Restaurant Owner Bans ‘Abusive’ James Corden Over Multiple Incidents, Rescinds After Corden ‘Profusely’ Apologizes

To err is human; forgive, divine. That’s what Alexander Pope said, and who’s going to argue with the second most cited author in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations? Not me.

Well, I’d be more inclined to argue with him—I’m not always the most pleasant kind—if he weren’t expressing a very biblical truth about broken humanity and a merciful God.

I don’t know how much restaurateur Keith McNally knows about Pope — or the Bible — but he seems to know a little about compassion.

McNally, owner of the well-known French restaurant Balthazar in New York’s SoHo district, has become known for his Instagram posts. On Monday afternoon, he posted that he had kicked “Late Late Show” host James Corden out of his establishment.

Luckily, the story didn’t end there.


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“James Corden is an extremely gifted comedian, but a diminutive cretin of a man. And the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago,” McNally wrote in an Instagram post Monday. “I don’t often have a client 86, to this day I have Corden 86. It didn’t make me laugh.”

McNally listed two “manager’s accounts” that described the offensive treatment Corden accorded his employees.

The first report read: “In June, James Corden was here at table 61. (While that’s fiendish, it happens very occasionally in all restaurants.) After eating his main course, Corden showed his hair to Balthazar manager G., who very was apologetic. Corden was extremely angry at G, saying, “Bring us another round of drinks this second. And take care of all our drinks so far. That way me [won’t] write any nasty reviews on Yelp or something.’”

Have you ever seen “The Late Late Show with James Corden”?

The second read: “James Corden went to Balthazar with his wife for brunch on October 9th. He asked for a table outside. Brunch Maitre D’Allie Wolters led the party at Table 301. Mr Corden’s wife ordered an egg yolk omelette with Gruyere cheese and salad. A few minutes after they received the food James called their waiter MK and told her there was a little egg white mixed with the yolk. MK informed the floor manager G. The kitchen remade the dish but unfortunately sent it with homemade fries instead of salad. That’s when James Corden started yelling at the server like crazy, “You can’t do your job! You can’t do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelette myself!’ MK apologized profusely and brought G. to the table. He returned the dish and after that everything was fine. He gave them promo champagne glasses to smooth things over. G. said Corden was nice to him but mean to the server. MK was very upset, but professional as she is, she continued to finish her shift.”

Honestly, instead of rewarding Corden’s behavior with champagne, I probably would have agreed that he should cook the omelette himself — in his own kitchen. As far away from my employees as possible.

That’s the main reason why I’m not in the hospitality industry. (The fact that I would eat up all my winnings would be the rest of the reason.)

My point is that banning Corden from the restaurant seems like a very reasonable response to me. Even tame.

But that reaction — or possibly the shame of having publicized his behavior on an Instagram page with about 81,000 followers, many of whom no doubt represent the closest circle of New York society — was enough to catch Corden’s attention and lead to a happier ending respectively .

“James Corden just called me and is very apologetic,” McNally wrote about seven hours after the earlier post on the social media site. “Having screwed myself more than most people, I’m a firm believer in second chances. So if James Corden lets me host his Late Late Show for 9 months I will lift his ban from Balthazar immediately. No of course not. But… anyone big enough to apologize to a dead lazybones like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere. Especially Balthazar. So get back to 5 & Dime, Jimmy Corden, Jimmy Corden. Everything is forgiven. xx”


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One could almost make an allegory out of it – Corden as the fallen, imperfect Everyman, whose portrayal he has had a successful career; Balthazar as Eden (or heaven) from which sinful man was shut out; McNally as a forgiving god.

Nearly. I’m not ready to consider Balthazar the equivalent of Heaven. The prices look remarkably cheap for New York City, but I’m not a big fan of French cuisine.

As for McNally as a god, well… There’s only one god, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.

But the principle remains. You might want to use a different term for it, but the fact of the matter is that Corden has sinned. He sinned both against his fellow human beings, who were made in the image of God, and against God Himself for not keeping what is called the Golden Rule: “Whatever you want others to do to you, do to them also, for that is the law and the prophets,” Jesus commanded.

Of course, none of us do it perfectly. Most of us aren’t even that good at it. Therefore, God is entitled to say, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and in a less quoted verse, “Verily there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.”

Sin has consequences. The worst thing my own mistakes would have ever reaped would have been to be publicly banned from a restaurant. As one pastor and friend used to say, sin will take you further than you want to go and keep you longer than you want to stay.

But if McNally, by his own admission a broken man himself – admittedly his language was a little more colorful – can forgive, how much more will a God perfect in love and compassion forgive us our sins – and save us from their eternal consequences ? “[I]If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved,” Paul promises us.

That means there is hope for everyone who does those two things – confess and believe. Hope for James Corden. hope for me

And much hope for you too, my friend.


Business and Business, Celebrity, Entertainment, Food, Forgiveness, God, Instagram, New York City NYC, Social Media, The Bible, US News

George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and an occasional co-host of WJ Live, operated by The Western Journal. He currently works as an editor in the fields of faith, politics and culture. A former special operator, instructor and adviser to the US Army, he is a life member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. He was born in Foxborough, Massachusetts and has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.

George Upper, former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal, is now Contributing Editor on Faith, Politics and Culture. He is a former US Army special operator, instructor, manager and adviser. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and a master’s degree in business administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He now resides in central North Carolina with his wife and a Maine Coon named Princess Leia, whose name he is not responsible for. He is active in his church’s education and security services and is a lifetime member of the NRA. In his spare time he films, reads a great deal by Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald and watches Bruce Campbell films. He’s a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.

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BA, English, UNCG; MA, English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG


North Carolina

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Faith, Economics, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics Restaurant Owner Bans ‘Abusive’ James Corden Over Multiple Incidents, Rescinds After Corden ‘Profusely’ Apologizes

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