The White Moose Café is at is again. Around this time last year, the Dublin, Ireland-based restaurant caused a bit of an international incident when a somewhat tongue-in-cheek Facebook battle led the establishment to ban vegans. Now, owner Paul Stenson is using social media to put the gluten-free crowd in his crosshairs, proclaiming that gluten-free orders will only be accommodated with a doctor’s note stating that the customer actually has celiac disease.
Much like in his anti-vegan outburst, Stenson’s recent anti-gluten-free rant claims to stem from a real episode at his café. This past Saturday, with a heading of “DOCTOR’S NOTE REQUIRED TO GET GLUTEN-FREE FOOD,” The White Moose Café posted the following to its Facebook page: “This morning a girl asked us if we did gluten-free pancakes and when we asked her if she was a coeliac, she didn’t even know what the word meant and then proceeded to order regular, gluten-rich pancakes anyway. From now on, guests who demand gluten-free food are required to produce a doctor’s note which states that you suffer from coeliac disease. Guests following a gluten-free fad, who don’t even know what gluten is, can cop the fuck on and eat regular food like everybody else.”
Proving that lightning can strike twice if you rile people up with controversial topics, the café’s post has gone on to accumulate over 33,000 reactions, 9,700 comments and 5,800 shares as of writing. The top comments use words like “ignorant,” “unprofessional” and “absolute dick.”
The next day, “Paulie” Stenson followed up the original post with one of his mocking non-apologies. “Let me assure you that [yesterday’s post] was not a joke and I am deadly serious,” he wrote. “Just as serious as I was when I said I'd charge a corkage fee for breastfeeding mothers, or when I threatened to give Valium to screaming babies, or even when I promised to shoot vegans dead at point blank range. In case you haven't noticed, all posts on this page are deadly serious and it is imperative that you take them literally.”
Apparently, Stenson has figured out you can run a restaurant the same way Donald Trump runs a presidential campaign. Though just how much longer either of them can last is yet to be seen. Hey, at least it gives the rest of us something to talk about. And of course, if you don’t like Stenson’s “jokes,” you can always go somewhere else to eat. Ireland is a free country. I think. I don’t really know. International politics isn’t my thing.