Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Restaurant Impossible - Grace's Place Bagels & Deli Update

Photo - Facebook
Tonight on Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine and his crew are in Palm Coast, Florida to makeover Grace's Place Bagels & Deli.  The owners Grace and Eddie bought the place about two years ago by using their life savings as well as borrowing money from family and friends.  They are supposedly $320,000 in debt and they seem to be the main problem with the restaurant.  Robert needs to teach them how to communicate and has a lot of work to do to turn around their problems in and out of the restaurant.  As I normally do with Restaurant: Impossible episodes, I searched around the Internet to read stories, comments and reviews about Grace's Place to get an idea of how the restaurant is doing since Robert Irvine visited, and here is what I found (note - all reviews are post Restaurant Impossible):


Positive Reviews:
  • "Went there although there were negetive reviews. Nice atmosphere, good service and great food. I felt very welcome and will advise my friends to eat there. I really think that some people have nothing better to do then bash."
  • "This deli had been renovated by the TV show, restaurant impossible with celebrity, Robert Irvine. It now has a modern, chic beach theme to it and it is fantastic. The place has been busy after the renovations so there is a bit of a wait time. The food is delicious without a doubt. The staff is very friendly."
  • "How nice it was to find a real bagel place, not the rolls that pass a bagels at Publix or other stores. Great fresh cream cheese and lox spreads and sandwiches."

Negative Reviews:
  • "Grace's place is going down faster than a submarine. Thought Restaurant Impossible would help but other than new digs it's the same old stuff that has been dragging the place down... floors dirty and not swept...The meal was terrible. ... Tried talking to Grace in the past and hoped that the RI visit might help but some owners just don't want to face the facts."
  • "As for food, bagels were hard, breakfast potatoes undercook. Previously you could see the deli and pastry counter: now there is a wall. Here is a suggestion for owners take that wall down. You will get more business if folks paid at counter, gives us a chance to buy pastries too.
    Please change your floor plan."
  • "We used to enjoy this place even with the slow service.  After the renovations we are truly disapointed.  The once varied menu is gone and now only half the selection. The service is awful."
  • "Went last week 2 days after the renovation which did not "WOW" us at all....The servers were snipping at each other, Coffee was wrong, My husband waited forever to get the bagel he ordered with breakfast, he ordered butter NO cream cheese and it came just the opposite."
  • "Well, being the renovations are done and tv crew is gone I had high expectations. I guess I shouldn't have. Remodel looks great but service was horrible at the counter."
  • "Since this god awful renovation, the service is non-existing, the menu has been decimated, and the place looks comically bad. You now have to sit in some weird rope-cage room... there's only about 10 tables now, and they cut off the bakery section... absolutely dreadful and embarrassing. I bet they will be out of business before their renovation show even airs on TV."
  • "Absolute shame. Aside from the decor (a major shift in the WRONG direction!), absolutely nothing has changed here...oh, except that you now get LESS for your money"
  • "When Grace took over the deli, we were glad someone stepped in to fill a need in this community. There were no other Jewish style delis in Palm Coast....Slowly, the old Strathmore/Grace's lost the Jewish style until Robert totally killed it. In our minds, the one thing Palm Coast had going for it dining wise, what set it apart, was an excellent deli. The menu now is boring, limited and decidedly, not in a deli style."
*Reviews from Yelp, Urbanspoon, Facebook, Tripadvisor


Other News and Links:

Here is the Grace's Place Facebook page, website, and menu (not sure if it is up to date). 

Conclusion: 

Grace's Place Bagels and Deli has some of the worst reviews for a post-Restaurant Impossible makeover that I have seen, and there are a decent amount of reviews.  People seem to complain about the food, service, prices, and even the makeover.  It was tough to even find good reviews for the restaurant.  Here are the Yelp, Yelp filtered, Facebook Reviews, and Tripadvisor reviews if you want to check more out.  Usually Facebook reviews are good, but even people on Grace's Facebook page have left bad reviews.

