MANSFIELD - Benji Arslanovksi has spent most of his adult life in the restaurant business, but he has never seen anything like this.

"Not this. Definitely a first," he said.

Last weekend, he says a customer became upset when he ordered the Saturday special but wasn't given a cup of soup.

The special usually includes an entree, two sides and the soup.

"I mean the soup is great,” Arslanovski said. “People love it.”

But he says it's pretty well understood that the soup is a "freebie," kind of like a pickle.

Benji Arslanovski
Benji Arslanovski

Arslanovski even makes sure it's clearly spelled out on the restaurant's menu that the soup is only served "while supplies last."

The customer didn't want to accept that, he says.

"He was upset we wouldn't substitute some veggies or a side item for his soup," said the owner.

On Thursday, a demand letter from attorney Dwain Downing arrived, saying he wanted $2.25 in damages and $250 in attorney's fees, or that the restaurant would be sued.

Dwain Downing's letter to Our Place restaurant
Dwain Downing's letter to Our Place restaurant

Turns out, Downing was also the customer.

In the letter, Downing says the menu is an offer of a contract, and that the restaurant uses a deceptive trade practice.

"I really don't know what to think," said Arslanovksi. "I mean, it's a cup of soup."

Contacted by News 8 on Friday, Downing refused an on-camera interview. He did say he thinks the restaurant should prepare for running out of soup if it happens regularly.

He conceded the menus state the soup is only available "while supplies last."

The restaurant posted the legal letter to its Facebook page.

Reaction has been swift, the vast majority of comments in favor of the restaurant.

"I contacted my own attorney,” Arslanovski said. “I think he thought I was joking.”

Our Place usually serves up to 4,000 customers a week. They're known for their breakfast and country-style cooking.

The owner admits he now might be known for something else.

"I think I might hang [the letter] up. Why not?” he said.

The letter demands that restaurant respond within 10 days.

It also misspells the owner's last name, putting a "skobi" where the "ovski" should be.