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Mykonos restaurant owner hits back at couple hit with €400 bill

The owner of a notorious Greek restaurant accused of slapping tourists with eye-watering bills has branded complainers as ‘influencers looking for free meals’.

Dimitrios Kalamaras, owner of DK Oyster in Mykonos, has hit back at a couple who this week claimed to have been slapped with a staggering €400 bill for a beer, an Aperol spritz and a dozen oysters.

Canadian honeymooners Lindsay Breen and husband Alex, both 30, this month claimed that staff at the restaurant failed to give them a drinks menu with prices on it before landing them with the hefty sum.

The owner of a notorious Greek restaurant accused of slapping tourists with eye-watering bills has branded complainers 'influencers looking for free meals'

The owner of a notorious Greek restaurant accused of slapping tourists with eye-watering bills has branded complainers ‘influencers looking for free meals’

Dimitrios has finally broken his silence and defended his prices, insisting that they are simply ‘beyond the budget’ of some of his visitors as he called Lindsay an ‘influencer looking to get famous’ from highlighting her bill.

This is despite the fact she works in recruitment and has no publicly visible social media accounts to indicate that she’s an influencer.  

Despite DK Oyster’s Tripadvisor page being flooded with one-star reviews and other customers alleging they experienced similar treatment as Lindsay and Alex, the owner was unmoved.

TripAdvisor has put a warning on the restaurant’s review page which reads: ‘Tripadvisor has been made aware of recent media reports or events concerning this property, which may not be reflected in reviews found on this listing.

Dimitrios has finally broken his silence and defended his prices, insisting that they are simply 'beyond the budget' of some of his visitors as he called Lindsay an 'influencer looking to get famous' from highlighting her bill

Dimitrios has finally broken his silence and defended his prices, insisting that they are simply ‘beyond the budget’ of some of his visitors as he called Lindsay an ‘influencer looking to get famous’ from highlighting her bill

Canadian honeymooners Lindsay Breen and husband Alex, both 30, this month claimed that staff at the restaurant failed to give them a drinks menu with prices on it before slamming them with the hefty sum

Canadian honeymooners Lindsay Breen and husband Alex, both 30, this month claimed that staff at the restaurant failed to give them a drinks menu with prices on it before slamming them with the hefty sum

‘Accordingly, you may wish to perform additional research for information about this property when making your travel plans.’

Currently 337 have rated the restaurant as ‘excellent’, whereas 611 ranked it ‘terrible’.

Fifty two have deemed it ‘very good’, 19 rated it ‘average’ and 33 placed it as ‘poor’. 

Dimitrios claims that following ‘dozens’ of similar ‘false’ claims on TripAdvisor stating that staff at the restaurant refused to give a menu with prices on it, he decided to place three blackboards at the entrance displaying them.

Dimitrios claims that following 'dozens' of similar 'false' claims on TripAdvisor stating that staff at the restaurant refused to give a menu with prices on it, he decided to place three blackboards at the entrance displaying them

Dimitrios claims that following ‘dozens’ of similar ‘false’ claims on TripAdvisor stating that staff at the restaurant refused to give a menu with prices on it, he decided to place three blackboards at the entrance displaying them

He also believes that customers could ask for a manager to discuss the price before they order and that it would be ‘ridiculous’ for him to explain the menu to every customer that enters.

Dimitrios added that ‘no adult in their right mind’ would order a drink without seeing how much it costs first and that he has no intention of explaining why they charge more than a supermarket or a traditional taverna.

He also claimed that DK Oyster’s ‘concept’ was completely different.

The restaurant owner said: ‘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.

‘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. 

‘A very popular destination for the people that certain influencers would very much like to mingle with.

Recruiter Lindsay claimed that rather than presenting them with the bill at the table, carpenter Alex was taken to a back room to pay and when he asked for a breakdown, they showed him their computer screen which was all in Greek

Recruiter Lindsay claimed that rather than presenting them with the bill at the table, carpenter Alex was taken to a back room to pay and when he asked for a breakdown, they showed him their computer screen which was all in Greek

‘This person who is trying to get famous through Instagram posts under the name of Lyndsay 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”.

‘Despite that, she placed an order. An influencer, an experienced well traveller 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.

Lindsay says her new husband settled the bill without arguing as he felt intimidated

Lindsay says her new husband settled the bill without arguing as he felt intimidated

‘This false claim has been used so much against our restaurant by dozens of anonymous users in Trip Advisor, that we decided to place three huge black boards by the entrance of the restaurant displaying the menu and the prices.

‘I thought that this way our guests, if the reviews were indeed written by actual customers, would at least have an idea regarding the range of our prices in order to be sure to check the menu thoroughly before ordering.

