Published March 28, 2013
A Buffalo Wild Wings waitress refused to serve eight Virginia police officers because their guns were in full view in what the apologetic restaurant manager now says was a "misunderstanding."
The plainclothes Prince William County police officers stopped in at the Manassas restaurant on March 20, presumably to dig in to the popular chain's specialty, but never got the chance. An unidentified server told them they would have to put their service guns out of sight before being served. Scott Lupton, general manager of the store, said he heard about the incident from Daryl LaClair, a local man who contacted restaurant representatives afterward. Lupton denied reports that the county's Finest were asked to leave.
“She went to a manager,” Lupton told FoxNews.com. “But nobody was asked to leave. It was a misunderstanding and we tried to apologize for it. I’ll keep apologizing for it as much as I can.”
Lupton said he sent an “apologetic” email to LaClair, who could not be reached for comment early Thursday. Lupton also told the police department he was sorry.
“It was an apologetic letter for the misunderstanding,” he said, referring further questions to a company spokesman.
A Prince William County Police Department spokesman confirmed that the apology had been received, but declined further comment.
“It’s not really a department matter,” the spokesman told FoxNews.com.
A spokeswoman for the Minneapolis-based Buffalo Wild Wings told FoxNews.com law enforcement officers are “always welcome” in its 840 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
“It is the company’s practice to allow credentialed officers to carry guns,” spokeswoman Angie Andresen told FoxNews.com. “We’re working with team members to make sure that everyone knows what the protocol is. They have apologized.”
It isn't the first time in recent months that an overzealous waitress has pulled rank on gun-toting cops. A Denny’s in Illinois made headlines in January when several detectives said they were told they couldn’t carry their guns in the restaurant. Belleville Police Department Chief William Clay later banned his officers from the eatery when on-duty or off-duty while still in uniform, despite assurances from restaurant officials that the incident was a misunderstanding.
Clay also issued a press release that identified the managers on duty and blamed the incident on “political stupidness.”
“This was an insult, a slap in the face to those detectives and to all of the men and women who proudly wear the uniform or badge and serve in law enforcement,” Clay wrote.