John Golden's food blog The Golden Dish is being pulled from host site MaineToday.com (operated by Press Herald parent company MaineToday Media). In a phone interview, Golden told Eater he decided to pull the blog due to a lack of monetary compensation and because of the fallout from a recent incident in which he was banned from Portland restaurants The Honey Paw, Eventide Oyster Co., and Hugo's. Golden said all of his entries up to that of May 15 would live on MaineToday.com, but he plans to take a hiatus before reviving the blog on his own site with sponsors.
"The Golden Dish has not gone away," Golden promised. After his ban garnered international attention, Golden said he told his bosses he wanted to get paid again for his writing. "I said, 'Give me something for the principle of it, I won't do it anymore — take abuse like this.' And they understood, but they gotta do what they have to do. I have nothing against the paper."
The Press Herald's official position on the matter, according to managing editor Steve Greenlee, is vague but similar: "We both decided it was time for a change." The original story drew nearly 200 comments and appeared to crash the Press Herald website on day one, but apparently the paper decided that kind of traffic wasn't worth paying for.
Arlin Smith, co-owner of the restaurants that banned Golden, gave Eater "no comment" regarding the latest update. For his part, Golden admitted, "I suppose anyone should have a right to ban anyone for anything." While the offended restaurant owners cited Golden's "unprofessional" and "mean-spirited" writing, Golden countered, "I think Arlin Smith and the rest achieved what they set out to do," which in Golden's mind "was to basically embarrass me for no good reason."