Diner owner yells at toddler, receives social media backlash

Posted at 9:00 PM, Jul 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-20 21:01:24-04

PORTLAND, Maine -- A Portland, Maine diner owner is under social media fire after controversial comments made to customers at her restaurant and comments made on social media in the aftermath.

Darla Neugebauer is the owner of Mary’s Diner in downtown Portland.

According to WCSH, Neugebauer said parents ordered three pancakes for their child and didn’t feed them to her, causing the child to cry loudly.

Neugebauer said she attempted to get the family to leave or take the girl outside. When that failed, the diner owner said she slammed her hands down on the counter and told the girl to be quiet.

After the incident, the child’s mother posted on Marcy’s Diner’s Facebook about her negative experience.  Neugebauer fired back from the establishment's account saying, "you are lucky I didn't get really *blank* nuts because being physical is not something I cower from."

In the aftermath, Neugebauer has received backlash on social media from people who say they will never eat at her restaurant again. Despite the criticism, Neugebauer is standing by her actions.

"Life's full of choices and you've got to live with all of them. I chose to yell at a kid, it made her shut-up, which made me happy, it made my staff happy, it made the 75 other people dining here happy, and they left, they may never come back, other people may not come in. Their loss really," she said.

The mother told WCSH, she was stunned and upset by the incident.

"I turned to my daughter and I was like 'Listen, this is how I'm raising you not to be as an adult. Like, you will never be like this when you get older,'" she said. "I felt helpless as a mom that, you know, I couldn't do anything to help her, because I can't explain why there's crazy people in this world that behave like that."

Despite some negative backlash, Neugebauer has received support as well. According to WCSH there was a line of hungry customers outside of the diner Monday morning.