James Corden banished, Madonna walked away and sassy rules: what to know about Keith McNally

Keith McNally set social media on fire Monday night when he announced on Instagram that he had banned James Corden from his upscale Manhattan restaurant, Balthazar.

The 71-year-old restaurateur accused “The Late Late Show” host, 44, of being the “most offensive customer” of his staff at the celebrity hotspot and cited two examples of Corden’s outbursts that were reported by restaurant managers.

“James Corden is an extremely gifted comedian, but a tiny foolish man,” wrote McNally.

“And the most offensive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago.”


Keith McNally made headlines when he announced he had banned James Corden from his upscale Manhattan restaurant, Balthazar. (Getty / Getty Images)

“I don’t take a client often, I’m 86’d Corden today. It didn’t make me laugh.”

McNally recounted an incident in which a manager claimed Corden became “extremely bad” after finding a hair in his food. According to the report, Corden allegedly threatened to write a negative Yelp review of the French bistro unless he and his group were provided with free drinks.

In another reported case, the comedian allegedly started “yelling like crazy” at a waiter after complaining that there was egg white in his wife’s egg yolk omelette, and that she was served homemade fries instead. of a salad on the side.

However, McNally overturned the ban on Monday after Corden called him and “apologized profusely.”

“Having screwed myself more than most people, I strongly believe in second chances,” McNally wrote in another Instagram post he shared on Monday.

James Corden, Keith McNally

McNally overturned the ban on Monday after Corden called him and “apologized profusely.” (Getty Images / Getty Images)

McNally joked that Corden could return to Balthazar if he could host his late-night CBS show for nine months.

“But … anyone who is magnanimous enough to apologize to a slacker like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned anywhere. Balthazar especially. So, like Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Corden, Jimmy Corden. xx All is Forgiven. xx “, he concluded.

McNally owns other upscale restaurants, including Pastis, Morandi, Minetta Tavern, and Augustine. He is known as the “restaurateur who invented downtown” and his restaurants have attracted celebrities over the years.

McNally is also known for his reluctance to give special treatment to his first-rate customers. In a 2020 interview with The Guardian, he recalled turning Madonna away from her Nell’s nightclub in 1986 after she refused to pay the $ 5 cover charge.

“Every customer had to pay $ 5 to get in. Madonna, used to waltz in clubs for free, refused to pay, so I didn’t let her in,” she said. “She was so pissed off she called me” f –––– g bastard, “McNally said.

Madonna 1986

McNally said he turned Madonna away from her Nell’s nightclub in 1986 after she refused to pay the $ 5 cover fee. (Vinnie Zuffante Archive / Michael Ochs / Getty Images / Getty Images)

In 2021, McNally banned former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter from all of his restaurants after Carter reportedly booked for 12 at Morandi’s and then didn’t show up. He also claimed that Carter had “done the same thing before” at Balthazar and Minetta Tavern.

“That fancy F-ker will never be able to book again in one of my restaurants. Never,” McNally wrote in an Instagram post.


In response to McNally’s allegations, Carter told Page Six: “My office forgot to cancel the lunch reservation until shortly after 1:30, which is a shame, and today we will make a donation to the pool. restaurant suggestions to cover what the staff would do …. As a fellow restaurateur, I fully understand the implications of a big no-show at a party. “

However, he denied any other previous no-shows, telling the outlet, “As for the rest of McNally’s deranged outburst, it’s pure fiction.”

Graydon Carter

In 2021, McNally banned former Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter from all of his restaurants. (Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images / Getty Images)

In July, McNally made headlines when he posted a list of cheeky rules for his restaurant servers, including the advice never to go home with a customer for “under $ 500”.

“When describing the menu, never say ‘I have it’,” he wrote. “Always ‘we’. Saying ‘ho’ is sliced ​​and an insult to the cook who prepared the dish. Be friendly, but never friendly. Always repeat the customer’s order to him. Skate sounds like steak after martini. Don’t. never rush the guest Good service is based on anticipation.

“Where possible, try to anticipate the customer’s needs. This doesn’t mean STOPPING near a table. As a customer, I can’t bear to hear a waiter or a busser lurking a few meters away. Also, I don’t want him to clear my cup. of coffee until I left the table or dropped the check before asking, or NEVER pour my water. “


McNally also advised to “always give the price of the specials of the day” and to “always bring the change back to the table” when a customer pays in cash.

“Never offer a free drink to a celebrity,” he said. “Instead, offer it to me or a regular customer, or a guest who least expects it. And once the meal is served, never utter the nonsense: ‘How’s everything going?’ If the server has to interrupt the flow of my customers’ conversation, please let it be a simple “Do you need something?”
And NEVER EVER go home with a customer ……….. for less than $ 500, “he concluded.

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