Food by VICE

Restaurateur Offers Free Steak Dinner to Battered United Airlines Passenger

Jeff Ruby’s steakhouses have consistently been highly rated, so the meal will likely be way better than whatever Dr. Dao is getting in the hospital.

by Jelisa Castrodale
Apr 12 2017, 8:00pm

Photo via Flickr user RedRipper24

On Sunday night, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz took another swing at an apology for allowing a passenger to be violently dragged out of one of his company's planes. "It's not so much what I thought, it's what I felt. Probably the word 'ashamed' comes to mind," Munoz told Good Morning America on Wednesday morning. Munoz said that he had not been able to contact the passenger, Dr. David Dao, but—after initially describing the man as "disruptive and belligerent"—he finally admitted that Dao was not at fault, and probably shouldn't have been assaulted for refusing to surrender his seat.

The silver lining in this cloud of customer abuse? A Cincinnati steakhouse owner has offered to give Dao a free steak dinner when he finally lands in Kentucky. "Our Louisville @TheRealJeffRuby Steakhouse wants to buy the good Dr. and his family dinner at our restaurant Please let him know," Ruby tweeted on Monday morning.

Ruby, who owns five restaurants in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, has continued to tweet about United's WWE Raw-worthy performance and—like many of us—seems to have his fingers crossed that Dao will pursue legal action against the airline.

Ruby said the offer still stands two days later, even after the Louisville Courier-Journal wrote a full-on hit piece about Dao, deciding that the man's previous legal issues should share the spotlight with the bleeding mouth he received courtesy of three overly aggressive Chicago Department of Aviation officers. "His past may be dirty but his future is spotless," Ruby told the news outlet. "I can't penalize him for his past." MUNCHIES has reached out to Ruby for comment but has not yet received a response.

According to Dao's attorney, Stephen Golan, his client is still recovering in a Chicago hospital. Dao spoke briefly to WLKY, telling the station that "everything" was injured in the incident.

Back in Ohio, Ruby isn't shy to offer steaks as consolation prizes, graduation presents or rewards. In March alone, he promised a free steak dinner to all 14,566 students at Northern Kentucky University if the Norse men's basketball team could beat the Kentucky Wildcats in the first round of the NCAA tournament. (They lost, 79-70, which saved Ruby an estimated $1 million worth of meat.) A week later, he'd promised a free steak dinner to every student who graduates from one of seven colleges and universities in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee (including UK and NKU) in the next four years.

Last October, Ruby offered a complimentary 18-ounce T-bone steak to mustached meme Ken Bone, the red sweater-wearing undecided voter who you've already forgotten about. He has also banned Donald Trump from his Louisville location (a decision that earned him a death threat), refused to serve OJ Simpson at the same restaurant and, weirdly enough, was arrested during the Drew Peterson murder trial for mouthing "Fuck you" to the defendant.

Ruby's steakhouses have consistently been named among the best restaurants in their respective cities, so that dinner is way better than whatever Dao is getting in the hospital. 

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