Peter McAndrews Is A Violent Drunk Racist Who Hates Marc Vetri
By Joshua Scott Albert
When working in the restaurant industry, you have to deal with some pretty terrible people. It’s just part of the job — getting paid to be treated like rat shit by the people giving you the tips necessary to sustain life.
But, it’s a whole other thing when that person who is tipping you also happens to be a piece of shit *and* work in the restaurant industry. In this case, I’m talking about Peter McAndrews, the owner of Modo Mio, Paesano’s and Monsu. He did tell me he was opening up a pizza place somewhere in Fishtown because that’s exactly what Fishtown needs — another goddamn pizza place.
Have you dined at Paesano’s? The sandwiches are just so delicious that no one seems to care about their consistent issues with health inspection violations. The sandwich shop was closed by the City this past January and again in July after a health inspector cited them for the following violations:
Food safety certified person not present; open employee beverage in refrigerator; nonfunctional hand wash sink, no soap, no paper towels in employee restroom; accumulated food residue on slicer; food held at hazardous temperatures; dead mouse and mouse droppings throughout facility; employees not wearing hair restraints; floors not clean and must be sanitized.
But this story isn’t about restaurants. It’s about the bad business owner who’s behind the bad health inspections. It’s about the guy in the picture, Peter McAndrews. Ever heard of him?
If you haven’t, let me bring you up to speed. Peter is white, chunky, proudly Irish and probably drunk. He cooks. He’s been featured in one of those shows with Anthony Bourdain that all have different names, but are basically the same thing.
Full disclosure: I’ve never liked this guy, Peter. While he’s never done anything to me personally, he’s just on my list of people I choose not to like. He’s also a close talker, which is offensive and maybe worth it’s own story. Years ago, when I worked at Amis, Peter would often stop by the restaurant. Amis is an Italian restaurant at 13th and Lombard owned by Marc Vetri and now Urban Outfitters. Yeah it’s weird. Peter would just come in, sit at the end of the bar and expect the royal treatment. He was the kind of guy that expected everyone in the room to know he was in the room.
Now, let’s fast forward a few years to my most recent job as a server/bartender at Fishtown Social (more on this place, its rat infestation and other stuff in the weeks to come), where Peter was a frequent patron. Peter, who is part owner of Heffe Tacos, a mediocre taco stand one block away from Fishtown Social, would frequent our wine bar because it was close and Peter primarily drinks wine. He also frequents Root, another wine bar just up the street. He’s loud and obnoxious there, too.
Peter had no clue who I was when I would serve a big-bodied red wine to him and light, bubbly prosecco to his much younger girlfriend. He definitely had no clue who I was when he would go on drunken racist rants.
But who am I, really? I’m just a reporter who has never published anything I didn’t believe to be true and I was once called “the most controversial restaurant blogger ever.”
Unfortunately for Peter, he didn’t know any of that when he told me and a winemaker from New Zealand (or Australia?) what it’s like to fuck black girls in the south.
Let me set the scene for you:
It was gorgeous spring Friday in Fishtown. Birds were chirping. Dogs and babies were both being walked. Some new, most-likely stupid, business was probably opening somewhere along Frankford Avenue because that’s just what happens in Fishtown.
Meanwhile at Fishtown Social, a wine rep was chauffeuring a winemaker around the city to try and sell some of his garbage grape juice from New Zealand (or Australia?).
Peter had come into Social right around our 4 p.m. opening on this fine day — the winemaker had come in around 5:30 p.m. — so Peter, being the lush he is, was already drunk. And boy was he on a mother fucking roll! He was very fascinated by the winemaker’s New Zealand (or Australian?) accent and felt the need to be the loud about it.
So there we all were — me at the service bar, our sommelier, the wine rep, the winemaker and Peter. We got to chatting about where the winemaker would be traveling next during his time in the United States of America. He told us he’d be traveling from Philly to NYC and then to the South — like, the Bible Belt Deep South.
This is where Peter got to rambling about what it’s like to fuck black girls in the South. He was advisory in his tone. See, According to Peter, Northeast girls are all angry, always want you to wine and dine them and don’t talk back, but “the colored girls are submissive.” Things got even worse when, in a voice that I can only describe as Peter attempting to mimic a slave, he added, “Southern black girls are great, they just do what you tell them, they’re all like ‘Mista Petah, Mista Petah’ and then they just cook you dinner!”
Woah. But that’s not all, folks. Peter McAndrews also went on to share some choice words regarding his former friend Marc Vetri?
“He’s a dick,” Peter told me with some umph. “Fuck that guy. You know we were friends for years, but I never really liked him.” Peter rambled on with his red wine breath. And then he said something fantastic.
“I slapped a manager this manager at Amis,” Peter said.
Wait, what?! I needed more, so more I just asked him.
More Disclosure: I made fun of Marc Vetri’s stutter and have apologized. It was years ago and I was dumb, although I still think Vetri is a dick who abuses his employees. Peter didn’t know me, so he didn’t know about my previous coverage of Marc Vetri.
According to Peter, the story goes as follows:
Peter was at Amis late one night, it was nearing closing time. He had apparently been there for a while (drinking, of course) and decided to order a bottle of wine, “an expensive bottle” he said. The manager — “an Italian” according to Peter — told him that he was being cut-off and would have to leave because he was being belligerent. Not surprised.
But Peter wasn’t having any of this and decided to pull the “don’t you know who I am” card and told the manager “I’m friends with Vetri.” Some sort of verbal altercation between Peter and the manager shortly ensued. At some point during this drunken tirade, Peter, a high-profile chef and restaurateur, slapped the manager of a restaurant owned by another high-profile chef and restaurateur. You can’t make this stuff up.
It will come as a surprise to most that chefs and restaurateurs tend to be racist drunks and terrible people. Sure, some chefs and some restaurateurs do some good things, but I feel that the public should know if they are spending their hard earned money in establishments owned by racist and misogynist drunks like Peter McAndrews.
The sad thing for me is that for years I would actually recommend Modo Mio to people as one my favorite restaurants in the city. But after months of having Peter wine and dine in the establishment I worked at and being forced to be passively subjected to the filth that came out of his mouth, I can no longer in good conscience recommend that anyone dine in any of his establishments .
I’ve sent this story out to Peter McAndrews and Marc Vetri and will update this story if they get back to me for comment.
With that said, I’m going to be doing a lot more digging into various chefs and restaurateurs in Philadelphia and the frequent abuse of employees. If you have any tips that you would like to share, please feel free to email me — email@example.com.