It seems like people do not like the makeover of the interior, so who knows how much Restaurant Impossible is to blame.  There are still issues with the food and staff at the restaurant, and those probably have a bigger impact on the success of a restaurant.  This will be one to watch as the restaurant could end up on the closed list if they can't turn things around.

UPDATE 10/2014 - Grace's Place was shut down for a day due to a restaurant inspection on 9/22/2014.  During that inspection, the major violations dealt with rodent activity.  Here were two violations in the report:
  • "Rodent activity present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. At least 3 semi soft behind cook line in kitchen bakery , At least 7 hard on can rack in bakery area, at least 16 semi soft on on floor under can rack in bakery area, at least 5 semi soft on bagel machine table in bakery area, at least 12 semi soft/dry in rear hand wash sink in bakery area, At least 10 semi soft on floor by drinks concentrate in bakery area, 1 dry dropping on oven in bakery area, at least 3 semi soft on prep table in bakery area, at least 30 semi soft on floor under prep table next to oven in bakery area, at least 1 semi soft on food container lid at frontline shelf, at least 4 semi soft behind frontline small cooler , at least 3 semi soft behind frontline chest freezer."
  • "Stop Sale issued due to adulteration of food product. Two bags of dry pasta with gnaw marks on packets . (Packets compromises ) on rack in bakery area. Corrective Action : Voluntarily discarded"
There were also other high priority violations such as food temperatures as well as other basic violations, and the full inspection report can be found here.

UPDATE 12/2014 - Grace's closed for good due to a rat problem.  More information on the closing.


*Visit Our Restaurant Impossible Update Page to see all Restaurant Impossible updates, and which restaurants are open, closed, or have been sold. Also Like Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter

66 comments:

  1. Watch for this one to close.

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  2. Donna needs to be on medication! I felt anxiety from watching her and her crazy movements. Glad we don't have to watch her anymore. The girl from Atlantic City should be a model......very attractive. This group as a whole seems more polished than previous groups. This could be a tough one to call.

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  3. Old Jews are always bitching. You changed their cheap crappy deli and made them unhappy, but you are better off appealing to a different crowd anyway.

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  4. Hi Matt,

    I just wanted to thank you for your blog. I watch RI from time to time and am always curious about how the restaurants do in the long run. Food network's updates are not that informative--yours are much more interesting. Thanks again for researching and posting your findings about the restaurants featured on the show. Your posts/updates really are a great resource!

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  5. I second this. I don't even bother going to Foodnetwork.com; I come right here for the real update.

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  6. The renovations don't look nice at all. It looks like a weird cage.

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  7. Out of food, service, prices, and decor I think customers are most forgiving of the latter. If the food was good, the service was excellent, and the prices in line with what people expected to pay most customers would still rate the restaurant well, even if they do mention the odd decor in their written comments. With so many people complaining about that it seems like pretty much everything about this restaurant is unforgivable, but I doubt the makeover is going to be what sinks this ship in the end.

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  8. Chef Irvine really does not help any failing restaurant and again he brought another one down. Maybe they should rename the show, Chef Irvine's Impossible Restaurant Revival.

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  9. Looks to me like the "designer" made some huge mistakes here. The first was building that huge wall between the bakery and restaurant and load it with knick-knacks from Pier One. My guess is being able to see the bakery from the restaurant and vice versa-would be good business for BOTH.Blocking them off makes no sense. Then we have the hideous "rope gazebo". Can you imagine how much dust that heavy,crude rope will gather in just a few weeks ? No thought to how you would clean it-if it can be cleaned at all. It certainly isn't inviting.
    No mention that the restaurant was ever NOT making money.Too many restaurants are now just signing up for the free make-over and the FREE Publicity

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  10. There is more to Graces than just the restaurant.....they seem to put out good bakery products and bagels. That is talent right there but that part of the business did not receive any attention on the episode.

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  11. So very true. Over at FN they are all drinking the company Kool-Aid and put a smiling FN spin on everything.

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  12. Cheryl being Cheryl. Maybe its just me but the colors she uses drive me nuts. Just compare what she did to Tanya's renovation last week.

