SPRING, Texas – An online mix-up caused an Old Town Spring restaurant to receive backlash meant for a Dallas restaurant with a similar name.
Jessica and Matthew Lynn, the owners of Ellen’s Cafe on Gentry Street in Old Town Spring, said they were confused Sunday when they received several one-star ratings on Facebook. The cafe has a 4.7-star overall rating on the social media site, with a majority being five stars.
“They didn’t say anything in the rating,” said Jessica Lynn. “They just put a one-star with no remarks so I just didn’t pay too much mind to it.”
Shortly after, Lynn said she received three more. Lynn said she also received a message through the social media site from someone sharing a copy of a receipt from Ellen’s. At the bottom of the receipt was a gun control message that read:
“Thanks for visiting Ellen’s! A portion of this week’s proceeds will be donated to organizations dedicated to implementing reasonable and effective gun regulations that protect citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights and also helps reduce needless gun violence. Welcome to Dallas!”
The managing partner of Ellen’s restaurant in Dallas defending the message printed on the receipts during the National Rifle Association’s annual convention last week.
“We recognize and appreciate and want to protect the 2nd Amendment, but like you, we want to make sure our children are also protected,” said Joe Groves.
The NRA tweeted out the receipt on Saturday, urging members in Dallas for the convention to stay clear of Ellen’s. But it caused backlash for two Texas restaurants named Ellen’s.
The Lynns say some 2nd Amendment supporters were giving their Old Town Spring restaurant a low rating instead of the Dallas restaurant. It’s a mix-up that could have cost the small business.
“It can be very damaging. And I understand people are using their 1st Amendment rights to speak out on the issue and that’s great. But just keep in mind who you’re rating and to make sure it’s who you want to rate, because you can damage what we worked so hard to build back up,” said Jessica Lynn.
Jessica Lynn said she was able to get one of the four low ratings removed by reaching out to the people who posted them.
The Lynns say this is the second time they’ve had people leave a rating on their page meant for Ellen’s in Dallas -- although the last time, the Lynns were on the receiving end of a five-star review.
“We had planned on changing the name to Lynn’s Table,” said Matthew Lynn. This is probably gonna accelerate that a little bit.”
Ellen’s Cafe could undergo a name change by the end of the year.