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Bar Facebook-shames man over unpaid $100 tab; man jailed

A Reno bar is so frustrated that a customer allegedly left an unpaid tab that it posts his picture on Facebook and shames him publicly. He is then arrested.

Arrest by Facebook?
KRNV-TV screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Should you happen to be thirsty and wander into the Brewer's Cabinet bar in Reno, Nev., in the next few days, I have a suggestion: please pay the bar tab.

This might seem excessively basic advice. Yet there exist those who feel that paying is sometimes optional.

The Brewer's Cabinet doesn't take kindly to that philosophy.

As KRNV-TV reports, an employee of the bar was upset when a customer allegedly ran out on a $100 bar tab. So he whipped out his cell phone and took a picture of the man -- Saul Zelaznog.

The bar's next step was to file a police report and then post the picture to the bar's Facebook page.

The bar added a message to other local businesses warning them of Zelaznog's unwelcome alleged practice.

Chris Kahn, co-owner of the Brewer's Cabinet explained to the Reno Gazette-Journal: "All his friends paid and left and he was the last one. The server needed to collect his money. He said he forgot his wallet."

The photo the server obtained was quite some close-up. And though Zelaznog told the Gazette-Journal that he would repay, he has now been arrested and jailed.

It seems that he was on probation. It also seems that other establishments were accusing him of similar dining-and-dashing daring.

The hospitality industry has been very much in the news lately for its use of social media to shame those whom it perceives as behaving badly.

Last week, a New York food truck chef was fired after tweeting his sarcastic disgust that some Wall Street types hadn't tipped on a $170 order which, he said, had forced other customers to wait longer in line.

Just as sites like Facebook and Yelp have allowed customers to bleat about poor food service and digestion, so bar and restaurant owners have discovered that they, too, can use social media to air their own grievances about customers and life in general.

This can backfire, as the now infamous Amy's Baking Company in Arizona discovered.

After a difficult appearance on "Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares," the owners leaped to the restaurant's Facebook page to call out critics: "You people are all s***. Yelp s***, Reddits s***. Every s***. Come to here, I will f***ing show you all."

Sometimes on social media, you're merely feeding the beast.

Very nice camera work. Brewer's Cabinet/Facebook