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Dining News: Kupros Bistro, Call Your Office


I'm not a lawyer, and I've never had employees at a small business. I'm sure it's a tough gig. But there are a few things that I've picked up about managing people along the way.

  • Personnel matters are confidential.
  • Don't talk about somebody's pregnancy or medical conditions.
  • Don't air your dirty laundry.

Apparently, the management at Kupros Bistro (where I actually had a delightful happy hour on Monday after work) hasn't learned these lessons yet, reports Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

For followers of Sacramento's restaurant scene, Facebook was abuzz this morning from posts on the page for Kupros Bistro with a serious accusation. The post came from Kupros Bistro itself, saying: "To all those I had the pleasure to meet in the last 2 and a half years: Steve, the owner no longer feels it is appropriate to have a (woman) expecting to work in his establishment so he has let me go. I wish all you wonderful regulars the best and will miss you:)"

Discriminating against a pregnant employee violates the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

The employee in question is a now former bar manager at Kupros and also helped book bands to play at the bistro.

However, Kupros owner Stephen Tokuhama called in with his side of the story. He said the employee wasn't fired, but rather quit this morning on her own volition.

Since his original post, the female employee and a witness to the exchange have both called Macias with more information. Read the entire post in the Sac Bee. (Something tells me that today isn't the end of the story.)

While we're at it, Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson lets us in on an exchange with Kupros Bistro's management after he wrote a middling review of the joint.

I had complained that the food was bland and that little on the menu showed any personality or daring. I also lamented that the opening chef, John Gurnee, who made a splash with his edgy menu choices and his excellent cooking skills, had been sent packing. I received an email from Kupros taking me to task for calling and speaking with the manager when he was busy, prior to the review. How unfair of me. Well, I called Temple Coffee today to chat with owner Sean Kohmescher, who, it turns out was busy. Know what he said? "Hey, can I call you back in 45 minutes?" How did he come up with that one?

The Kupros email went on to suggest that John Gurnee was a friend of mine. It also said that in my review I had not considered Gurnee's exorbitant food costs. Hmm, let's see. A) How would I know what his food costs are? B) Why would I care? and C) You guys set the prices on the menu, apparently based in some way on how you can make a profit while providing value to your customers. I think that's how it works. Banished from Kupros, Gurnee is now starring at one of San Francisco's hot restaurants, Wayfare Tavern, where he is executive chef. In the highly competitive Bay Area restaurant scene, food costs are more important than ever. Am I friends with Gurnee? I've never met him. Maybe Kupros should have asked.

Read his entire post in the Sac Bee.

Finally, recall that this isn't the first time that Kupros Bistro has had a run of bad PR. Back in March, they tried to sell a 12 oz glass of a rare Pliny the Younger IPA and a burger for $45. That move angered the brewery.

More News:

Taste Sacramento's best hot toddy tonight and Tuesday at Ten22 - Last week, we brought you the winners of a Hot Toddy contest held at Golden Bear, featuring some of Sacramento's leading and up-and-coming bartenders. Well, now you can taste that winning hot toddy for yourself both tonight and Tuesday at Ten22 in Old Sacramento. The hot toddy comes from Karina Martinez, who was the hands-down winner with her "Mad King Charles" toddy. Its key ingredients include: Buffalo Trace bourbon, Torani Amer liqueur, chamomile citrus tea, and steeped in almond water. She also torched pieces of cinnamon bark for added aromatics. Yes, this was one impeccable hot toddy with its balanced flavors, thoughtful presentation and just enough boozy kick to keep you extra warm on a winter's night. They will cost $9 each. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Buffalo Wild Wings Opens In Natomas - A new Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant opened today, Dec. 17 at the Promenade Shopping Center in Natomas. The Natomas Chamber of Commerce was on hand to celebrate the eatery's opening day with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. On Natomas Buzz.

Seasons 52 restaurant coming to Arden Fair - Darden Restaurants gets a big share of Sacramento's dining dollars with its Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Yard House brands, but that's just not enough. The company will open a Seasons 52 restaurant on Jan. 28 at the Arden Fair mall in Sacramento. Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

Waterboy throws lifeline - Restaurateur Rick Mahan is throwing a lifeline to a former comrade, and patrons of The Waterboy in midtown Sacramento are joining him to help pull it. Mahan wants to aid Steve Linares, who started working at The Waterboy as a line cook in 2000 and five years later rose to be its chef de cuisine. By the time Linares left in 2008, The Waterboy had become a standard bearer for fine dining in the region. The young chef worked in the fine dining scene in the Big Apple. A few months ago, he landed a spot as executive chef at a restaurant called Fort Defiance in Brooklyn. Then Hurricane Sandy struck. Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee. (Second item.)

VIDEO: Cooking: Stuffed Filet Mignon - Chef Evan Elsberry of Evan’s Kitchen shows Paul Robins how to make a delicious filet mignon. On FOX 40.


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