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Diner at Florida restaurant reportedly asks eatery to change ‘offensive’ Christmas music

Executive chef Michael Lugo says a patron left a note asking the eatery to stop playing holiday music. (Courtesy Michael’s Tasting Room)

December 12, 2016

A Florida restaurateur says he was shocked by a note a patron recently left after dining at his St. Augustine establishment.

Michael Lugo, the executive chef and manager of Michael’s Tasting Room, a modern tapas bar in the historic Floridian city, has been playing holiday music in his dining room post-Thanksgiving to promote a festive spirit among diners.

But on Dec. 3, one patron allegedly thought Lugo’s music was too much. A waiter at the restaurant found a note scrawled on the back of a receipt that read, “Christmas music was offensive. Consider playing holiday music or less religious themed.”

“My server in concern had to show me that and it was really like what is going on in this world? So we posted it,” Lugo told First Coast News.

The chef posted the note to Facebook with the caption, “‘Really…what’s wrong with people’.”

The post has since received over 800 comments and dozens of shares, with many rallying in support of the restaurant manager’s decision to play Christmas tunes this time of year.

Lugo has also defended his decision to keep playing the Christmas tunes saying, “It’s all about celebration of family celebration of gathering with friends and people and it’s a tradition. It’s not about a religion it’s not about anything else. I am a Christian but I don’t push that as my agenda I think that Christmas is Christmas.”

Despite being surprised by the receipt’s message, Lugo says he wasn’t trying to demonize the note’s writer or complain about the situation. Instead, he says he just wanted to protect his staff.

“Thank you all for the support. I’m very comfortable with these situations, but the stress it puts on my staff is unfair,” Lugo posted after the outpouring of support, according to First Coast News.

“Between social media and review sites I swear they are under constant pressure that someone is going to write something bad about us. People no longer deal face to face, and feel it’s their duty to tell everyone one else how bad you are. The crazy part is no longer is it regarding facts, and now it’s opinions about decor or opinions about Christmas music.”

A call to chef Lugo was not immediately returned.