A pizza place in Massachusetts has experienced a surprising surge in sales after a viral feud with businessman Dave Portnoy, the founder of the popular blog Barstool Sports. This unexpected turn of events began when Portnoy visited Dragon Pizza in Somerville, Massachusetts, and filmed a review of their pizza, which he critiqued as a “floppy mess” and gave it a rather mediocre rating of 6.4 out of 10.
Portnoy, who regularly shares his pizza reviews on his Instagram and YouTube channel known as “One Bite Pizza Reviews,” took the criticism to another level by branding Dragon Pizza as “The Worst Pizza Place in America.” He also uploaded footage of his heated exchange with the owner, Charlie Redd, which was filled with expletives.
In his review, Portnoy particularly took issue with the heavy use of parmesan on Dragon Pizza’s pizza, describing it as an “acquired taste” and warning potential customers that they would be hit with an intense parmesan flavor.
Redd, the owner of Dragon Pizza, responded to Portnoy’s critique in the video, expressing his displeasure at someone judging his business with just one bite. He urged Portnoy to enjoy his pizza like any other customer but expressed his frustration with Portnoy’s approach to small businesses. Portnoy, in turn, defended his reviews, claiming they actually helped many small businesses and openly stated that he found the pizza to be subpar while referring to Redd as a “clown.”
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Surprisingly, instead of leading to a downturn in business, Portnoy’s negative review seems to have had the opposite effect on Dragon Pizza. The pizzeria took to Instagram to thank the community for their overwhelming support, announcing that they were “completely sold out” on multiple occasions. To handle the unexpected surge in demand, they even decided to temporarily close their doors to prepare for the rest of the week.
Despite the unexpected success, Charlie Redd has not taken the situation lightly. In an interview with Boston.com, he revealed that he had received death threats following the video’s exposure, describing it as a mentally taxing experience. However, he made it clear that he didn’t want to credit Portnoy for complicating his life. Redd emphasized that their primary focus was on running their pizza shop and making their customers happy, regardless of the negativity surrounding the review.
In the face of adversity, Dragon Pizza remains determined to continue doing what they do best – making delicious pizza and serving their loyal customers. This surprising turn of events serves as a testament to the unpredictable nature of viral internet culture, where even negative attention can lead to unexpected success for small businesses.