Restaurant looks into accusation homeless man kicked out

CALGARY — A homeless man says being thrown out of a Calgary restaurant because of his appearance was “degrading,” but adds he was encouraged by the kindness of strangers during the incident.

CALGARY — A homeless man says being thrown out of a Calgary restaurant because of his appearance was “degrading,” but adds he was encouraged by the kindness of strangers during the incident.

Ryan Gartner, a patron at Original Joe’s in the city’s trendy Kensington district, said he and friends were out for dinner when they saw the homeless man at the next table, eating a meal that a Good Samaritan had bought for him.

“We said hi to him, got his name … offered to help him out, if we could buy him a meal or anything like that,” said Gartner. “He was a quiet dude, friendly, he wasn’t harming anybody.”

But Gartner said once they asked the man, named Shawn, to join them, a bartender stepped in and told him to get out of the restaurant.

“This homeless gentlemen asked if he was being asked to leave because he was homeless. To which the bartender replied, ‘Yes, you’re dirty and you stink and you look offensive to people.’ ”

Jordan Prescesky, vice-president of Original Joe’s, said the worker has been suspended until the restaurant can review the complaint.

Shawn spoke out Tuesday about the incident.

“It was degrading … made me feel like a piece of dirt,” he said. “I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I left.

“I mean, I am living in the bush, I’m down on my luck, you know? I could use some help.”

He wanted to thank Gartner for his compassion, saying the simple gesture made him feel worthy.

“Gartner was really nice, reached in his pocket pulled everything out, all his money in his pocket.”

Prescesky said in a statement that Shawn is known to staff at the restaurant.

“He often comes in to exchange coins for paper money which we happily do for him,” Prescesky said.

“On this occasion, the guest enjoyed a meal and beverage; however, shortly after, our bartender indicated he became disruptive with staff and patrons and was asked to leave the restaurant.”

Prescesky said it would be standard procedure to ask a disruptive person to leave.

“We are taking the accusation of derogatory remarks made to this individual very seriously and are still investigating the matter,” he said.

“Original Joe’s has zero tolerance for this type of behaviour towards anyone in our establishment.”

Prescesky said the restaurant regularly donates to charities that support the homeless.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Weinstein conviction sends right message, says advocate

“Don’t stay in silence because we can make this end one day”

One actor tackles 33 zany characters in CAT’s social satire, Fully Committed

Ash Mercia is taking on an actor’s biggest challenge

Sylvan Lakers asked for playground input

Town has set aside $250,000 to replace Centennial Park playground

Alberta legislature resumes: Focus on jobs and bill to punish protesters

EDMONTON — A new legislature sitting has begun with the Alberta government… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Bucks defeat Raptors in battle of Eastern Conference heavyweights

Bucks 108 Raptors 97 TORONTO — Khris Middleton scored 22 points as… Continue reading

Monahan, Backlund score 2G each, Flames beat Bruins 5-2

Flames 5 Bruins 2 BOSTON — Sean Monahan scored a pair of… Continue reading

Canadian Pacific obtains injunction to end Mohawk rail blockade in Kahnawake

MONTREAL — Canadian Pacific Railway obtained an injunction Tuesday aimed at ending… Continue reading

Alberta legislature resumes: Focus on jobs and bill to punish protesters

EDMONTON — A new session of the Alberta legislature began Tuesday with… Continue reading

Red Deer realtor is Century 21’s best seller worldwide

Nobody sold more units than Gavin Heintz among company’s 139,000 realtors

Red Deer District Community Foundation looking for volunteer board members

The Red Deer & District Community Foundation is looking for new board… Continue reading

Feds seek 21 months for Hot Pockets heiress in college scam

BOSTON — Prosecutors are seeking nearly two years in prison for an… Continue reading

Most Read