Brewpub in Gurgaon of mistreating a group of customers who visited the restaurant for the Sunday brunch on June 9, 2013, went viral on Twitter and other social media.
However, the restaurant does not accept the allegations made in the blog post. Here’s a time line of the Lemp Brewpub incident that made waves in the social media this week.
June 9, 2013: A group of eight people, seven men and one woman claimed to have visited Lemp Brewpub after viewing a listing of “Hawaiian Sunday brunch” on Zomato.com.
June 10, 2013: An anonymous blog post was published accusing Lemp’s staff of harassing the group of six people who visited the restaurant on Sunday.
June 11, 2013: The anonymous blog post was taken down. However its not clear if the post was removed on their accord or they were asked to remove. NDTV report dated June 11,2012 that Lemp was trending on Twitter India since Tuesday after the blog post was published.
According to the report, the blog post claimed that the price mentioned in the ad did not match the amount that they were charged and when they refused to pay the Rs 12,000, they were reportedly stopped by restaurant’s bouncers from getting into the elevator, following which they called the police.
June 11, 2013: According to a Firstpost report, a negative comment was posted by one of the eight people on Zomato about this incident. Answering to this comment, a handle called ‘restaurant owner’s reply’ said that the claims made by the customer and the blog are untrue and threatened to sue them for defaming the restaurant.
Inspector Jai Prakash Yadav, SHO at Sector 40 police station, said that nobody was brought to the police station because it was a minor argument between the restaurant owner and the customers, according to the Times of India report. The report also states that the restaurant owner has placed a complaint with the police against the writer of the anonymous blog post.
June 11, 2013: Zomato also released a statement in its blog addressing the incident and rejecting the claims made by many to delist the restaurant from their website.
June 12, 2013: Lemp Brewpub changed its name to Purplebar, as pointed out by Karthik Srinivasan in his blog post. In his post, Srinivasan has pointed out that the first restaurant review of Lemp posted in January 2012 was by a person named Shruti Sharma, who also happens to be the person who responded to the anonymous blog that surfaced on June 11, 2013. He has also pointed out that Sharma has, in all, written 4 reviews on Zomato of which 3 are for Lemp – first review written in January 2012, two more written as a response to the anonymous blog post and the fourth review is for Downtown pub in Sector 30 Gurgaon posted in January 2012 where she gave the pub 1-star rating and tore it apart.
Update – June 12, 2013: According to a Hindustan Times report, the group that visited Lemp Brewpub are being closely watched by the cyber crime wing on the direction of Police commissioner Alok Mittal after he received a defamation complaint from the owner of Lemp Brewpub.
June 13, 2013: Lemp has issued a press release about the incident (via NDTV). The release claims that the group of eight had generated a bill Rs 10, 393 but the group decided to leave the restaurant paying just Rs 1500. The release also states that the group was taken to the police station (contrary to the police officer’s claim in the Times of India story). They also claim to release a CCTV footage along with the press release, however it has not been released yet.
June 14, 2013: Lemp Brewpub released the CCTV footage as videos on Youtube.
June 18, 2013: Lemp Brewpub has accepted Social Samosa’s invite for a Google Hangout on June 18, 2013 to answer questions regarding the incident and also give their side of the story. However Lemp Brewpub cancelled the Hangout at 00:15AM on June 18, 2013 stating that the legal cell has advised them against making any public statements as the case is under investigation.