LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - When a popular internet star tangles with a popular pizzeria, the internet always wins.
Dave Portnoy, better known to Twitter bros as @stoolpresidente, popped into the Goodfellas pizzeria in Lexington over the weekend and, well, let’s just say he didn’t have a great experience.
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Portnoy, who does one-bite pizza reviews for his astonishingly popular BarStoolSports.com site, complained that his slice was “ice cold,” that you could “go ice fishing with an igloo on this.”
Portnoy hadn’t yet rated his bite on a scale of 1 to 10, but he seemed headed toward something below the 6.1 he gave to PieTana earlier in the day. And once a Goodfellas employee came outside and kicked Portnoy and his crew off the porch, he gave the restaurant a 0.0 rating.
“Goodfellas ... kicked out ... national pizza review ... zero point zero," he said in the video.
Portnoy was in Lexington for “Rough and Rowdy,” an amateur fight night Friday night, as well as the opening weekend at Keeneland.
“We had an event that we knew about,” Goodfellas co-owner Alex Coats told WAVE3.com. “We told our guys to be on alert that he’d probably come by. I think we missed the mark and didn’t communicate either way.”
Coats noted that Portnoy had once given the Goodfellas location in Indianapolis an 8.1 rating, but last week’s pizza pickle was a full-on blunder.
“We made a mistake, and we owned up to it,” said Coats, who added that he and his team are now doing damage control. “We tried to do some creative marketing and PR. Some of it has been received well and some of it hasn’t.”
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Coats also said he and his business partner, Eric Boggs, spent Tuesday watching 13 years of sweaty devotion to their budding pizza empire -- now six stores strong in Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Lexington -- get destroyed online by BarStool’s army of followers, called “Stoolies.” The incident called to mind the behavior of UK basketball fans two springs ago when the Wildcats lost to North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. UK fans did more than blame the loss on referee John Higgins; they took to social media to bring down the website of Higgins' roofing company, and of course call his home with death threats.
“We’ve had threats,” Coats said. “We’ve had people calling our office staff at their houses. How they got their numbers I don’t know. We’re still just an independent, family-owned business. Hopefully we can recover from this.”
Goodfellas' ratings on Google and Yelp have been decimated, but it appears Portnoy is trying to help with reparations. Tuesday morning, he accepted Goodfellas' apology and even offered to give the pizzeria a second chance on his next visit to Lexington.
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