Less than a week after Canadian tourists were allegedly overcharged nearly $600 by Greece’s notorious DK Oyster, the restaurant is going viral for yet another incident of alleged epicurean extortion. This time, the Mykonos-based eatery allegedly charged a US couple a wallet-sapping $510 for a dozen oysters and four drinks.
“My husband was like, ‘There’s got to be a mistake,’” New Jersey lawyer Theodora McCormick, 50, told the Sun of the alleged “weird experience,” which occurred last month while she and her husband were vacationing on the Mediterranean island.
Unfortunately, their idyllic seaside getaway went south after they stopped by the seafood depot for a drink. The adventurer said they were looking for a cab back to their hotel when they spotted a sign outside DK Oyster explaining taxis could be hailed from inside. “I told my husband, ‘Oh, why don’t we call a taxi and grab a drink,’” McCormick recalled. “That was my big mistake.”
Little did the lovebirds know their brief pit stop would turn into a wallet-sapping odyssey.
The travelers first realized something was suspicious when they asked a waiter for a cocktail menu and the server proceeded to rattle off a list of drink options aloud instead.
Hoping to be polite, the customers bought two beers, two martinis and a dozen oysters, which the server reportedly pressured them into ordering.
One of the most problematic components was the beer, which entailed two cartoonishly big boot-shape glasses filled with a whopping three pints of beer, according to McCormick.
And while the couple braced themselves for premium prices, she couldn’t have fathomed the extortionate figure that would appear on the bill.
“It was Mykonos; we knew it was going to be ridiculous … 250-odd euros, that’s what we were thinking,” said the experienced vacationer. “But we got the bill and it was around 500 euros,” or about $510.
However, when they tried to complain about the bill, the pair became surrounded by “a group of big, hulking” male servers who didn’t leave until the diners agreed to cough up the cash.
“They have no female waiters,” exclaimed McCormick, who begrudgingly agreed to foot the bill on their second-to-last day on the island.
“I told my husband, ‘We’re in a foreign country,’” she said. “‘It’s ridiculous, but it’s obviously some sort of scam. We’ll pay up and try to deal with our credit card company later.’”
Her fears were confirmed after the New Jerseyans returned to their hotel and found oodles of negative reviews on the DK Oyster’s Tripadvisor page. Indeed, the shady establishment sports a measly 2.5 out of 5 stars, based on 1,576 reviews by dissatisfied customers labeling the joint a “total ripoff” run by “thieves” and the “worst place in all of Greece.”
McCormick said she felt particularly foolish as “I don’t normally fall for those types of scams.”
“It was just a spur-of-the-moment thing,” she said of their meal. “We weren’t planning on eating there, but we saw the [taxi] sign.”
She accused the establishment of having a “bizarre business model” based on “ripping off tourists and making people unhappy.”
“They’re never going to have any repeat business, but I suppose they get enough people from around the world that there’s always a supply of fresh meat,” McCormick lamented.
Of course, the lawyer and her hubby aren’t the first to get allegedly swindled by DK Oyster. Earlier this month, Canadian newlyweds Lindsay and Alex Breen, both 30, claimed they’d been charged $570 for a beer, an Aperol spritz and a dozen oysters — which they’d allegedly been pressured into ordering — while dining at the restaurant on their honeymoon trip.
However, DK’s owner Dimitrios Kalamaras has denied the allegations, claiming: “This person who is trying to get famous through Instagram posts under the name of Lindsay Breen starts with a lie.”
“She claims that she ‘repeatedly asked for a cocktail menu,’ and adds that ‘the server didn’t seem to want to provide one,’” Kalamaras said. “Despite that, she placed an order. An influencer, an experienced well-traveled person who makes a living through their experiences in the world did what most adults in the right mind would not do, ordered drinks and food from a waiter who refused to present a menu.”
The restaurant owner acknowledged the many bad reviews on Tripadvisor making claims similar to what the Breens made, but insists they are all false.
“Unfortunately, all of us who work in the hospitality sector have been approached by notorious ‘influencers’ who, instead of making their living by advertising products and services to their audience, they put pressure on certain businesses for exorbitant fees and free meals,” Kalamaras told Kennedy News. “In DK Oyster, we have advertised in the ways we consider suitable for our restaurant, and we will not succumb to the influencers who have been attracted to the beautiful island of Mykonos.”
Despite his claims, DK Oyster was recently fined more than $30,000 for scamming two American tourists.