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Mistreatment at restaurant leaves bad taste in man's mouth

READ MORE: Mistreatment at restaurant leaves bad taste in man's mouth
WILMINGTON -- A Wilmington man says he was mistreated at a local restaurant. Billy Brown had dinner at Dragon Garden, but he says the way he was treated left a bad taste in his mouth. Brown has eaten at Dragon Garden on College Road before. This time was different. He came in alone and was asked to pay for his meal before going to the buffet. He said normally he pays after the meal. "I asked him what was the reason I had to pay in advance. Is it because I'm black?" Brown said, "He said no, that's his policy. But I sat there and ate my meal and some white people came in. He didn't go to them and tell them they had to pay in advance." NewsChannel 3 spoke over the phone with Dragon Garden manager Ling Ung. He told us his policy is to require customers to normally pay after they've eaten. When asked why Brown was requested to pay before his meal, Ung said it's because he's recently had several customers, both black and white, who have not been able to pay for their meals once finished. Ung said he asks only certain customers to pay in advance. Ung also said he determines their ability to pay based on their appearance and his gut feeling about them. That doesn't fly with Brown. "You're running an establishment. You treat everyone equal," Brown said. "There's no one different when you're running an establishment and dealing with the public. You treat everyone the same." Brown's recourse includes taking his complaint to a number of government agencies, or filing a lawsuit. For now, though, he says he's just not going to eat at Dragon Garden again.

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Here's the solution: ALL buffet customers pay up front, people ordering from the menu can pay when they leave. I feel bad for both parties. This customer didn't do anything wrong, and the business owner just handled it badly. They are both victims of criminals, and its just another sad day in Wilmington when criminals drive us to these things.

To the people who wrote in

To the people who wrote in with the comments about obese people eating in restaurants- Next time you go out look around at ALL the people and you will see the worse habits are from those that are skinny. Most fat people are self conscience about eating out in public and try not to bring attention to themselves, so they use good manners. Now on to what this message board is about. One of the costs of being in the restaurant biz is people skipping out. As is no tippers. If the biz is finding that it is happening too often they need to change the way they handle the checks. Pay up-front (Golden Corral does it) Different way of exiting so they have to go by the register. Just my opinion.

Who cares

Who cares about their eating habits? They are a drain on the health care system.

The drain on the healthcare

The drain on the healthcare is the "UN" insured. Weather they are obese, thin or regular size. Those people go to the emergency room because they know they will be seen whether they have the ability to pay or not. So the hospital rates are high to pay for those that cannot and are passed on to insurance companies and then to the insured people. You and me.

Guest 1022 the most fit guy in New Hanover county

Guest 1022 do you eat fried foods, do you smoke, do you drink alcohol (beer wine etc,) do you speed in your car, do you eat red meats? I'm sure you are a participant in more than a few things listed here which all contribute to a drain on the health care system, so know what the eff you are talking about before you start casting stones at overweight people.


Sorry this happen to you but, I am so sick of hearing this black- white mess! people get over it. I am white and sometimes i feel like blacks and other races get treated better than me.It just happens sometimes and I don't believe color always plays a part.Let's stop always looking at color, maybe our own actions are why we sometimes get treated different.

re: Mistreatment

When you get discriminated agaist as an African American then you'll understand. No one should be treated better than another race. We ALL SHOULD BE TREATED EQUALLY!!!! However whenever that right is infringed upon then the RACIAL GESTURES, STATEMENTS, TREATMENTS AND UNDERTONES MUST BE EXPOSED!!!

Have you thought

Just maybe have has anyone thought that this guy Brown had maybe eaten there before and left without paying.. I'm a black man in the Wilmington area... Now I'm not saying the owener had the right to do what he did, but you need to look at it from all sides.. Stop with the race card.. I'm tired of our young black people jumping up and down always trying to use the race card.. You young black folk don't know what racism is.. Coming up in my time we dealt with true racism, but it now has came along way.. Today my fellow black race (young) are the biggest racist people.. Any time the feel that something isn't right, they want to use the race card as their free ticket out... Be thankful of what we have today.. Stop using the race card as your free ride.. We the people now matter what color should work to make this country a better place,not destroy it with stupid stuff...

