Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Yelpers Boycotting Ninja City and Bac after Chef Bac Nguyen Sent Racist, Intimidating Messages

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 2:42 PM

After Yelper Ruchu Tan wrote an unflattering review of Chef Bac Nguyen's new Ninja City restaurant in University Circle last month, Nguyen tracked down Tan on Facebook — they weren't friends — and sent him a series of intimidating messages. Nguyen used racial slurs and threatened Tan with physical violence if he ever came to either of his establishments ever again. 

Tan's original one-star review was certainly poor (in contrast to Scene food critic Doug Trattner's "quick and awesome" appraisal) but it didn't seem unduly vindictive. In fact, Tan said he was sorry to "have to" give the new joint a single star.



"I'm not sure if I would return for other food items since their staple item was so bad," Tan wrote in conclusion. "Hopefully service isn't as bad as what we've experienced." 

Nguyen's response the following day,  however, was a clear personal attack.

"If I ever see you near my restaurants again, you will be in trouble," Nguyen wrote, after some expletive-laden patter about Tan's sex life. "Peace fucker."  

And he didn't stop there: "You're ugly and physically weak and your girlfriend is an ugly piece of shit." 

Though Nguyen eventually apologized when Tan threatened to go public with his remarks, a local group boycotting Ninja City  and Nguyen's Tremont cafe Bac wrote that Nguyen continues to taunt and harass Tan on social media.

"Nguyen’s actions imply he believes he is free to threaten, bully, and attack customers with impunity,as long as he says he makes a superficial apology afterwards," the group writes. "Nguyen’s intimidation of customers shows not only a disturbing ignorance of professional conduct but also an unsettling disregard for his responsibility to his community.

"Cleveland is undergoing a renaissance,drawing visitors and newcomers the nation and world over. As a Cleveland business owner, Nguyen has contributed to and benefited from this movement. His intolerance and bullying tactics against customers hurt more than the individual customers. They hurt the country’s perception of Cleveland.

"Cleveland is a proudly diverse and tolerant city, home to a dazzling myriad of cultures, ethnicities, religions, political viewpoints, cuisines and thriving businesses. Such intolerance, lack of professionalism, and threatening behavior has no place in our community."

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar