Group lights up, walks out on $420 restaurant bill

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police are looking for a group of more than a dozen people who they say tried to smoke marijuana inside a popular restaurant, then skipped out on a $420 bill.

It happened at Frida’s Mexican Restaurante on Madison avenue in Memphis, Tennessee this past Sunday night.

Surveillance video from inside the restaurant shows a table of 16 people eating and enjoying themselves.

Frida’s manager Jesse Gonzalez told WREG they were one of the last tables seated at around 10:30 p.m., a half hour before closing.

"They came in at the last minute," Gonzalez said. "We didn’t think anything of it.”

He said they treated themselves, ordering some of the most expensive things on the menu, including $11 margaritas.

"The grand burritos, Frida’s special steak, steak and shrimp,” he said.

But soon, he said, the bartender got a whiff of something that didn’t smell like grilled steak and peppers.

"It was just one guy smoking weed. We asked him to stop. I guess he was the leader of the group and he made a scene,” Gonzalez said.

At that point, Gonzalez said, the group started berating the staff.

"They started getting louder and louder, getting upset, yelling offenses to the server, saying come on, come on."

Eventually, one by one, the people finished their drinks and left the table.

Two women left behind didn’t seem to be in as much of a hurry, though. One even carried her blue margarita away from the table after the group ignored staff and skipped out on the $420 bill.

Gonzalez says they even pushed one of the servers in the stairwell. He says he’s never seen anything like it.

"Our walkouts are (usually because) they forgot to pay or they’ll come back next day. Major walkouts like that, that’s our first and biggest one."

Gonzalez said he thinks they planned the whole outburst so they could skip out on the bill.

"You don’t think they're gonna do that, especially on a Sunday night," he said. "One guy got them all riled up at the same time."

Gonzalez said he’s not too worried about the money. He’s glad all his workers are unhurt, but he said he also hopes police catch the people responsible.