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  13. Some places are beyond saving. Despite the snark here, people know he does help when the owners actually bother to change.

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  14. Thanks for the dose of anti-Semitism. You have been flagged.

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  15. Yes. I don't think I have ever liked what Cheryl has done. Taniya and Lynn are my favorites.

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  16. They mentioned $320,000 in debt.

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  17. There are 5 elements to the success of a restaurant - cleanliness/sanitation, food safety, great food, great service and good management. Chef Irvine has no control over any ofd that when he;s not there.

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  18. Hannah Ann SmithJune 5, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Really! Wow...never thought I would see that kind of hate on FN.

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  19. use of the word Jew is not anti-semitic.

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  20. Yes, but "Old Jews are always bitching" is.

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  21. Ugly sentiment. And as an "old Jew" myself, I felt I had to do something.

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  22. Lovely comment. Adding to the flag pile.

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  23. That was a stupid comment...rsharoneally stupid

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  24. Just wanted to say that I'm having trouble with the google survey's. I'm getting asked practically EVERY DAY now. I don't know why but it's starting to get annoying :(

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  25. Me too. Every page I open, even if I have answered all the questions that should give me a week's access. It's very annoying.

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  26. I will check with Google to see if there any issues. If you don't have cookies with your browsing, that may be the issue.

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  27. Thanks. This is a new development, which is why it's frustrating. With the one week window, I legit don't mind.

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  28. I get it every other day. I'm not sure how often they're supposed to pop up.

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  29. I never saw a renovation that I thought was as bad as this one. I'm going to pay more attention to the ones that Cheryl oversees.

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  30. I can't keep my eyes off the oversized belt buckle.

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  31. dwight mannsburdenJune 6, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    totally agree. There's a place in the northern Detroit 'burbs that gets mentioned on many a "best burger in the US" list, where the decor is screamingly awful. But the place is always packed.

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  32. in other words, you're bitching. how fitting.

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  33. Larry Davis made a TV show out of it. Bitch at him.

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  34. They are, and it's frustrating to watch them go into such a restaurant. I rather the aid go to places that can be actually saved

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  35. MyothercarsthetardisJune 6, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Anti-Semitic much?

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  36. Hyperbole much?

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  37. Amazing Grace - very Jewish.

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  38. A Jewish lady takes her grandson swimming in the Ocean in Miami.
    A Giant wave comes by and washes the kid away.
    The Lady prays to God and suddenly another giant comes by and washes the Kid back.
    The lady looks up at the sky and says, "he had a hat".

    Same joke.

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  39. Cheryl was previously a designer on Restaurant Makeover in Canada and is occasionally the designer on Restaurant Takeover. She's better when she has 6 days instead of 2 and is light years ahead of the other designers on Takeover—especially Paula Velez.

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  40. From the previews, it looks as if he's going to be a self-important know-it-all.

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  41. You've hit pretty much every 'buzz word' typically used by owners/employees to describe their places in a good light. Starting with 'Grace's Place in Palm Coast'. Who the hell talks like that? If I go to a restaurant I don't say 'Such and such in Place Nearby'. I say 'Such and such', and if asked I say 'It's in Place Nearby on Any Street near Well Known Landmark'.

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  42. Really......So, what may I ask is your vested interest?? Are you one of the many employees that she pays under the table or the new great manager. This woman is a dis GRACE. She treats people like crap and uses anyone she can. As for money missing...... hell ask her how she affords the maintenance on herself ie... hair, nails, clothing, shopping trips to NYC. That's right Her Father in Law. Grace's problem is she is not accountable. She should know that when you point a finger there are to more pointing back at you. BTW.....Dunkin Donuts had a line around the place for 2 hours on Sunday morning. LOL......you are trying to compare Grace's to one of the Nations largest most popular Franchises. Yes, Ronald is a Clown but Grace is aBoo Hooing BUFFOON.

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  43. Not anywhere near the same thing as your original comment.

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  44. It is actually, you just have to get over your unending urge to whine

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  45. Talk about someone forgetting to take their "happy pills".....

