A Melbourne venue frequented by socialites and celebrities is hitting back on what it calls an “orchestrated campaign against the venue” after dozens of one-star reviews.
Bar Bambi, located at AC/DC Lane in the CBD, opened to much fanfare in November last year as the latest offering from nightclub mogul and former reality TV star Nick Russian and his wife Rozalia.
The late-night bar has become a staple for Melburnians, serving Italian cocktails and sharing plates to Chris and Rebecca Judd, former Justice Masterchef George Calombaris, Liberal Head of State Matthew Guy and star of the Melbourne Demons Christian Petracca.
But it seems not everyone enjoyed their time there. In recent days, one-star reviews have been pouring in for Bar Bambi on Google.
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A reviewer who called the food ‘bland, basic and overpriced’, the service ‘awful’ and claimed a member of staff ‘judged everyone’ took to social media after management of the bar wrote him a reply stating, “Maybe Smorgys will be a better option for you.”
Ruby Scerri wrote: “I would NEVER recommend Bar Bambi to anyone, especially if you like good food and service.”
The owner responded.
“Hi Ruby, all of our guests are treated with respect and equality so your insecurity of being judged is rather contradictory as you went so far as to be so judgmental in your fake review.”
The response continued with management telling Ms Scerri that “$75 for 5 classes is beyond reasonable but obviously out of your budget”.
On TikTok, Ms Scerri shared two videos about her experience with Bar Bambi. In a second video, she reads other negative reviews and includes a screenshot of a private message she appears to have sent to Mr. Russian on Instagram.
It reads: “absolute PIG YOU ARE”.
When approached by news.com.au, Bar Bambi management said they would take legal action against Ms Scerri and others.
“The TikTok lady called Nick Russian ‘Absolute Pig you are’.
“This case is now in the hands of Bar Bambi lawyers who will take action against the person who created the TikTok account as well as the people who created fake Google profile reviews which is an orchestrated campaign against the venue.”
Ms Scerri is not the first to criticize management for how they respond to negative reviews.
Another customer wrote in February that the food was “the worst I’ve had in a long time.”
“$75 for a set menu of nothing….took over half an hour to get water to the table and even then a jug for 11 people.
“I would recommend staying away. If I could give no stars, I would.
Management replied, “Having looked at your other reviews, it seems that Sizzler or Smorgys are more suitable…thanks for your review.”
To another guest who gave a three-star review and criticized the cost of the set menu, management wrote, “Sorry if $75 is over your budget. Of the thousands of meals we make, most of the feedback is of high value. I’m sure there are many other venues more suited to your needs and budget.
Bar Bambi did not respond to questions about its responses to negative reviews on Google.
Ms. Scerri was approached for comment.