When Cohen Naulty decided to treat his friends to a meal at Beer 88 in Lynchburg, Virginia, with tips he earned as a server at Country Kitchen, he never imagined he would be the subject of ridicule by the restaurant on social media.
The 17-year-old paid for his $45 restaurant bill with mostly coins, a $20 dollar bill and left a $10 tip.
“It’s just U.S. currency," Naulty told ABC News affiliate WSET in Lynchburg. "I’m allowed to use it. It’s not Illegal. I’m not doing anything wrong.”
One of Naulty’s friends, who remained unidentified, couldn’t believe the restaurant posted their payment on the social media site.
“We couldn’t believe they posted it on Facebook," he told WSET.
After some backlash, Beer 88 posted a rebuttal on Facebook calling the whole incident a joke.
“In response to our earlier post, it was posted as a joke, intended as a joke and should be taken as a joke," Beer 88 wrote on its Facebook page. "It was posted as a light-hearted way of saying that something like this can be annoying to people that work in the restaurant/retail industry. In no way did we publicly shame ANYONE for paying OR tipping. We try to keep our page funny and relatable. And had no idea that this would be offensive to anyone.”
But Naulty and his friends were not amused, especially about the hashtag that was attached to Beer 88's initial Facebook post.
“They said we didn’t have any home training," said another one of Naulty’s friends. "That was dirty. That was one their hashtags was #nohometraining."
Kim Naulty, Cohen Naulty’s mother, can’t understand why anyone would say anything negative about her son.
“If anybody met Cohen, they know it couldn’t be farthest things from the truth," Kim Naulty told WSET. "And, you know, he’s a good kid.”
Beer 88 owner Yao Liu, who has been receiving several threats, said that she apologizes for the post.
“On that part, yes, I do apologize," Liu told WSET. "Because, you know, I didn’t see it.”
The restaurant's social media page has received a lot of comments from people saying the post may have been in poor taste.
However, some patrons think the whole incident may have been taken out of proportion.
“People kind of hopped on the hate train," Beer 88 supporter Carol Henning told KSET, "which seems to be happening these days."