Eating Out Takes a New Turn: Bear steals pizza from Tennessee restaurant customers dining on patio

By Alexandra Deabler | Fox News

A Tennessee restaurant had a wild run in with a young bear cub who apparently had a hankering for pizza.

Carolyn Ball, a waitress at Howard’s Steakhouse in downtown Gatlinburg, said a black bear cub came up from the creek near the restaurant and helped himself to a customer’s pizza.


“Last week, we had a bear climb up a tree from the creek and onto the patio where some customers were eating. The bear surprised them. They obviously got up and left the food on the table. The bear stood on the table and ate a pizza,” said Ball to WBIR.


Though the cub shocked the patrons dining, the restaurant is only a few hundred yards from Great Smoky Mountains National Park where wild black bears run free.

Ball posted about the encounter on Facebook and jokingly referred to the patio as “pet-friendly.” However, many were not as amused and said Ball should have been trying to scare the animal away rather than taking pictures.

“No one should allow that… you need to scare the crap out of him so he leaves. Stop feeding him! He’ll be killed if that keeps happening,” one person wrote.

“Instead of taking pictures while the bear eats pizza, why not be QUICK to scare him off. This is like giving a death sentence to this bear. This makes me very sad, and ashamed. Soon TWRA will have no choice but euthanize this bear because of poor choices by humans. Grrrr,” another said.

Ball said she didn’t “mess” with the bear at all.

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