Very well put

Also .... a party of one is more likely to "Dine and Dash" than say, a party of three. But to the larger point of the race card. Guest1061 makes a point that I wish more African-Americans would speak-up about. Although much progress has been made, racism is still a problem that needs addressing in this country. But, trivialization of such a horrific thing as racism only hurts any effort to really have a truthful and meaningful dialog about it. But I really can't blame Mr. Brown that much. Didn't Chris Rock's mom get in the news for about the same thing last year in SC, when she thought it took too long to get any service and reasoned it was because she was black? CNN national coverage! .... To me the problem seems to be news editors that think this kind of story is worth reporting..... hence ... keeping the friction alive ... and unfortunately, the kids that never saw the true racism guest1061 spoke of, think that this kinda of silly thing, is a race issue. but ... then again ... last time I was in the Cracker Barrel here in town ... I'm pretty sure my bad service was because I have an Irish last name ... in fact .... they even marked me off the list when I was seated with a green pen ... just saying..... something to think about.

Yeah, the restuarant is

Yeah, the restuarant is wrong to treat customers differently, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence that they're doing this based upon race. I'm Native American, I would have simply made a u-turn and not ate there if it had happened to me. I get so tired of hearing people trying to turn so many situations into race issues.

Obese people

Go to and see what ernie says today about obese people


Asian Resturants are only in America as a desguise.. A trojan horse. The Chineese army has been implanting soldiers in fast food Chineese resturants and nail salons for several years waiting on the right moment to attack U.S. citizens and take over America!

Ok enough of this towards

Ok enough of this towards the obise and minorities. I will stop eatin at any Oriental restaurant from no on.

This post has got to be a

This post has got to be a joke.

All he had to do

was turn around and walk out. No one forced him to eat there. The restaurant owner reserves the right to refuse service to anyone. I'm sick of the race card being played. Don't like the place, don't eat there. This restaurant owner just got tired of the ole' "dine and dash". Yes he profiled the guy, big deal.

I'm with you...I'm tired of

I'm with you...I'm tired of the race card being thrown around all the time. BUT, this time it is different. This is obviously a case of race playing a role. Maybe the owner would have done the same thing to a white kid looking like a thug, but that would pretty much be the same thing. The owner may have good reasons for doing what he did, but that doesn't excuse his actions. The owner is flat out wrong here

customer mistreatment

first of all im a white guy 40 years old i no billy personally he is my neighbor and has been for 5 years he owns 2 or three vehicles and pays taxes and rent just like you and anybody else, so he aint lying he aint homeless he was mistreated by dragon garden resturant ,billy is a nice guy and has a good sense of humor he is a smart guy and he dont sell himself short for anybody or anything .he has a good point it could have happened to a black, white ,italian , spanish any race what if you were white and walked in a black resturant the guy says im sorry you gotta pay first so you pay and sit down to eat and here comes a black couple and they sit down and eat without paying first , firt of all you gonna think the same thing its because im white thats why i gotta pay first.but in reality the black resturant owner knows the black couple he let eat without paying from church and the real reason was the homeless people eating and running , the resturant owner should have made everyone pay first or had his cell phone ready to call the police .billy is right you cant do one person that way it is unfair you gotta treat all that way .

Not paying

It was a few bad people that ruin things for the good ones. One bad apple can ruin the bunch. Its sad but true, he did what he had to to insure no profits are lost in his business. I am sick of hearing this is it because I am black, white or whatever. That is a loaded question that should not be used anymore by anyone.


