Owner's response to one-star Yelp review of Karma Bar & Grill goes viral

Facebook post has garnered 600 shares
Posted at 2:29 PM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-07 08:11:12-04

MILWAUKEE -- How do restaurant owners and managers handle negative attention online? Often, they simply bite their tongues and ignore it. Faced with a nasty review, the Milwaukee man who owns and operates Karma Bar & Grill in the city's lower east side decided to do the exact opposite.

It all started when reviewer Anthony C. left a one-star review of Karma on the popular app Yelp late last month. In Anthony's review, he shows no mercy for the local establishment nestled between a Panera and a Chipotle:

"I don't get why people like it [Karma] or why my friends insist on coming here...The drinks are overpriced. The service is hit or miss. The menu is very basic. I've never had a good meal here despite having been here about 7 times."

When Karma owner Ari Domnitz saw the one-star review, he wrote a nearly 1,300-word response taking Anthony to task. It has since been shared nearly 600 times on Facebook.

"It’s just awesome that while you have given 3 stars to gas stations and Taco Bell franchises, you felt compelled to jump on Yelp...and sling mud because you’ve got something to say and everyone needs to hear it!" Domnitz says near the top of his post.

Digging into Anthony's Yelp profile, Domnitz had scathing critiques on how the amateur reviewer handled past assessments of places like Starbucks and Elsa's on the Park.

"Elsa’s has been serving a diverse crowd of Milwaukee clientele for longer than you’ve been alive and they do it better than nearly anyone in Milwaukee. Their staff is dressed well, knowledgeable and professional. But you give them 2 stars because they aren’t upscale enough for you," he added.

Domnitz saved his most biting rhetoric for the end of his screed, when he suggests the problem may in fact be with Anthony:

So let me help you out buddy, if your friends all like it, if people keep suggesting you come here, and they all seem to have a good time and enjoy the food. If they somehow find a way to afford the sky high prices and brave the onslaught of hit or miss service… what are the odds that they’re all blind you’re the legendary cyclops...Maybe… just maybe… you have no freakin’ idea what you’re talking about.

For what it's worth, Yelp's current average for Karma Bar & Grill stands at 3.5/5 stars, with 144 listed reviews.

Check out Domnitz's full post: