MYKONOS – For at least the third time this summer – even after being fined 30,000 euros ($30,682) a Mykonos restaurant with a reputation for ripping off tourists, did it again, charging an American couple $557 for 12 oysters and four drinks.
It happened, New Jersey lawyer Theodora McCormick told The Sun newspaper, at DK Oyster House, which mocks tourists for giving bad reviews and is so notorious that island residents warns people to stay away from it.
And once again the report went viral but the victim this time said the restaurant apparently relies on unsuspecting from around the world to keep walking in, customers saying the staff won’t give menus or prices.
The Tourism Ministry, which earlier ordered an investigation that led to the fines, hasn’t moved for further penalties and allows the restaurant to stay open for business even through the notoriety has gone worldwide.
“My husband was like, ‘There’s got to be a mistake,’” McCormick, 50, said of what they called a “weird experience,” on July on the island.
They said they were looking for a taxi when they saw a sign outside the restaurant that one could be called from inside. “I told my husband, ‘Oh, why don’t we call a taxi and grab a drink,’” McCormick recalled. “That was my big mistake.”
The travelers first realized something was suspicious when they asked a waiter for a cocktail menu and the server proceeded to rattle off a list of drink options aloud instead, the New York Post said as they said they were pressured.
“It was Mykonos; we knew it was going to be ridiculous … 250-odd euros, that’s what we were thinking,” said the experienced vacationer. “But we got the bill and it was around 500 euros,” or about $510 not including a mandatory tip.
They said when they tried to complain about the bill, the pair became surrounded by “a group of big, hulking” male servers who didn’t leave until the diners agreed to pay, intimidating them.
“I told my husband, ‘We’re in a foreign country,’” she said. “‘It’s ridiculous, but it’s obviously some sort of scam. We’ll pay up and try to deal with our credit card company later.’”
It wasn’t said if they or other customers who use credit cards call their banks and request a charge back to dispute the payment which won’t be made until it is settled between the parties.
She said it was only later that they went to DY Oyster’s Trip Advisor page and found they were the latest in a long line of suckers being taken, the restaurant rated only 2.5 out of 5 stars, critics calling the owners “thieves” and describing it “the worst place in all of Greece.”
McCormick said she felt particularly foolish as “I don’t normally fall for those types of scams.” She added: “It was just a spur-of-the-moment thing. We weren’t planning on eating there, but we saw the [taxi] sign.”
She accused the establishment of having a “bizarre business model” based on “ripping off tourists and making people unhappy.”
DK’s owner Dimitrios Kalamaras has denied the allegations, claiming: “This person who is trying to get famous through Instagram posts under the name of Lindsay Breen starts with a lie.”
“She claims that she ‘repeatedly asked for a cocktail menu,’ and adds that ‘the server didn’t seem to want to provide one,’” Kalamaras said.
“Despite that, she placed an order. An influencer, an experienced well-traveled person who makes a living through their experiences in the world did what most adults in the right mind would not do, ordered drinks and food from a waiter who refused to present a menu.”
He said the bad reviews were all false.
“Unfortunately, all of us who work in the hospitality sector have been approached by notorious ‘influencers’ who, instead of making their living by advertising products and services to their audience, they put pressure on certain businesses for exorbitant fees and free meals,” Kalamaras told Kennedy News.
“In DK Oyster, we have advertised in the ways we consider suitable for our restaurant, and we will not succumb to the influencers who have been attracted to the beautiful island of Mykonos.”