Sunday , May , 26 , 2013 Paul Eide

Tony Parker Denied Service At Memphis Restaurant

Being an NBA player comes with a lot of perks- but not when you’re in Memphis for a series against the hometown Grizzlies.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: I wonder if Eva Longoria would’ve gotten a table? 


On Friday, Spurs guard Tony Parker was hungry. So he went out to Restaurant Iris, a high-class Memphis restaurant, and tried to get a table. He was denied a seat, allegedly because the restaurant was too busy and already at max capacity. Plus, he didn’t have a reservation.

The restaurant is saying it wasn’t an intentional slight, but the head chief/owner Kelly English, didn’t hesitate to confirm the story via Twitter when rumors began to circulate.

Today, the restaurant issued the following statement (if nothing nefarious was afoot, why issue a statement?):

At Restaurant Iris we pride ourselves on the service we provide to our guests. From the moment you make a reservation, to when you walk out of our door, it’s our job to ensure you experience both incredible food and service.

That experience begins with a reservation. Due to the size of our restaurant, there is currently a two week delay for a weekend reservation. We would not cancel a reservation that a guest made-and waited two weeks for- in order to make room for someone else without a reservation- celebrity or not. We respect our guests and their time, and appreciate their choice to dine with us.

We are fiercely loyal to our guests and our city. Memphis has been good to us and we will always be faithful to her. We are proud to be a part of Grizz nation and are excited to cheer on our team tonight.


Restaurant Iris opened in 2008 and has received numerous local and national awards. In 2009 he was one of Food & Wine Best New Chefs, and he was nominated for a James Beard award in 2010.

Chief English today said there was nothing more to the situation than being at max capacity.

“My wife called yesterday to get a reservation and she couldn’t get a table,” he explained. “If we don’t have a table, it doesn’t matter if you’re the Dalai Lama. No one deserves a table more than someone else.”

I still think Eva gets in.

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Image Credit: Creative Commons


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