Political pundit Flavia Colgan, a Daily News editorial board associate, has been banned from Rouge (205 S. 18th). Colgan, who also blogs for the Daily News at Citizen Hunter, got into an argument with a restaurant manager about 5 p.m. Friday about vacating a table she had occupied at the Rittenhouse Square staple since noon.
An eyewitness says Colgan, who had been there with some friends who left money behind for their portion of a bill, tried to pay $60 with an ATM card that had not been activated, and was also not in her name. When the restaurant provided a phone, Colgan tried but failed to activate the card. Colgan reportedly took offense at the suggestion that she was having trouble paying her bill and began arguing with the female manager, during which Colgan, we're told, shamefully threatened to trash Rouge in the Daily News. To her credit, during the altercation Colgan walked outside to give the remainder of a burger to a homeless man, but then returned and continued fighting with the manager, who ultimately told her to forget about the $60 and please just leave and never come back to Rouge.
Colgan, who formerly worked for the late Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll and has been seen discussing politics and cultural affairs on Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN, told us yesterday that the inactive card was in her father's name as he handles her finances. In an e-mail she said Rouge has "a lack of understanding of the law, their job, and what is polite." Colgan admits that she told the restaurant that "if I had the time I would be making calls about their behavior to both law enforcement, since they have no understanding of civil liberties, and to the press," but that she decided she would rather spend her time on her charitable efforts.
Rouge owner Rob Wasserman yesterday confirmed there had been an altercation and stated that Colgan was not welcome back at Rouge. Wasserman said that he provided a $40 tip to the server who had been shorted on the bill.
After we communicated with Colgan, a man called us from New York identifying himself as her friend and offering to help.The man claimed to be present at Rouge and said Colgan "acted appropriately," declining to provide details about the argument. Asked what time he was at Rouge with Colgan he replied "late, around 11." When we said that Colgan had been there hours earlier and that we doubted he had been there at all, he got angry, tongue-tied and defensive.
Hey, Flavia, next time you're going to enlist a friend to call and lie to us, you should really prep him a little better.