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  46. Why is this posting still up after being flagged as inappropriate days ago?? This is OFFENSIVE!

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  47. Looks like their marriage has been on the rocks for a long time.

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  48. Grace has started to respond to the reviews but still doesn't seem to get it. You would think that someone who has all those terrible reviews would try to improve the customer service or listen to what people are saying but she has decided to defend herself instead. I don't think it matters to them since everyone loves and buy's there bagels.

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  49. The way she was rattling off the nutritional names in food.....I felt like I was eating in a pharmacy and was swallowing nutritional supplements in capsule form.

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  50. Agreed. I felt as if I was getting a biochemistry lecture.

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  51. Close friend or relative?

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  52. Gee Thomas you sound like a disgruntled employee, although you've never worked there...or have you??? And no this is not Grace this is Julie her new great manager. Grace never responds to any of this garbage, and you have it wrong the disgruntled employyes are the ones that have brought Graces Place down. Thomas let me ask you, just where do you get your information on Graces personal maintenance, and since when is that anyone's business??? Are you that bored that have time to follow Grace when she is not working?? Seriously!! We have worked very hard to wean out the people that have been working against this restaurant.

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  53. Hello, my name is Grace. I welcome you to my new and improved Restaurant/Deli/Bagel/Money Pit/Drama haven. I was never really sure what I wanted to be when I grew up and I still don't. As a small business in Palm Coast I had to screw up so badly to prove to the Food Network that I deserved to be made fun of. It wasn't easy serving food that was lack luster. It took time and many manicures to make sure service was at it's worst. Whenever things were going well I made sure to put my two cents in and put it right back into a tail spin. As for my inability to lead my staff. Well that was a little more difficult. It wasn't easy making them less accountable for my business then myself but I really feel I excelled in accomplishing my goal. I was surprised when people said that the décor of my place was done by a blind monkey. Dah....... it was actually done by Chi Chi Designs and BTW he is a one eye Chimp. Who would hire a monkey, in that case who would ever hire me....LOL. I always felt that I was an equal opportunity employer. I saw a homeless man one day and instead of giving him a hand out I gave him a job managing my books. Who cares if the right and left columns don't add up. I feel good about myself and REALLY isn't that what matters. I trust every choice I have ever made....... ok, maybe not the one about marriage. Marriage isn't so bad knowing you can take money from your In Law's. It's just that whole having to see and sleep with the same person every day thing that sucks. As for Eddies dad my Father In Law. Well he screwed up. He trusted that I knew what I was doing. I hope his other investments are more stable. If this doesn't work out I am trying to get some money out of Eddie and I going on the show Marriage Boot Camp.__ So please watch the show and see what a true HOT MESS I really am. Watch as I cry on cue and blame the world and a few Extraterrestrials for all my failings in life. Also come meet my new Manager before they commit her for working for me. Also try one of the many new and old dishes on our menu. When you are seated a loan officer will be at the ready when you are checking out also for your payment convenience COMING SOON Dis- Grace's PAWN SHOP. What better than to be able to get rid of Grandmas priceless heirlooms and pay for your Eggs over easy at the same time..

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  54. Julie....... You poor misguided woman. Be careful how much of your own reputation you put out here for a woman that you really don't know. If a woman like GRACE can bad mouth her husband and take money from her Father in Law well were do you think her loyalties are for you........ Well? As for me being an employee. NEVER. Never was nor want to be. Grace is loud and is an open book. She needs to stop using a business credit card for her as you call it, maintenance. As for anyone's business.... When you go as far as to put your failure out on NATIONAL TV she made it everyone's business. As for weaning, you must know that the breast usually dries up as will this business that you call Grace's Place. So Julie get your resume ready. Nice bantering with you....... your dismissed.

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  55. REALLY........ Grace is from NY and her husband Eddie the Island. Grace is Italian

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  56. Owner. Obviously the give away was when you said 'Our food was tasty"....

