[image-2] Hey Donald Trump, you have some competition for hack politician social media idiocy. Last night Southern Charm star and former State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel got all bent out of shape about Proof bar owner Craig Nelson. Taking to Facebook to air his grievances, the same man who once threatened to spank former City Paper Editor Stephanie Barna wrote:
“The thinnest skinned wimp I’ve ever encountered runs Proof. After 13 years he’s still pouting from the smallest of slights. Craig is such a little girl. Cry baby cry. Tonight this man child had a temper tantrum not unlike a two year old. One day I’m going to teach this boy a lesson. Ah, but I won’t. Zero competition.”
[image-4] A timeline debate ensued with nearly as many people defending the bar owner as those supporting the C-list celeb. But what really set off the professional playboy? Craig Nelson says the tiff all started more than a decade ago.
According to Nelson, 13 years ago he was at Sushi Hiro (RIP) on King Street having dinner with his wife. “Thomas and a friend were at the bar and they were inebriated and loud,” Nelson says. “In the middle of dinner, Thomas walks up to our table and says he’s going to beat my ass.” Apparently the salty Charmer had mistaken Nelson for a complaining patron and was so enraged he yelled in his face and beat on the windows. “It was so bizarre. My wife and I knew him from working in F&B, but we weren’t hugely fond of him. And when he finally left Sushi Hiro, the entire restaurant applauded.”
[image-3]So flash forward to two months later. “I’m opening Raval [again RIP] and I told the story to Raval’s owners Karalee [Nielsen Fallart], David [Leboutillier], Tim [Mink]. They were like, ‘Jesus Christ! That’s crazy.'”
Inevitably T-Rav shows up at Raval one night and the owners are all there. “David said, ‘Let him know he’s not welcome in here,'” Nelson says. So Nelson approached T-Rav, reminded him of their Sushi Hiro run-in and asked him to leave.
“Well, apparently, the ban carried over to their other restaurants,” says Nelson. Fallert, Mink, and Leboutillier operated Poe’s, Monza, and Taco Boy under REV Foods. And as far as Nelson can tell, for the past 13 years T-Rav hasn’t been allowed into any of them because that’s what Ravenel was so pissed off about yesterday. (We called Nielsen Fallert to confirm this information, but have yet to hear back).
About a year ago Nelson says the ousted Treasurer came into Proof and apologized. “He said, ‘Look I’m really sorry. That was years ago. I was in a blind rage at Sushi Hiro,” recalls Nelson. And so the Proof owner accepted the apology thinking that was the end of that. Then along came New Year’s Eve this past weekend.
“I get a call from Thomas the other day and he was like, ‘I was at Poe’s for New Year’s and I was asked to leave, but I thought you said we were OK,'” says Nelson. Having not worked for the now dissolved REV Foods in years, Nelson explained that he has no connection to any of those restaurants and couldn’t help Ravenel. “He told me to call Tim and Karalee and ask them to let him in again, but I said that I could see why they or any other bar manager might see him as a liability. Then he says, ‘I do a little cocaine with my girlfriend and I serve six months, but I do one thing to you and I get punished for 13 years.'”
Which brings us to last night.
Early in the evening when Proof was still not crowded, Ravenel came in. “Thomas said, ‘Hey, can we talk privately,'” says Nelson. So the two sat down at a front table. “Thomas proceeded to tell me that I need to be forgiving. I told him, ‘I forgive you, but I’m never gonna like you.’ Then Thomas says, ‘I’m gonna explain to you about forgiveness’ and that’s when I said ‘Get the fuck out of my bar.'” Aaaand a few hours later, T-Rav’s subsequent Facebook rant appeared.
So what does it all mean for John Q. Drinking Public? Proof continues to be a T-Rav-free safe space in 2017.