MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police are looking for a group of nearly 20 people who they say tried to do drugs inside a popular Midtown restaurant, then skipped out on a $420 bill.
It happened at Frida’s Mexican Restaurante on Madison Avenue this past Sunday night.
Surveillance video from inside the restaurant shows a table of 16 people eating and enjoying themselves.
Frida’s manager Jesse Gonzalez says they were one of the last tables seated at around 10:30, a half hour before closing.
“They came in at the last minute. We didn’t think anything of it,” Gonzalez said.
He said they treated themselves: they ordered some of the most expensive things on the menu including $11 margaritas.
“The grand burritos, Frida’s special steak, steak and shrimp,” he said.
But soon, he said, the bartender got a whiff of something that didn’t smell like grilled steak and peppers.
“It was just one guy smoking weed. We asked him to stop. I guess he was the leader or the group and he made a scene,” Gonzalez said.
At that point, the group started berating the staff, according to the manager.
“They started getting louder and louder, getting upset, yelling offenses to the server, saying come on, come on,” he said.
Eventually, one by one, the people finished their drinks and left the table.
Two women left behind didn’t seem to be in as much of a hurry, though. One even carried her blue margarita away from the table after the group ignored staff and skipped out on the $420 bill.
Gonzalez said they even pushed one of the servers in the stairwell. He said he’d never seen anything like it.
“Our walk-outs are they forgot to pay or they’ll come back next day. Major walkouts like that, that’s our first and biggest one,” he said.
Gonzalez said he thinks they planned the whole outburst so they could skip out on the bill.
“You don’t think they’re gonna do that, especially on a Sunday night. One guy got them all riled up at the same time,” he said.
The manager said at this point he’s not worried about the money. He’s just glad all his staff is okay.
But he does want police to catch the people who did this so if you recognize anyone in the video make sure you call Memphis Police.
Frida’s manager Jesse Gonzalez said a grandparent of one of the people in the surveillance video came in after our story aired and paid the bill in full.
The group also apologized, according to Gonzalez.
As a result, he says he told police on Friday he no longer wants to press charges.