California restaurant owner says customers wearing MAGA hats won't be served, apologizes following outrage
J. Kenji López-Alt apologized to staff and partners in a lengthy post and said that what he did was reckless and that it was his personal point of view.
California restaurant owner and award-winning chef, J. Kenji López-Alt, has backed down and lifted a ban on customers wearing MAGA hats after comparing them to a swastika or white hood. Kenji started by apologizing to his staff and partners before saying that Wursthall Restaurant & Bierhaus will continue, as it always has, to serve all customers.
The tweet comparing the red hats to white hoods and swastikas was deleted by López-Alt, who is also a partner at the Wursthall Restaurant & Bierhaus restaurant in San Mateo, south of San Francisco.
The popular chef, who has more than 100,000 followers had previously said that "MAGA hats are like white hoods except stupider because you can see exactly who is wearing them". But he reversed his decision and in a statement on the Medium website Friday he said that his political opinions will not interfere with service.
Hey Chef! I got one of those pictures too! Thanks so much for having me here, really cool project. The kids are great. pic.twitter.com/F2mMrmYd0f— J. Kenji “Individual Fun” López-Alt (@kenjilopezalt) July 16, 2018
"Unfortunately the way I tried to communicate this ended up only amplifying the anger, and I apologize for that", said López-Alt in his statement. I want to start by apologizing to my staff and partners at Wursthall. Making a public statement without taking my team’s thoughts into consideration was disrespectful and reckless. Wursthall will continue, as it always has, to serve all customer regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual preference, gender orientation, disability, or political opinion — so long as they leave hate, anger, and violence outside of the doors of our restaurant".
López-Alt went on to say that the tweet was his personal perspective, not restaurant policy and "after having seen the red hat displayed so prominently in so many moments of anger, hate, and violence, to me -and many others - the hat began to symbolize exactly that: anger, hate, and violence".
López-Alt's above statement had more than 2000 likes by Wednesday afternoon reported the San Francisco Chronicle. López-Alt was staunch in his decision to ban the red MAGA hats, and the award-winning chef had refused to change his mind despite receiving threatening emails, reported Fox News.
People who wear MAGA hats often say they do so to show their patriotism and outward support for the president. This is not the first time that Trump supporters and well-wishers have been discriminated against in restaurants, previously the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, made national headlines when its management asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave due to her affiliation with Trump.