The 5 Spot:The owners of this popular diner atop Queen Anne hill took considerable umbrage when reviewer Kathryn Robinson compared their restaurant—unfavorably—to a Denny's. In response, the owners immortalized Robinson on their menu, naming one of their signature breakfast dishes "Kathryn's Grand Slam."
Paul Watson: The "captain" of the whale-saving Sea Shepherd called and threatened to sue over a Geov Parrish column on the Makah whale hunt, saying we had to prove he was a racist and a moron.
Jean Godden: In an article about The Seattle Times' hiring of a government affairs staffer, the Weekly rhetorically wondered what the lobbyist's charge would be: "Threats to the First Amendment? Copyright law in the digital age? Liability issues arising from the inaccuracies of Jean Godden?" (The correct answer: repeal of the estate tax.) Godden's attorney sent a letter asking the Weekly to detail the society columnist's supposed inaccuracies.
Owners of Acapulco y los Arcos: In a 1982 cover package on Mexican restaurants, Eric Scigliano dissed this now-defunct restaurant for its mediocre food and "traveling circus" atmosphere. Soon after, two very large, heavily sweating men paid him a visit at the office, backed him up against a wall, and bawled him out while clenching and unclenching their fists. Before departing, they offered proof that Scigliano could not possibly know anything about food: "You said the shrimp tasted fresh. They were frozen!"
Starbucks Baristas: When the Weekly published a 1994 cover story called "Good cup, bad cup," detailing the hostile reception Starbucks was receiving in other cities, a few ardent Starbucks employees purged the issue from their stores. The Weekly billed the coffee company for the lost revenue.
Michael Kinsley: In early 1998, Mike Romano published a piece detailing how "the timing and tenor of many pieces in [Kinsley's online magazine] Slate conveniently match the interests of [Slate's owner] Microsoft." Kinsley fired back with a sarcastic letter calling Romano's article "crude and unfair." (Two years later, an even more extensive report in the Online Journalism Review affirmed Romano's view.)
Governor Dixy Lee Ray: The newly elected governor was livid in 1977 over our inaugural caricature picturing her in a tiara and Ms. Washington one-piece. She purportedly demanded that state government staffers keep it out of her sight.
Chris Bennett: The publisher of the Central Area newspaper The Seattle Medium got in a lather in 1994 when the Weekly called attention to the gushing coverage his paper was giving to a certain state Senate candidate—who happened to be Bennett's son. Bennett Sr. described the coverage as "Klan-like activities."
Cucina! Cucina! et al: Restaurateurs on South Lake Union got indigestion after Kathryn Robinson described their neighborhood—long known for its lively after-work singles action—as the "herpes triangle."
Lovers of traffic circles: Those landscaped "traffic-calming" doughnuts inserted into neighborhood intersections certainly have a constituency: They flooded the Weekly mailbox after a Rick Anderson cover story called "Traffic circle jerk." It was one of the few times the Weekly had to specifically ask readers to please stop sending letters.
Smiley face "inventor": 1993 mayoral candidate David Stern did not take kindly to Bruce Barcott's debunking of the local myth that Stern, an ad executive, had invented the smiley face icon. In a letter, Stern complained that, among other things, Barcott did not meet him for an in-person interview but instead "did it on the phone like a classified ad salesman."
Kurt Cobain: After the Weekly published its infamous cover story, "Is grunge too white?" the previously dead leader of Nirvana returned from the Great Beyond to personally harangue writer Mike Romano.