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Lisa Kent bills non-customers $5 for using restroom

12:45 PM, Mar 1, 2013   |    comments
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By Heather Jensen

ERIN, Tenn. (WKRN/CNN) - A restaurant owner in Erin, Tennessee billed a woman $5 for using the bathroom.

The owner defends her actions saying the restrooms are for customers only.

The Flood Zone in Erin, Tennessee could be seen as a bright spot in the city known as a wee bit of Ireland.

But recently, talk of the restaurant has been in the toilet.

"It's a $5 charge to use the bathroom. It wasn't so much in wanting the $5. It was to prove, to show them it's for customers only because of the messes that had been made in there," said co-owner Lisa Kent.

In October, Kent tried to enforce her $5 restroom charge by tracking down a woman who entered her business under the guise of customer.

"She looked at the menu board up there and said, 'Let me wash my hands.' And she went into the bathroom and stayed approximately 20 minutes. She jumped in the car and took off," said Kent.

The business restrooms are clearly marked "customers only." But Kent admits the charge for non-customers was never about the money.

"We're not a big business. We don't have maintenance men to come," she said.

David Gardner can sympathize.

"We've got a key that we use when the customers come in they have to ask for the key and they go use the bathroom," said Gardner, owner of a nearby business.

Gardner owns the Hojo Mini Market across the street. His restrooms are kept under lock and key to prevent damage.

Since word has gotten out about the restroom charge, the owner of the flood zone says she's paying the price.

Kent has answered countless harassing phone calls. Despite national media attention, many around town admit they've only heard one side.

Kent has heard enough; she's ready to get back to business.

WKRN/CNN

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