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Food Critic Assaulted Outside Restaurant

Who knew the role of restaurant reviewer could be a dangerous one? Last Friday, Steve Barnes, the food critic for the Albany Times-Union, was leaving a local restaurant when he and a friend were violently attacked by two assailants. The attackers approached Barnes and his buddy, punching them both repeatedly in the face. The victims have bruises and swelling, but sustained no serious injuries.

Barnes doesn't believe the attack was connected to the restaurant he reviewed, but he thinks this act of violence was targeted rather than random. The restaurant reviewer wrote about his plans to go to a particular eatery on his blog, and the men who assaulted Barnes and his friend had been seen hanging around the restaurant's parking lot for hours before the attack.

While he has no further clues as to who his assailants were, Barnes does have a message for them. "Yo, attackers: If I’m supposed to be nicer to somebody in the future, drop me an e-mail. Otherwise you’re just a coward. Black eyes fade, but cowardice and thuggery are permanent character flaws."

What are your reactions to this news? Do you think the act of violence had to do with the fact that Barnes was a restaurant critic?


Join The Conversation
eadavenp eadavenp 8 years
The restaurant he was at has gotten nothing but favorable reviews from him for their preview... it may have been a previous review, but it definitely wasn't related to the restaurant he was at.
vegas949 vegas949 8 years
Well it is really 1 of 2 things either its a gay bashing, or he may have went overboard on someone's restaurant review and said too much. I will say that these critics need to examine the words they use carefully when reviewing a place,the damage you can do to an establishment is huge, you can also do alot of good. Either way I really feel that you shouldnt have the power to make either happen. Some people put up hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions to build a place and get it running, they open and may not have all the kinks worked out, and you come in and crush them. Nice business your in, playing god almost. Heres a steak for your eye!!
lexichloe lexichloe 8 years
Wow, from his quotes, I would have to say it was related to a critique, although he denies it. Foodies and the love of fine dining/restaurants has now become a new frontier. It's a big game of who knows what food and who's been where. I have never had a renowned chef sign my tasting menu, but I guarantee if I had, Steve Barnes would have eaten there 3 months ago...
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
Sounds like dumb people just being dumb. I agree that it was targeted, but unlikely that it was someone from the restaurant.
shmoo15 shmoo15 8 years
Did he really say "Yo attackers?" Sweet comeback. But yeah, this is horrible.
eadavenp eadavenp 8 years
I live outside albany and read his blog regularly. I really enjoy his writing and find it balanced and accurate to my own experiences. Some people are thinking it may have been a gay bashing, if you go to the TableHopping Blog on the times union website, he talks a little more about the attack.
puddlesworth puddlesworth 8 years
bunch of pathetic losers. I hope they go to jail and get beat up themselves.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
This is insane! I can't believe this would happen to someone. I mean, I can I guess, but still...
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well i think that it makes sense that it was targeted if people were saying that there were guys hanging around for a while, but i don't know if something like this is related to his being a critic. i can't imagine that someone would be that upset about a review ...unless the place had those secretive mob ties that everyone likes to joke about.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Did he ruin someone's business with a bad review, or perhaps have an affair with a restaurant owner's wife? :ponder:
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