Giannis Antetokounmpo produced probably the biggest moment of his young NBA career on Sunday, tapping in a game-winning put-back to deliver his Milwaukee Bucks a 104-102 victory over the Boston Celtics that tied their playoff series at two games apiece.
Afterward, the Greek Freak was apparently in the mood for some Mexican food, because he stopped by BelAir Cantina downtown for a postgame dinner. The only issue was that the restaurant, either failing to recognize the NBA All-Star or simply ambivalent to his celebrity, failed to find Giannis a table, prompting him to leave after a few minutes.
Somehow, this created a citywide controversy and prompted an apology from the chain’s management.
Giannis’ brief foray to BelAir Cantina would have likely gone unnoticed by the wider world if not for a patron named Morgan who tweeted out a photo of Giannis at the restaurant and explained how he had walked out after a brief wait.
At @BelAirCantina on water street and just watched @Giannis_An34 wait for a table for 10 minutes and no one helped him so he left… Dude just won Milwaukee a playoff game! Get him some service pic.twitter.com/hcjsJfThiA
— Morgan (@MoSokanhe) April 22, 2018
Morgan’s tweet sparked dozens of replies, many of them angry that the restaurant had not seated the local hero. Morgan explained that some customers had yelled for management to find Giannis a table, eventually growing so rowdy that the police had to show up. Morgan said he had told a server the Greek Freak was welcome to take his table.
After all of this outrage, BelAir Cantina apologized on its social media feeds for failing to find room for Giannis and promised everyone in Milwaukee free tacos if the Bucks prevail in the series Thursday (which would require successive victories).
We are very sorry we weren’t able to seat Giannis Antetokounmpo in as timely of a manner as we would have hoped. The Milwaukee Bucks big win, thanks to his tip in and the team’s great play, combined with today’s spring weather had people turn out in droves to celebrate and we had quite a wait. We were honored he came in for a celebratory meal, and wish we could have accommodated him right away.
Needless to say, it’s not often that restaurant patrons offer to give up their tables for someone else or that a business has to apologize publicly for… making someone wait his turn.
For what it’s worth, Giannis himself doesn’t seem to have been bothered much by BelAir Cantina’s treatment of him. His girlfriend quickly tweeted that everything was “all good,” with a photo of a smiling Antetokounmpo.
— Mariah Danae (@mariahdanae15) April 23, 2018
Meanwhile, the Greek Freak seems to have found another restaurant, DiModa Pizza, that was happy to have him.
All’s well that ends well… even if BelAir is likely to keep its eye out for seven-footers in sweatsuits next time.