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Name: Don Julio's Mexican Restaurant
Occupation: former Bennigan's
Last Seen: at the I-96/28th St. corridor, Cascade, Twp., MI
Bee-otched For: receiving their payback
When the Bennigan's at 28th St. and I-96 closed several years ago, it was because its owner, Metromedia, went bankrupt.---
Now, the restaurant that replaced it is gone, too. The reason: a dog.
As we reported a few weeks ago, Don Julio's Mexican Restaurant got itself into a huge heap of trouble when Frank Eckl and his family came to dinner with his Black Lab, Spruce. Eckl is a Gulf War Vet and has Gulf War Syndrome as a result, which gives him seizures. Spruce is his service dog, and if he has a seizure, it's Spruce's job to alert people by barking until he gets help.
After they seated Eckl and his family, the restaurant's manager came and told them that their dog had to go to the lobby since it was distracting customers and shedding all over. Of course, what the manager did was VERY illegal, since under federal law, ALL service dogs must be allowed at all times in public buildings. True, Eckl had his family by his side, Spruce also serves as his lifeline, especially if they walk away for whatever reason. Angry, Eckl's family left the restaurant and went to the IHOP next door where they were served with a lot more dignity.
Eckl told his story to several news outlets in the area, and many in west Michigan felt his pain. Several anti-Don Julio's Facebook pages were created and many were storming review sites such as Google and telling people not to support a place that disses vets and other disabled people. The restaurant's manager, a young Hispanic woman was even interviewed on WOOD-TV 8, saying that if another dog came in her building, she would kick that dog out too.
The negativity regarding Don Julio's has killed it. Last Saturday, a huge white sign stating "CLOSED" was posted on a window, the doors were locked and its phone was disconnected. There's no real word why Don Julio's closed, but one could speculate that the dog controversy was the #1 reason.
Look, the law's the law. All public place must allow service animals, even if it's shedding like crazy. If Eckl had a seizure episode, it would have been a major help to have Spruce around. But, no. The manager was a royal cunt and showed zero respect for the disabled, especially for a man who fought for our country. I hope that bitch is happy that she's out of a job and ruined the reputation of what once was one of Grand Rapids' best-reviewed Mexican restaurants. There's a taco stand on every corner in Grand Rapids, even across the street from Don Julio's (Moe's). Now, there's another empty storefront that needs a new tenant.
Don Julio's, I hope the door doesn't hit you on the ass too hard.
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