New York City restaurateur Keith McNally admitted on Tuesday he was ‘feeling strange about the James Corden thing’ – the day after banning the comedian, and then reversing the ban, amid a row over Corden’s treatment of staff.
McNally, owner of several eateries across Manhattan, announced on Monday that Corden, 44, was no longer welcome at his SoHo restaurant Balthazar.
McNally said Corden had been rude to his staff several times: berating them over a hair in his food and demanding free drinks during the summer, and on October 9 furiously reprimanding the waiters over an omelet he was unhappy with.
Four hours after announcing the ban, to his 87,000 Instagram followers, McNally promptly reversed it, saying he had received a phone call from Corden apologizing.
While news of Corden’s loutish behavior reverberated on Tuesday, becoming the talk of Manhattan, McNally said he felt troubled.
The fiery restaurateur posted a photo, captioned: ‘With my daughter, Alice (in black) and her best friend, Margot Paisner, at Balthazar tonight.
‘Feeling strange about the James Corden thing. On the one hand, he was definitely abusive to my staff, on the other hand, I feel really sorry for him right now. Like most cowards I want it both ways.’
He concluded: ‘F*** it, I’m going to get drunk.’
Keith McNally on Tuesday said he was ‘feeling strange’ about the last 24-hours, and his spat with James Corden
McNally on Tuesday said he felt ‘strange’ about his confrontation with Corden, pictured in May
The saga began on Monday when McNally, who has a colorful history of booting out celebrities from his exclusive restaurants, claimed that Corden behaved badly at his former restaurant, Cafe Luxembourg, on several occasions and left one server ‘shaken’.
McNally posted earlier on Monday two separate examples of Corden’s ‘extremely nasty’ behavior at Balthazar, the French brasserie.
The 71-year-old started his post by calling the funnyman a ‘hugely gifted comedian’, before laying into Corden.
The furious owner said that he ’86’d’ the star – which means you have been banned – and claims Corden found a hair in his main course when dining there in June, before demanding free drinks for the mistake.
Being 86’d is thought to have originated at Greenwich Village speakeasy bar, Chumley’s, on 86 Bedford Street, which had no address on the door.
Guests ’86’d’ themselves from the premises if there was any trouble.
Restaurateur Keith McNally, 71, banned the Late Late Show host from his restaurants because of his ‘extremely nasty’ treatment of staff – only to rescind the ban hours later
The popular French eatery Balthazar, in New York’s SoHo district, is pictured on Monday
Balthazar’s owner, Keith McNally, regularly shares updates from his staff – including, on Monday, excoriating James Corden for his behavior
The restaurant, pictured on Monday, is a popular spot for celebrities, tourists and locals alike – everyone from Anna Wintour to Sienna Miller has eaten at Balthazar
Corden and his wife Julia Carey are accused of sending back an egg yolk omelet because it had a ‘little bit of egg white’ in it while dining at the plush restaurant
He said: ‘After eating his main course, Corden showed the hair to Balthazar manager G. who was very apologetic.
‘Corden was extremely nasty to G, and said: ‘Get us another round of drinks this second. And also take care of all of our drinks so far. This way I write any nasty reviews in yelp or anything like that.”
In a second incident McNally claims that Corden was dining with his wife, Julia Carey, at the eatery on October 9 for brunch.
He says that Corden asked for a table outside, and Carey ordered an egg yolk omelet with a salad.
The couple complained to the server that there was ‘a little bit of egg white mixed with the egg yolk’ and sent the dish back.
McNally added: ‘The kitchen remade the dish but unfortunately sent it with home fries instead of salad.
‘That’s when James Corden began yelling like crazy to the server: ‘You can’t do your job! You can’t do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelet myself!’
Tony-award winning Corden has risen to fame over the past ten years after moving across the pond, and becoming famed for his cheeky smile and stream of A list pals
Balthazar in New York’s Soho is a much loved celebrity haunt, but the British funnyman has now been banned from dining
Balthazar: Fancy French brasserie-style diner in trendy Soho district
Balthazar is a French brasserie-style restaurant housed in New York City’s Soho neighborhood.
The restaurant opened in 1997 in a building formerly used as a tannery, a place where animal hides are treated.
It has since become one of owner Keith McNally’s benchmark brasseries.
The Michelin Guide describes the restaurant as being ‘quintessentially SoHo.’
The menu features pastries, seafood and other French-inspired delicacies.
McNally has since other Balthazar locations across the globe, including in London, UK.
His culinary empire also includes NYC hot spots Pastis and Minetta Tavern.
‘M.K (server) was very apologetic and brought G. (floor manager) over to the table.
