The New York City restaurant owner who dragged James Corden for his rude behavior is feelin' bad for the talk show host ... even though he's the one who sparked the backlash Corden might be feeling.
Keith McNally, owner of Balthazar in SoHo, took to Instagram Tuesday night ... posting a pic with his daughter and her friend at his restaurant -- no big deal -- but his caption is what sounds odd.
He says he feels strange about "the James Corden thing" ... weighing both sides of the issue -- "he was definitely abusive to my staff, on the other hand, I feel really sorry for him right now. Like most cowards I want it both ways."
He ends his introspective rant with, "F*** it, I’m going to get drunk."
😂 Wow! Dr. Jekyll, meet Mr. Hyde much? Of course, McNally's remorse comes after he lifted Corden's ban from the restaurant.
The Internet seems to be torn over the whole ordeal ... with some defending McNally in his comments for defending his staff -- while others are seeing this as just a way for him to fill seats.
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As we reported, McNally claimed Corden was incredibly abusive to his staff on at least 2 occasions while eating there -- so much so, in fact, he felt compelled to out him publicly ... something that's almost never done by high-end restaurant owners.