‘Every time I received such a complaint, always by anonymous users through Trip Advisor, I consulted with the personnel, reminding that it is crucial for our reputation to be sure that procedures are followed carefully.

Lindsay said: 'We went to the oyster bar for a bite to eat and a drink. 'They immediately said "do you want oysters?" They were very presumptuous. We said yes and he said "a dozen?" so we said yes because a dozen is a typical order'

Lindsay said: ‘We went to the oyster bar for a bite to eat and a drink. ‘They immediately said “do you want oysters?” They were very presumptuous. We said yes and he said “a dozen?” so we said yes because a dozen is a typical order’

‘They always assured me that they abide by the rules. So, I used Tripadvisor to encourage our guests to always browse carefully through the menu and the prices.’

Dimitrios then said that a person who feels they were being refused their right to a menu could simply ‘leave or request to talk to the manager’.

‘The manager can help before ordering and consuming, not at the time they are requested to pay the charged amounts,’ he added. 

Dimitrios also said: ‘I cannot stop every single person entering our premises and explain the significance of such a practice.

‘It would be ridiculous. I also believe that if a person who is not malevolent felt that that they do not get the menu, as is their right before ordering, they should either leave or request to talk to the manager.

‘Unfortunately, there are people in Tripadvisor, openly encouraging guests to come, eat and drink whatever they want and then refuse to pay the bills.

Lindsay added: 'My husband ordered a beer and I asked for a cocktail menu and he came back with the beer but I had to ask again for a cocktail menu...I said fine I'll have an Aperol spritz because they clearly didn't have a menu that they wanted to give me'

Lindsay added: ‘My husband ordered a beer and I asked for a cocktail menu and he came back with the beer but I had to ask again for a cocktail menu…I said fine I’ll have an Aperol spritz because they clearly didn’t have a menu that they wanted to give me’

‘I understand that some people may find our prices beyond their budget and I totally respect their opinion even if they do not appreciate the value of our services, cuisine, concept and experience.

‘Once in a while I post replies on Tripadvisor trying to honestly explain that we are not profiteering.

‘We believe that the value of the offered experience is high and we have no intention to explain why we charge more than a supermarket or a traditional taverna, which can be quite wonderful but is surely a completely different concept than ours.

‘The influencer claims that some locals spread rumours against us. I don’t know if this is a coincidence, but this is another argument used by anonymous Tripadvisor users.

‘I see a pattern with claims that may not be verified copied from Trip Advisor.’

A TripAdvisor spokesperson said: ‘The stories coming out from travellers about their experiences at this restaurant are horrifying, and we sympathise with any who may have been affected.

‘These kind of stories really underline just how helpful a resource Tripadvisor is to travellers looking for guidance on where to visit and which places to avoid.

‘A first-hand account of an experience for a place from a fellow traveller is invaluable insight into what can be expected there.

The reviews for this business speak for themselves. We’d urge travellers to refer to Tripadvisor when making plans at home or abroad. The Tripadvisor app makes it easy to do this on the go no matter where you are.’

Recruiter Lindsay claimed that rather than presenting them with the bill at the table, carpenter Alex was taken to a back room to pay and when he asked for a breakdown, they showed him their computer screen which was all in Greek.

Lindsay says her new husband settled the bill without arguing as he felt intimidated. 

She said: ‘We went to the oyster bar for a bite to eat and a drink.

‘They immediately said “do you want oysters?” They were very presumptuous. We said yes and he said “a dozen?” so we said yes because a dozen is a typical order.

Reviewers on Tripadvisor claim to have has a similar experience at DK Oyster

Reviewers on Tripadvisor claim to have has a similar experience at DK Oyster

‘My husband ordered a beer and I asked for a cocktail menu and he came back with the beer but I had to ask again for a cocktail menu and he started rhyming off different kinds of alcohol he had, vodka, gin but I asked for a menu.

‘I didn’t know how it was so difficult to see what they had.

‘He finally brought me back what they consider their cocktail menu. A laminated piece of paper with the types of alcohol listed but it didn’t have the brand or the drinks, nothing.

‘So I said fine I’ll have an Aperol spritz because they clearly didn’t have a menu that they wanted to give me.’

The restaurant's Tripadvisor page is flooded with telling reviews of customers who alleged that they were lured with the same strategy

The restaurant’s Tripadvisor page is flooded with telling reviews of customers who alleged that they were lured with the same strategy

After being hit with the 400 euro bill, Lindsay said: ‘I was in disbelief. I could not believe it. In Canadian dollars it’s over 600 dollars. It’s so crazy to pay that for a snack.

‘We were really shocked, especially because we’d had some really nice meals in Italy and we’re willing to spend when it’s justified but we didn’t get much.’

Reviewers on Tripadvisor claim to have has a similar experience at DK Oyster.

