A Lexington, Virginia restaurant made national news last year when one of its co-owners chased then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders out and formed a mob to scream at her relatives after they went across the street to a different eatery, according to the Huckabee family.
And now Red Hen co-owner Stephanie Wilkinson is suggesting that all restaurants boycott Trump administration officials, according to Fox News.
Wilkinson was responding to a recent incident where a waitress of the high-end Aviary cocktail bar in Chicago reportedly spat in the face of President Trump’s son Eric. The Alinea Group, which owns The Aviary, said that the waitress had been placed on leave while they investigate.
Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on The Aviary to “take appropriate actions” against the employee for their “repugnant” behavior, the Chicago Tribune reported. The man who started a GoFundMe page in support of the waitress has canceled the fundraiser and refunded the money.
“This is America. People are allowed to have their views, no matter if we agree with them or not,” Lightfoot said. “But we cannot countenance people who go out of their way to express themselves in such a repugnant fashion.
While the Red Hen’s Wilkinson argued that "no one in the industry condones the physical assault of a patron,” she also said that businesses need to follow “a code of ethics” when it comes to who they choose to serve and not serve.
"The once-ubiquitous idea that companies exist purely and solely to provide profit to shareholders is withering away like corn husks in the summer sun," she wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece, adding that the “rules are changing” and the new rule should be that "All are welcome. Terms and conditions apply."
“If you’re directly complicit in spreading hate or perpetuating suffering, maybe you should consider dining at home," she declared.
Wilkinson did not address whether Christian bakers should be allowed to follow their “code of ethics” as well and not have to make custom cakes celebrating same-sex marriages.
As for The Aviary waitress, co-owner Nick Kokonas said, “We are going through a formal HR process as we do for every employee in accordance with best practices, our employee handbook and the law, where applicable.”
The Red Hen had to take emergency measures to stay afloat early this year after Wilkinson’s actions against Sanders lost them a lot of business. The local tourism board had to dip into their emergency funds to help bail the restaurant out.
Around the same time they were doing that, a famous San Francisco-area chef got noticed after tweeting that his Wursthall Restaurant in San Mateo would refuse to serve anyone wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap.
“It hasn’t happened yet, but if you come to my restaurant wearing a MAGA cap, you aren’t getting served, same as if you come in wearing a swastika, white hood, or any other symbol of intolerance and hate,” Kenji Lopez-Alt wrote before deleting his tweet after a massive backlash.