We Call B.S. on the Cell Phone Incident at B2 Cafe

We watched the security tape. The whole security tape.

The verdict is in.

The verdict is in.

UPDATE: We got a copy of the video showing the woman who comes into the cafe and threatens the barista with a bottle of spray cleaner. To view it, click here.


On Thursday, we told you about The Cell Phone Incident at B2 Cafe in South Philadelphia. In short, B2 Cafe customer Francesca Depasquale took to Facebook to complain that a female B2 employee snatched a cell phone from the hands of her 3-year-old daughter, who was listening to Pink on it without headphones while other customers were in the cafe.

The mom’s post was shared hundreds of times, and an irate vigilante squad went on Yelp and other sites in an effort to tank B2’s ratings. One concerned citizen even showed up at the cafe, grabbed a bottle of spray cleaner, and threatened to bleach the barista’s eyes out. The enraged, bleach-toting woman seemed to say that the barista punched the girl, an accusation that was alluded to in some of the social media posts. But now that we’ve secured video footage of the mom’s entire visit to B2 Cafe, we can safely say that this was blown way out of proportion.

Unless B2 Cafe owner Nancy Trachtenberg has Mission: Impossible levels of video editing and fabrication skills, the video clearly indicates that the barista only visited the mom’s table once, and when she did, she did not touch the child or the phone. We’re willing to bet dinner at Villa di Roma on it.

Their visit, as revealed on the video we were shown, goes something like this.

The group enters the shop and orders from the counter. Ten minutes later, they’re all finally sitting down. The ladies chat, while the girl squirms and bounces around in the way that 3-year-olds do.

About 23 minutes after the group walks through the door, the barista approaches the table and says a few words while motioning with her hands as if to say, “You’ve gotta cut that out.” It’s unclear from the video what the barista says (there’s audio, but the conversation is unintelligible) or whether she is addressing the child or the mom or the table as a whole. But what is perfectly clear is that the barista in no way physically touches the phone, the girl, or anything else on the table for that matter.

Here’s the clip of that portion of the visit. Again, this is the only time that the barista approaches the table.

And here it is blown up and in slow motion.

Let us repeat: The barista visits the table just once. She does not touch the phone or the child.

One minute later, a woman from the table walks to the counter and quietly confronts the barista. No clue what is said. The interaction is short, and there is no wild gesticulating or raised voices.

And then about 20 minutes after what will go down in the annals of ridiculous Philadelphia as The Cell Phone Incident at B2 Cafe, the group leaves the cafe without any further interaction with the staff. They stick around, enjoy their snacks and drinks, and go off into the night.

Depasquale did not respond to our questions about the video. B2’s Trachtenberg says she’s still weighing her legal options.

And that’s the end of it. Yeah, right.

Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.