One Tripadvisor review read: ‘Presented with a menu with no prices. Having visited Greek isles before many times and never feeling ripped off we didn’t worry and thought that they would be fairly priced. No!!

‘A bill of over 100 euros for non-alcoholic drinks! Don’t be fooled.. Spend your money on the many other lovely venues near by.’

Much of anger seems to be around the restaurant's policy of - unlike the rest of Greece - listing prices per 100 grams instead of by the kilogram

Much of anger seems to be around the restaurant’s policy of – unlike the rest of Greece – listing prices per 100 grams instead of by the kilogram

Located on Platis Yialos on the Greek island in the Aegean Sea half way between the Greek mainland and Turkey, the restaurant advertises itself as ‘the freshest, all-day entertainment venue in Mykonos! 

‘At the cosmopolitan beach of Platys Gialos, luxury and style finally found the most deserving destination!’

American tourists Brenda Moulton and her 19-year-old daughter Kaylea took the restaurant to court after they claimed they were also scammed into paying $641.15 for two crab legs and two mojitos when they visited in May.

They claim the waiters proceeded to threaten to call the police when they complained and told them they wouldn’t return to the US if they refused to foot the astronomical bill.

‘It was a nightmarish incident for them that they will not forget,’ their lawyer Marianna Kikiri had said.

When reached out by DailyMail.com in May about DK Oyster's over 500 negative reviews, Tripadvisor said they regretted so many visitors had had horrible experiences at the restaurant

When reached out by DailyMail.com in May about DK Oyster’s over 500 negative reviews, Tripadvisor said they regretted so many visitors had had horrible experiences at the restaurant

The restaurant defended itself, claiming they were ‘stunned’ by the complaint which is ‘unfounded’ and that they ‘cannot know what and how she was motivated.

‘However, she was definitely motivated by opaque, unfair and obviously hidden competitive interests,’ the restaurant added.

The restaurant was fined €31,000 ($31,700) in July by the Ministry of Tourism after an investigation of their books revealed ‘seven or eight violations’, according to the Greek City Times.

The restaurant’s Tripadvisor page is flooded with telling reviews of customers who alleged that they were lured with the same strategy – overly insistent ‘shady’ waiters who offered ‘free sunbeds’, vague descriptions of the menu’s prices and ultimately astronomical bills. 

Much of anger seems to be around the restaurant’s policy of – unlike the rest of Greece – listing prices per 100 grams instead of by the kilogram. So €19.80 per 100gr is in reality €198 per kilogram.

American tourists Brenda Moulton and her 19-year-old daughter Kaylea took the restaurant to court after they claimed they were also scammed into paying $641.15 for two crab legs and two mojitos when they visited in May

American tourists Brenda Moulton and her 19-year-old daughter Kaylea took the restaurant to court after they claimed they were also scammed into paying $641.15 for two crab legs and two mojitos when they visited in May

Cheryl Lamphere, 43 from Seattle, claimed to DailyMail.com that her group of friends felt misled and intimidated into paying $1,640 in May for food at the restaurant that did not justify the outrageous price. 

Cheryl and her group of girlfriends said they had no other option but to pay the eye-watering price after ordering one plate of calamari, one order of lobster pasta, a salad, and bread at the restaurant.

The mother-of-two claimed the group visited the picturesque island on May 3 and their first evening was ruined after owner Dimitris and male staff at the restaurant cornered them when they even dared to dispute the astronomical tab. 

Dimitrios Kalamaras, owner of DK Oyster in Mykonos, has hit back at a couple who this week claimed to have been slapped with a staggering 400 euro bill for a beer, an Aperol spritz and a dozen oysters

Dimitrios Kalamaras, owner of DK Oyster in Mykonos, has hit back at a couple who this week claimed to have been slapped with a staggering 400 euro bill for a beer, an Aperol spritz and a dozen oysters

‘Every man in the restaurant got up and surrounded us, there were at least five of them, almost blocking us in.

‘It was a very, very scary situation because we were six women being surrounded by five men… I must add, they were all dressed in black, it was sort of gangsterish,’ Lamphere told DailyMail.com. 

Francisco Tajeda, 38, from Brooklyn, revealed on TripAdvisor how staff at the DK Oyster restaurant in Mykonos refused to give their party a menu or show them prices, before surprising them with the final tab for $935 in May 2019. 

Responding to a negative review on the website, the restaurant answered: ‘There is not free country in the western world that would force us to explain to each customer why we charge the way we do.’ 

‘However, we have often tried to explain the great cost of operating a business like ours. Would you ask Bugatti why they charge as much as they do? Would you ask all the luxury brands to justify their prices? You may opt for cheaper products and services. There is no monopoly.’ 

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