No good deed goes unpunished

Pile of Gilmore's gift certificates from restaurateur John Brandt-Lee's desk.

When we last left the Gilmore's situation:

The West Chester BYOB, which closed abruptly in July, was selling its building. Owner Peter Gilmore was not refunding the gift certificates he had sold. John Brandt-Lee from Avalon restaurant in West Chester stepped in, offering to accept the Gilmore's gifties at 50 percent of face value until Dec. 1.

Brandt-Lee, who has no connection to Gilmore, said he felt it was the right thing to do.

He had not spoken to Gilmore. 

But apparently, Gilmore had heard about Brandt-Lee's largess. Gilmore sent letters to those who had asked him for refunds. The letter did not offer cash back, but it did steer the customers to Brandt-Lee. But the letter said the gift certificates would be accepted through the end of December. The letter said nothing about the 50 percent offer.

Now, says Brandt-Lee, people are upset with him. December is the busiest month of the year, and Brandt-Lee said he is in no position to honor someone else's gift certificates at 50 percent. He said had redeemed $4,800 worth of Gilmore's paper already, suggesting that at least $10,000 in gift certificates are out on the street.

Brandt-Lee now says he will apply $20 to any check to those presenting a Gilmore certificate. The offer is valid midweek only at his Avalon in West Chester and Avalon Pasta Bistro in Downingtown.

Gilmore has not returned my messages.

The letter is here.

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