The M. Wells Scandal

Anyone who has eaten at M. Wells, the infamous diner in Queens, knows that it is both an extremely special and troubled place. (The food is magical, I have agreed; and also, on my most recent visit, there were literally pregnant women and their extremely grumpy hipster spouses on the verge of crying and screaming while they waited endlessly for food. Obviously the solution to eating at M Wells is to bring some carrot sticks in your purse and sit back and take what comes. They are not so much in the food “service” industry as they are in the food magicking industry, and sometimes everything goes kablooey.) And when M. Wells announced recently it would be closing its location at the end of August, due to difficult lease renewals, I sensed an obvious negotiation tactic of shaming the landlord—and also something amiss. (An abandoned diner on an empty street in Long Island City is charging usurious rents? Reaaallly???) Something smelled crazy behind everything else that smelled delicious. And so here it is, the other shoe dropping very loudly: in which GQ restaurant critic Alan Richman is accused by the co-owner of M Wells of… well, I don’t want to spoil it for you. But wow. Even if you don’t care about restaurants or food or popular diners, it’s worth reading as a look inside the troubles of dealing with humans.