Owner of Marcy’s has message to critics in wake of viral comments

Following actions and comments that quickly went viral online and made national news, Darla Neugebauer, owner of Marcy’s Diner in Portland, has a message for supporters and critics:

“Everybody that has showed me support, I knew their names. Everyone that wants me to go f— myself, I don’t know their names, and I don’t wanna to know their names. I don’t wanna know their names, and I don’t care if they come in.”

The comments were made at the end of an impromptu interview as she cranked out orders from the grill behind the diner’s bar on Monday morning (note- crass language in the video):

The reason for the widespread criticism (and even more widespread support) is because of the way that she dealt with a screaming toddler at her restaurant on Saturday, and for the posts that she published on the diner’s Facebook page the following day.

She also gave this interview with Portland’s WSCH 6 news channel, which went viral almost immediately:

Despite all the negative publicity, locals, regulars, and other supporters from all over the country have rallied around the throwback diner.

The list of places people have called from to show their support (other places such as North Carolina were added to the list shortly after this photo was taken).

The list of places people have called from to show their support (other places such as North Carolina were added to the list shortly after this photo was taken).

“People from as far away as Seattle, Nevada, and New Mexico have called in to show their support today,” remarked Gillian Sinnott, a server at Marcy’s.

“We’ve also had people calling in to harass us, we even had to stop taking phone orders for the time being because so many people were calling in fake orders for pancakes.”

Marcy's Diner employee Gillian Sinnott explains why they've stopped taking phone orders to a regular customer.

Marcy’s Diner employee Gillian Sinnott explains why they’ve stopped taking phone orders to a regular customer.

The reason for the fake pancake orders is due to the fact that the parent’s of the toddler reportedly ordered three adult-sized pancakes for the child, only to leave them sitting in the middle of the table as they chatted, apparently oblivious to their hungry, screaming kid and the dozens of annoyed people eating and working around them.

Despite thousands of online comments by angry people pledging to boycott the diner forever, the place was packed on Monday morning.

The recent controversy hasn't stopped locals and tourists alike from filling the old-school diner.

The recent controversy hasn’t stopped locals and tourists alike from filling the old-school diner.

Marcy’s regulars Jason Ezzy and Paul Farrell gave their take on the issue from their stools at the bar:

A third regular, Hollis McLaughlin, who says he comes to Marcy’s every day for coffee, said that’s just the way Neugebauer is, and that she’s one of the reasons he loves the place so much:

According to Sinnott, over forty people had called in to voice their support by noon on Monday, and only about three or four had called in to criticize.

“We did have a ton of voice mails waiting for us this morning though, people putting in fake orders for pancakes,” she reiterated, rolling her eyes with a chuckle.

“The whole thing got totally blown out of proportion. Darla was just doing what she thought was best for her staff and customers. It was just Darla being Darla, that’s just the way we like her.”

Neugebauer working the grill.

Neugebauer working the grill.

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.