Restaurant apologizes for ignoring NBA star and giant human Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks over Aron Baynes of the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks over Aron Baynes of the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
Photo: Stacy Revere (Getty Images)

On Sunday, Giannis Antetokounmpo launched his 6-foot-11 frame toward the hoop, his fingers briefly connecting with the ball enough to tip it into the net for a game-winning basket against the Boston Celtics. A few hours afterwards, the Milwaukee Bucks player went out to celebrate, as one does, choosing the Water Street location of BelAir Cantina, a small Milwaukee chain of Mexican restaurants. Except the restaurant totally ignored him.

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According to a Tweet from a fellow diner—who definitely recognized the game-winning player less than two hours after the Bucks victory—Antetokounmpo stood for minutes waiting to be acknowledged. (Stars, they’re just like us!) After 10 minutes, a polite Antetokounmpo didn’t cause a scene but merely left the restaurant and had pizza instead. (Again, so relatable!)

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ESPN reports BelAir Cantina quickly apologized, issuing a statement that reads in part: “We are very sorry we weren’t able to seat Giannis Antetokounmpo in as timely manner as we would have hoped. ... We were honored he came in for a celebratory meal, and wish we would have accommodated him right away.”

The real question is how the entire staff of the restaurant missed a professional athlete who is 6-foot-11 hanging out by the host station. This is not a diminutive dude, as one can see in the below photo, in which he is standing next to a presumably average-sized human.

That photo, by the way? It was taken by the pizza place where Antetokounmpo dined after striking out at BelAire. Good on Antetokounmpo for being polite and rolling with it, and good on Dimoda Pizza for finally getting this hungry man some food.

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Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

PalestinianChicken

For what it’s worth, the comments on that tweet suggest that there were free tables in the restaurant, and patrons both offered table to Giannis as well as hectored the staff to seat Giannis and his girlfriend. Seems like the staff just didn’t have it together.

The very reasonable Yelp backlash has already started, with very reasonable takes like this:

“You should’ve been honored that the Greek Freak was even visiting your mediocre establishment...And you choose not to acknowledge him?! Shame on you!! I will never eat at Bel Air Cantina again!!”

“Didn’t even acknowledge the Greek freak. Should be ashamed of yourself. If he leaves the bucks, the blame is on you for not serving him. Disgusting. Would give 0 stars if I had the chance.”