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  57. Thomas, Im not afraid and damn sure wont hide behind a keyboard like the coward you are! I'm Johnny Smith, the husband of Julie, the manager! You are a classless little child and act and speak accordingly! One thing I wont put up with is someone disrespecting my friends and loved ones! You have done both! I'm not gonna get into it any further on here except to say that I would love to have a conversation in person! Please respond if you're up for it! Again, I'm Johnny Smith! I hope to hear back from you!

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  58. Well, Hello Johnny Smith husband of Julie....LOL. Temper..... Temper Johnny. I'm not sure how anything I have said has insulted or disrespect your wife. I have actually given her some solid advise. The same advise you should have given her before she took on such a venture. If you really cared. So, if you are going to take on this blog and all the rest you may want to learn how to spell and use punctuation. As for your act of chivalry I commend you. The only question I have is WHY?????? As for your friends .....Again what have I said or done to insult them ?????

    Listen Johnny I'm sure that Julie is very proud of you and considers you her brave little warrior but again I am confused by your inane sophomoric verbal assault with combative threatening under tone. With that being said be careful what you ask for.

    The people your wife chooses to work for and you condone are fools. They Boo Hoo and take no accountability about their own business and blame the staff and even customers. They are so foolish they display their dirty laundry and their inabilities to the NATION. Making it everyone's business. BTW to be on RESTAURANT IMPOSSIBLE you have to prove to them you are a failure. So, Jonny again tell me how I disrespected your wife???????

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  59. Well, Hello Johnny Smith husband of Julie....LOL. Temper..... Temper Johnny. I'm not sure how anything I have said has insulted or disrespect your wife. I have actually given her some solid advise. The same advise you should have given her before she took on such a venture. If you really cared. So, if you are going to take on this blog and all the rest you may want to learn how to spell and use punctuation. As for your act of chivalry I commend you. The only question I have is WHY?????? As for your friends .....Again what have I said or done to insult them ?????
    Listen Johnny I'm sure that Julie is very proud of you and considers you her brave little warrior but again I am confused by your inane sophomoric verbal assault with combative threatening under tone. With that being said be careful what you ask for.
    The people your wife chooses to work for and you condone are fools. They Boo Hoo and take no accountability about their own business and blame the staff and even customers. They are so foolish they display their dirty laundry and their inabilities to the NATION. Making it everyone's business. BTW to be on RESTAURANT IMPOSSIBLE you have to prove to them you are a failure. So, Jonny again tell me how I disrespected your wife???????

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  60. Again, I'm not getting into it on here! If you call yourself a man and want to throw around these accusations, don't hide behind a keyboard like the coward you are! You must feel real good about yourself! I ask you, do you need a friend? Do you need medication? Do you just need someone to talk to? You're obviously a very bored, lonely person. So do me a favor, ask your mother if u can use the car, or if she will drive you to Grace's and talk to Grace or Julie. And if you want to, I would still really enjoy a conversatIon with you in person. And I'm ALWAYS careful of what I wish for!

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  61. Well again Johnny. I will ask you slower this time. H O W .... D I D... I... D I S R E S P E C T...Y O U R ..... W I F E ???? Really simple question. For a real man like yourself

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  62. Hey Johnny Smith...... You came out like Tyson in his prime but Faded quick. What happened Big Boy. Ya realized I was right and your poor wife should had stayed at Wal-Mart. I thought you wanted to be friends........ Let's have Breakfast but not at Grace's........... How about Java Joint on A-1-A. I love that place. I am there all the time. $5 and $6 egg dishes and the coffee is to die for. The waitress there her name is Summer and is the best.......... and the owners never yell at her.

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  63. Its still up because clearly not everybody is as eager to jump on the self-righteous overly-sensitive band wagon. Would a light comment making fun of Polish people whining have garnered such a reaction?

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  64. Wow! Aren't you brave, huh? Flagging a comment. Wow. Wait to go fighting "antisemitism".

    What a joke.

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  65. "Antisemitism"? What a convenient catch-phrase argument. God forbid anybody make a joke about anything to do with Jews that is not in a strictly positive light. I wish the same intellectual protection applied to other ethnic/religious groups of people. Had he made fun of Irish Catholics would you have gotten so bent-outa-shape?

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