The five-hour take-down of an Auckland barbecue restaurant.

It should have been business as usual last Monday at Ponsonby eatery Miss Moonshine's, but by the end of the day the restaurant had been dubbed Mr Misogyny in a social media storm over offensive slogans on the premises.

A post on social media had finally achieved what customer complaint couldn't - the removal of year-old sexually explicit phrases on the toilet stalls.

The customer, Auckland software developer Peter Goodman, wandered into Miss Moonshine's slow-cook barbecue restaurant with his family for an Easter Monday lunch at the same time the chef was popping that evening's pork belly into the smoker.

Here's how the saga unfolded:



Goodman, his partner and their two children sit down and check out the kids' menu, pick through the colouring pencils and receive their drinks. A cold Coke and pitcher of iced water are welcome relief after a weekend camping at Port Waikato.

1.09pm: A staff member at the popular Ponsonby eatery posts to social media: "Doing some rolled pork belly in the smoker, all free range of course! We're open lunch & dinner today with no surcharge enjoy your day off folks! #crispy #porkbelly #smokey #happyeaster #familytime #dinnertonight".

Goodman orders the pulled pork, his partner the brisket and their 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter the set kids' menu of mac 'n' cheese balls and curly fries. The staff are friendly, the kids are colouring. So far, so good.

1.15pm: Time to use the toilet. Goodman pops downstairs with his son and while in the stall, his boy, an avid and early reader, tells dad a joke. One about the chicken crossing the road - but with a different punch-line. Goodman looks to see what his son is reading. The rest is not so funny.

Misogynistic jokes about women and oral sex artistically written on black doors with chalk-board paint stun Goodman. He guides his son out of the toilet and returns to the table, relaying the worst of the jokes to his equally horrified partner.

1.25pm: Too embarrassed to approach the female waitress, Goodman talks to a male staff member who, he says, delivers a seemingly well-rehearsed line of "the owners want the words to stay".

Goodman returns to his table and tries his best to enjoy lunch. The tasty food is devoured but the writing on the wall leaves a bad taste and Goodman returns to the toilet to take photos of the offending words.

3.30pm: The family head home, Goodman still in quiet disbelief. They unpack the car and put the camping gear away. Goodman decides he wants action.

6pm: Goodman, an Irishman who has lived here for eight years, tweets the unedited images from his phone and says he won't be going back to Miss Moonshine's given the "sickening misogyny".

8.18pm: Radio presenter Alison Mau responds with disgust, tweeting her support to Goodman. Mau has close to 10,000 followers, and her re-tweet gives momentum. By 9pm the tweet is shared more than 90 times and criticism spreads to Facebook. The story is reported on and owners Ryan and Annelise Clarke apologise, accepting responsibility. They say the "graffiti" had been up since last June.

11.06pm: The Clarkes apologise on Twitter and temporarily suspend their account. The debate goes on on social media.

11.33pm: "Thanks @petegoo for being the ONE visitor to the men's toilets @missMoonshines who had the guts to complain. #bloodyhero!" Mau tweets. Minutes later, Miss Moonshine's reactivates its Twitter account, saying the offending messages have been removed.

Ryan and Annelise Clarke have replied to every email they've received during the furore over the misogynistic messages painted on the toilet walls of their eatery. Photo / Kirsty Wynn
Ryan and Annelise Clarke have replied to every email they've received during the furore over the misogynistic messages painted on the toilet walls of their eatery. Photo / Kirsty Wynn

By the end of the week, the man who took a stand wanted life to return to normal. Goodman joked that he felt bad for his new Twitter followers who would quickly tire of his technology tweets. The software developer is preparing a speech for a software seminar.

Miss Moonshine's' owners continue to apologise, and have replied to every email they received.

Ryan Clarke told the Weekend Herald yesterday three people had cancelled bookings on Tuesday in light of the controversy, but others had stayed loyal. He said the social media pile-on had been savage.

"I am all about educated debate, [but] the bullying has been bad," he said. "We closed our Twitter account so we could gather our thoughts and then we apologised."

The furore had hit his wife Annelise, who is 12 weeks pregnant, hard. But Ryan Clarke said there was no getting past the fact the messages were wrong.

"We honestly never had another complaint about the bathroom. We take it on board that this is our restaurant, they are our bathrooms and we understand the harm these types of messages do in the community.

"This shouldn't have come as a shock to us. It was so blatantly wrong." He said the messages were being replaced with comments on how to be a gentleman.