‘He returned the dish, and after that, everything was fine. He gave them promo Champagne glasses to smooth things out.
‘G. said that Corden was pleasant to him but nasty to the server. M.K. was very shaken, but professional that she is, continued to finish her shift.’
Corden will not stay on at The Late Late Show past his current contract ends next year – a decision that was made earlier this year, long before the Balthazar saga.
DailyMail.com has reached out to a representative for James Corden for comment.
Corden is well known for his provocative and at times strange behavior.
In 2017, as the Harvey Weinstein scandal was just being published, Corden joked made fun of the rapist’s victims.
‘It has been weird this week watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water,’ he told a gala in New York City.
‘Ask any of the women who watched him take a bath, it’s weird watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water.’
He later apologized, tweeting: ‘To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey’s inexcusable behavior, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention.’
At the end of 2019, he ridiculed the technical team behind the film Cats, in which he starred.
‘I haven’t seen it, I’ve heard it’s terrible,’ he told a British radio show, and then told the Oscars audience while presenting an award: ‘As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects.’
In September 2021, while promoting his film Cinderella, he dressed as a mouse and danced in a road, thrusting his groin at bemused drivers.
Corden was accompanied by Camila Cabello, who plays the lead role, and Billy Porter, as a character called Fab G.
At one point Corden seemed to take a drag on what looked like a spliff, before dancing some more.
In July this year, he was knocked off his bicycle in London by a fellow cyclist, who swerved in front of him on busy Regent’s Street, nearly pushing Corden into a car.
The comedian was furious, and loudly berated the young bike ride who cut him up.
McNally, in turn, has previous form for banning ‘rude’ celebrities from his restaurant if he believes their behavior isn’t up to scratch.
He ripped into former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter last year after he made a reservation at his plush Morandi restaurant – but failed to show up.
McNally who is the owner of NYC hotspots including Balthazar and Pastis, branded Carter in May 2021 a ‘fancy f***er’ after booking a table for 12.
Corden, in his mouse suit, is seen with Camila Cabello and Billy Porter in a street performance to promote his new film, on August 27, 2021
Corden gyrates at bemused motorists in Los Angeles, in August 2021, to promote his new film, Cinderella
The British comedian is pictured with Cabello, who plays Cinderella, and Billy Porter, whose character is called Fab G
But the owner, who was formerly a close friend of Carter, said that he had asked staff to specially prepare the restaurant to impress him.
In another scathing Instagram post he said: ‘Because Mr. Carter’s a restaurateur himself, my chef, manager and floor staff were eager for the lunch to go perfectly for him.
‘Extra staff were brought in to help with service, and two tables of six were meticulously set up and ready for Graydon Carter by 1 p.m. Only he didn’t show up at 1 p.m.’
Carter got his assistant to call the eatery to say that the editor had ‘forgotten to call and cancel’, with McNally left seething.
He claims that Carter ‘upset the equilibrium of the restaurant’ and ‘cost Morandi money’, before revealing that he had previous for failing to show up to reservations.
In February 2021 he defended Ghislaine Maxwell, in jail awaiting trial for sex trafficking with Jeffrey Epstein, and insisted she was ‘currently innocent’.
He then praised Woody Allen and Soon-Yi for appearing at Balthazar, captioning a picture of them at his restaurant: ‘I’ve never been as happy at Balthazar as I was last night to see the beautiful Soon-Yi and her husband dining there.’
That post was covered in the May 15 issue of Air Mail, run by Carter, which described McNally as ‘going off the menu.’
McNally was referred to as a ‘sometimes dour 69-year-old with fewer than 15,000 followers on Instagram’.
Carter said in a statement to Page Six: ‘My office did forget to cancel the lunch reservation until a bit after 1:30, which is wretched and we will be making a donation today to the restaurant’s tip pool to cover what the staff would have made.
‘As a fellow restaurateur I fully understand the implications of a large party no show.
‘As for the rest of McNally’s deranged rant, it is pure fiction.
‘I rarely eat at his places and this all stems from the story we did about his most recent Instagram controversies in last week’s Air Mail.’
McNally also delights in telling tales from his establishments.
In July this year, he claimed that staff at Balthazar were looking for the couple who left behind their wedding ring after having sex in the bathroom.
McNally alleged they ran off before staff had a chance to catch them in the act. But in their hurry a wedding ring was left on the restroom floor.
Balthazar owner Keith McNally made a raunchy Instagram post detailing how a couple used the men’s room at the swanky NYC restaurant as their private sexual oasis over the long Fourth of July weekend
McNally alleged they ran off before staff had a chance to catch them in the act. But in their hurry a wedding ring was left on the restroom floor
McNally claims the restaurant manager, Zouheir Louhaichy, told him about the encounter in a note detailing what ensued at the SoHo hotspot over the Independence Day weekend.
