'Our security guards had to intervene to preserve everybody's safety,' an Eataly spokeswoman says of the incident.
Kip Kouri, founder of Tell All Your Friends PR, is one of the most familiar and well-liked faces on the New York indie-rock circuit, repping everyone from Yoko Ono to Les Savy Fav to Guided By Voices to white-hot duo Sylvan Esso.
But a recent visit to Eataly, Mario Batali's food emporium in New York's Gramercy Park, ended in a violent altercation with the wait staff, leaving Kouri in stitches after allegedly being thrown through a plate glass window by a security guard. Kouri declined public comment while he sought legal counsel, but clients like Frenchkiss Records' Syd Butler and Miniature Tigers began tweeting in Kouri's defense, suggesting the incident was a hate crime and that a security guard used homophobic slurs against Kouri.
What actually occurred, however, is currently under legal investigation. In a lengthy statement to Billboard, Eataly spokeswoman Cristina Villa says, "While we are really sorry for Mr. Kouri injuries, as in any other service business, our staff has the duty and obligation to maintain our premises safe and orderly for all the other guests -- especially if a customer is visibly intoxicated and acting as a potential threat to others. As shown in our security cameras footage and as witnessed by many guests, after Mr. Kouri approached our hostess in a very aggressive manner and argued at length with our staff, using hostile gestures and disrespectful language, our security guards had to intervene to preserve everybody's safety.