by Daveda Gruber:
Is naming your restaurant The Red Hen a good idea? Not anymore! Michael Friedman never imagined that his restaurant would be so controversial.
When the co-owner of another restaurant named The Red Hen, almost 200 miles away in Lexington, Va, refused to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, it became open season on any eatery with Hen in its name.
Friedman said, “It was a bit of an interesting day yesterday. There were so many negative comments floating in on social media and people calling up my restaurants to threaten us.”
Sanders tweeted that she was told by the owner of the Red Hen in Lexington, Va., that she had to “leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left.”
Sanders said the episode Friday evening said far more about the owner of the restaurant than it did about her.
Sanders said in the tweet from her official account, which generated 22,000 replies in about an hour:
Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 23, 2018
Friedman tried to quickly quell any foul-mouthed backlash that was mistakenly directed at his Italian influenced restaurant by posting on its social media accounts that his eatery had no affiliation to the one in Lexington.
His actions did little to stop the overflow of angry comments and calls. A person called up one of Friedman’s other restaurants and threatened to blow it up. Another just repeated the word “shame” over and over again.
Friedman said, “This is a huge misconception. We are not affiliated with the restaurant in Lexington; this is not a franchise. We serve whoever walks through out door, no matter their race, creed, sexual orientation, political party or whatever.”
Friedman’s restaurant isn’t the only restaurant named The Red Hen. A few took some backlash following Sanders getting the boot in Lexington.
A family-style restaurant In Swedesboro, N.J., by the same name was also blasted by supporters of President Trump. They received about 200 phone calls and saw their Facebook rating plunge to 1-star.
The restaurant was finally forced to go to social media to clear up the hen-pecking.
A post on the New Jersey restaurant’s Facebook page states, “THE RED HEN IN SWEDESBORO, NEW JERSEY IS IN NO WAY AFFILIATED WITH THE RED HEN IN VIRGINIA. Kindly check your facts before you erroneously defame an innocent business on Facebook.”
A former restaurant owner in the area, Stephen Russek said, “they had no right to do that.”
Russek, who lives nearby, said. “You have your political opinions, you don’t throw somebody out of your restaurant. They ought to be shut down.”
Wilkinson said that her staff had called her to report Sanders was in the restaurant. She described several reasons, including the concerns of several restaurant employees who were gay and knew Sanders had defended Trump’s desire to bar transgender people from the military.
Wilkinson asked her staff, “Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave.”
She said, “They said yes.”
Well, I’d like to say that President Trump and his administration have a lot more supporters that the Democrats could possibly imagine. Sarah Sanders is well respected and loved.
BOYCOTT THE RED HEN in Virginia!