‘We had one alleged report of a couple having sex in one of the men’s stall downstairs,’ Louhaichy reportedly wrote.
‘But when I asked floor manager Greg to rush down and check what’s going on the couple were nowhere to be found so they remained a mystery.’
‘But oddly enough, Greg found a small wedding ring on the floor of the bathroom stall,’ he added.
Louhaichy said the ring was placed in the restaurant’s lost and found.
McNally claims a couple had sex in the bathroom before scurrying off, leaving behind a wedding ring. The ring has since been placed in lost and found
New York restaurateur Keith McNally (pictured) has previously cautioned that ’80 percent of Instagram posts are lies,’ including his own
From accusing other restaurants of ‘having Putin-like power’ to people having ‘sex in the bathroom’… Keith McNally’s history of surprising claims
New York restaurateur Keith McNally has been known to make some egregious statements on his Instagram page.
He was slammed in March after going on a bizarre rant against British restaurant critics and claiming he ‘bought’ reviews when he opened Balthazar in London.
In a scathing attack posted to his Instagram page, he said ‘four or five of London restaurant critics have so much Putin-like power that the people who slave away cooking and serving the food are scared s***less to publicly find fault with them.’
He launched a tirade against Evening Standard and Tatler food critic Fay Maschler, claiming she only gave his restaurant a ‘stupendous’ review because they were good friends.
He also claimed Italian restaurant Brutto ‘greatly benefited’ from the owner’s friendship with Sunday Times’ restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin.
In a scathing attack posted to his Instagram page , he said that ‘four or five of London restaurant critics have so much Putin-like power that the people who slave away cooking and serving the food are scared s***less to publicly find fault with them’ and said that Italian restaurant Brutto ‘greatly benefited’ from the owner’s friendship with Sunday Times’ restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin
McNally, last November, took to Instagram to revoke real estate millionaire Michael Shvo’s VIP status at his eateries after an incident of misconduct.
The Balthazar maitre d’ alleged Shvo sat himself at the eatery’s best table without consulting restaurant staff.
Shvo then dismissed staffers’ efforts to check him in and reseat him, saying ‘he always got a booth.’
‘How F. presumptuous!’ McNally said at the time, adding that Shvo’s ‘obnoxious, entitled behavior is the Height of Arrogance.’
McNally then implored Balthazar staff to ‘Please have Mr Shvo’s AA status torn to shreds.’
Brazen businessman Michael Shvo (pictured third from left, with wife Seren by his side) has been known to frequent a slew of the borough’s most distinguished eateries, including Wall Street’s posh Cipriani and McNally Balthazar’s. Here he is accompanied by his wife, Margot Adams (far left), and renowned New York publisher Jason Binn
McNally posted a scathing statement to social media Sunday night after learning from one of his maître d’s that millionaire mogul Michael Shvo arrived at the establishment for a one ‘o clock reservation but did not wait to be seated
In August 2021, McNally slammed the public pressure that led to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, claiming the governor’s actions didn’t stack up to other prominent cases of sexual misconduct.
Keith McNally facetiously congratulated the ‘self-righteous hypocrites’ who wanted the governor’s ‘head on a platter’ in an Instagram post.
‘Of course I don’t think sexual harassment is ok. But I hope that one of my 3 daughters would have to the strength of character to deal with it on the spot without turning herself into a victim,’ McNally said.
‘We not talking about a f***** Rapist like Harvey Weinstein. We’re talking about someone who, according to the state attorney general’s investigation engaged in….unwelcome and non-consensual behavior by touching and making numerous offensive COMMENTS of a suggestive and sexual nature.
‘If he exhibited this behavior to one of my daughters I hope they would just say, ‘F*** OFF’ and be done with it.’
McNally is known for his colorful commentary amid photos from his restaurants on Instagram
The restaurateur also banned former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter from his restaurants, calling him a ‘fancy f*****’ after he allegedly booked a table for 12 in May 2021 and never showed up for his reservation.
McNally wrote a furious post on Instagram, denouncing the behavior of someone he previously considered a friend.
Carter had booked for 1pm, and his assistant did not call to cancel until an hour later.
‘Perhaps, being something of a social bigwig, Mr Carter thinks he is above having to cancel restaurant reservations,’ wrote the London-born restaurateur.
‘Perhaps. But I’ll tell you one thing. The fancy f***** will never be allowed to make a reservation at one of my restaurants again. Never.’