James Corden's NYC restaurant ban lifted after owner brands him 'most abusive customer'

The British comic 'apologises profusely' after boss posts allegations of angry outbursts on Instagram

James Corden's Balthazar ban has been lifted by proprietor Keith McNally. Getty Images
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Depending on which side of the pond your pop culture references align with, you'll either know him as the presenter of US chat show The Late Late Show with James Corden, or as one of the stars and creators of British sitcom Gavin and Stacey.

Either way, it's likely that you have Corden mentally filed under the "cheeky chappy" subsection of celebrity thanks to his viral Carpool Karaoke videos or his stint as loveable best friend Smithy in the family-friendly BBC comedy.

This week, however, Corden's off-screen character has been brought into question after a New York City restaurateur accused him of mistreating the waiting staff at his restaurant.

Keith McNally, who owns the NYC restaurant Balthazar, took to Instagram to recount "86-ing" Corden, which is American slang for banning a person from an establishment. He described Corden as "the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago".

"James Corden is a hugely gifted comedian, but a tiny cretin of a man," McNally wrote on Instagram. "I don't often 86 a customer, to today I 86'd Corden. It did not make me laugh."

He then went on to recount two incidents with Corden. In the first alleged interaction, the presenter showed the manager a hair in his food and went on to demand free drinks, threatening to leave "nasty" reviews if they refused.

In the second reported incident, an egg yolk omelette was ordered but Corden claimed there was "a little bit of egg white mixed with the egg yolk". When the dish was remade and returned, the wrong side dish was served (French fries not a salad), which prompted Corden to reportedly shout: "You can't do your job! You can't do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelette myself!"

McNally described the team member as "very shaken" following the alleged interaction.

Since McNally made his allegations, he has posted an update saying Corden has been in touch and his ban has been dropped.

"James Corden just called me and apologised profusely. Having [messed] up myself more than most people, I strongly believe in second chances," McNally wrote.

"So if James Corden lets me host his Late Late Show for 9 months, I’ll immediately rescind his ban from Balthazar. No, of course not. But ... anyone magnanimous enough to apologize to a deadbeat layabout like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere ... All is Forgiven."

Balthazar is a French brasserie located in Soho, New York. It's been open since 1997 and is owned by McNally. On the same premises, there is also a Balthazar Bakery and, in2013, an international outpost was opened in Covent Garden, London.

The New York restaurant is known for being a place to spot celebrities. According to pop culture Instagram account @Deuxmoi, stars seen there include Awkwafina, Jared Leto, Meryl Streep and Anna Wintour.

In 1999, Jerry Seinfeld proposed to wife Jessica at the restaurant.

Updated: October 18, 2022, 7:06 AM
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