Restaurateur rebuffs Russian's €45,000 'bribe'

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Restaurateur rebuffs Russian's €45,000 'bribe'
The Ischia restaurant owner rejected a €45,000 bill. Photo: ischia hotel/Wikicommons

Being offered €45,000 to serve dinner exclusively to a Russian tycoon and his friends might be a dream come true for most restaurant owners. But not so for one on the plush island of Ischia, whose "dignity" comes before money.


Gianfranco d’Ambra, the owner of The Seagull, said his “dignity is not for sale” after rebuffing the offer from the Russian millionaire, whose yacht is moored off Ischia, to hire the restaurant for one day.

“Even if you’re rich, money can’t buy everything,” d’Ambra said in a report in Articolo Tre.

D’Ambra said he received a call from the Russian man’s personal assistant on Friday, asking to hire the restaurant on Saturday, “his busiest day of the week”.


Most people might view turning down such windfall as a mark of insanity, but for d’Ambra, loyalty to his regular customers is more important than money.

“I had reservations...I explained that my customers are prestigious and that I could not close the door to them.”

He said he reiterated to the Russian that “money can’t buy everything.”

“They have a way of doing things, which I don’t like.  There's an authoritativeness about them. But dignity is not for sale.” 


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