The Writer Who "Killed" A Restaurant ... Didn't
In November 2018, Thrillist's Kevin Alexander revealed that an article he'd written the previous year had wound up inadvertently "killing" one of Portland's most beloved burger restaurants, a mom-and-pop joint called Stanich's.
Thrillist"Best Burger Cooked," "Hot Take Leaves Cold Grill," "Famous Burger Restaurant Can't Ketchup" ... C'mon, Thrillist, have some showmanship.
According to Alexander, his article caused such an influx of customers that Stanich's was quickly overwhelmed. "I put a target on their back ... and that influx of people messed with the way they'd been running the business for decades."
The owner, Steve Stanich, called the article "the worst thing that's ever happened to us." During a sitdown with Alexander, he talked about how the massive lines after the article caused a drop in quality, which caused the restaurant to start getting bad reviews, which in turn led to the health department suggesting that Stanich close for a "deep clean." Stanich did exactly that -- only he did it for good.
After Alexander's coup de grace was picked up by major outlets like NPR and The New York Times, an investigation by Willamette Week journalists Matthew Singer and Nigel Jaquiss found that Stanich wasn't a blameless everyman salt-of-the-earth burgermeister(?). He was a domestic abuser, and back in 2014, he was given four years of probation for strangling his wife.
After an acrimonious divorce, during which Stanich accused his now-ex of faking her (legit, proven) terminal illness for sympathy, he was arrested several times for violating the terms of his probation, which included provisions against drinking alcohol and contacting his ex. He was later awarded a further two years probation for reckless driving. It was around this time that Alexander published his article about Stanich's, and while the new business probably did bring some pressure, it's unhelpful at best (and a lie at worst) to suggest this great institution was brought down by a positive review.
Somehow even less snappy than before, but a lot more accurate.