Yeah, he looks real homeless with his earrings and clean clothes and expensive hat on. Race does not always have to be an issue but in this case I believe that it is and he should try to not necessarily get a lawsuit started but he should definantly do what he did to get the word out. You CANNOT go by a gut feeling to judge someone, and you CANNOT make light of people's situations. You never know what a person has gone through until you have been there yourself. I think some of you people leaving comments on here about this situation are very ignorant and careless about others feelings, but it the situation happened to you, you would be the one to create mass histeria. Some people should think before they open thier mouths to speak.

billy im sorry that happened

billy im sorry that happened to you i no you are a nice guy with a sense of humor ,i can see both points of view in the story there are a lot of bums in the woods behind that place drinking alcohol and in that area always in the parking lot of lowes foods trying to bum panhandle money for alcohol i have seen them shoplift and eat and run myself especially cicis pizza is hit alot , but billy i take your side and agree with you you were wrongly mistreated as a paying customer of dragon garden .the police should patrol that area and arrest those panhandlers and run them off ,the resturant owner should be ready with his phone if he thinks someone is going to dine and dash he should call the police and be ready the police will arrest them for eating and running ,billy again im sorry it happened to you and i take your side you were wrongly treated as a paying customer of dragon garden and im going to myself boycott all oreintal owned business i use .


I agree with you totally. Don't spend your money in their restuarants, I don't. Once again, we were hung from trees years ago because of the color of our skin, not them. Don't go back!


ALL oriental business? if you do that you are no better than the business owner who wanted his money up front. talk about double standard. why dont you stop and think about what you just said. It is called PROFILING.... and anyone who boycotts oriental businesses in town are doing the same as targeting all who look like "homeless" or "thugs". Everyone in this town is so one sided and racial. Some people need to wake up and realize that all of our poop smells the same......

It is a sad commentary

It is a sad commentary about today's society, but never the less...if you clean up your act and dress like a decent member of society and not a gang member, maybe you will be treated better, I dont blame the restaraunt owner, and I would probably esatablish a dress code or call my rerstaraunt a club, and establish member only policies and be happy to take your application at the door and accept or decline it to keep people who are obviously crack heads...out of my place of bussiness, and chances are I would attract a better crowd...If you look like a crack head...expect to pay first any problems? eat somwhere else...there are plenty of choices, but what ever you do...quit acting like a child and lets not over dramatize this situation, I'm sure white crack heads get asked to pay first as well...or even whino's like this guy.

Sad commentary indeed...

This message board is a sad commentary of the intelligence level of the general public. Seriously, how many of the people posting on this thread even finished middle school? The spelling and grammar in some of these posts is atrocious. I agree 100% with the above post, by the way.

What do we really know

Ok, so just b/c this guy says he has eaten there before doesn't mean anything about the establishment. Maybe Mr. Brown is homeless. Did you ever consider he MAY be lying and in fact has never been there before? Maybe he is trying to make some money out of the whole situation..... I go to Golden Corral, and you have to pay there first before you eat. I don't get to pay after my meal just b/c I'm white. I think the owner of the Dragon Garden should just make everyone pay before they eat. This would prevent ANYONE from skipping out on the bill. And to the person who said they would not eat at chinese restraunts b/c "I guess the bottom line is...they are filthy and judgmental"- yeah- your not racist are you??

So someone with a legitimate

So someone with a legitimate reason to file a complaint or lawsuit isn't? Thats a news story in itself!

mistreated at a local restaurant

Either charge all customers when they come in or charge all customers before they leave. Simple as that. That is real bad business for them with what they did. You can not go with a gut to say who is worthy or not. The owner should get a new job forecasting peoples horoscopes or something like that.

i would have done the same

good for the restauraunt owner! standing up for yourself and going with your gut feeling! if more people were like you we would deter the thugs that do rip off people everyday. maybe this guy had no intention of leaving without paying, but it is better to look after your own dollars than to wish you would have. and to all of you who thinks this is a racial thing....don't even go there. because as the owner said he has had all walks of life walk out without paying.

So Sad

You can't always judge a book by it's cover. The ones who look the part may not be what they appear to be. I will not support this establishment also. I am going to email it to my other friends. We need to send them a message.

Paying in advance

I can't believe this! What now, if you don't look like you have money your treated with different rules! I know many people with money that you would never know it by their apperance! I've even herd lately that buffet resturants are trying to ban obese people! I think he should go out of business!