The Virginia restaurant owner who kicked Sarah Huckabee Sanders out of her restaurant last year is defending the Chicago cocktail bar server who spat in Eric Trump’s face last week, saying politicians involved in ‘spreading hate’ should consider dining at home.
Stephanie Wilkinson made headlines last year when she booted Sanders out of her restaurant the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia.
Now she’s backing the unnamed server at the upscale Chicago bar The Aviary who spat in Eric Trump’s face as he walked in on Tuesday night and was briefly detained by Secret Service agents.
Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia that kicked out Sarah Sanders last year, has published an op-ed defending the Chicago server who spat on Eric Trump on Tuesday
On Tuesday Eric Trump entered the upscale Chicago bar The Aviary and was approached and spat on by a female employee, who was later detained then released by his Secret Service agents
Wilkinson says restaurants are ‘a part of the soundstage for our ongoing national spectacle’.
‘Whether the bar or restaurant serves merely as the backdrop…or takes an active role in the drama, as was the case with Cracker Barrel, Aviary or my restaurant last June, the business involved inevitably comes under attack,’ Wilsinson wrote in an opinion piece for the Washington Post published Friday.
‘A portion of the public will scold owners and managers about “staying in their lane” and express chagrin at the loss of a perceived “politics-free zone,”‘ she added.
Despite having an open service policy where it’s illegal to deny someone service because of their race, religion or national origin, Wilkinson says eateries have the right to refuse service.
‘If you’re an unsavory individual – of whatever persuasion or affiliation – we have no legal or moral obligation to do business with you,’ she said.
‘If you’re an unsavory individual – of whatever persuasion or affiliation – we have no legal or moral obligation to do business with you,’ she said. Wilkinson’s restaurant the Red Hen above in Lexington, Virginia
She added that the high-profile clashes usually have nothing to do about the meals themselves.
‘It’s more often a frustrated person (some of whom are restaurant employees) lashing out at the representatives of an administration that has made its name trashing norms and breaking backs,’ she said.
‘Not surprising, if you think about it: You can’t call people your enemies by day and expect hospitality from them in the evening,’ she added.
Wilkinson closed her op-ed saying that when the world returns to ‘its normal axis’ there will be less ‘highly charged encounters’ making headlines.
But for now her message is clear.
‘In the meantime, the new rules apply. If you’re directly complicit in spreading hate or perpetuating suffering, maybe you should consider dining at home,’ she said.
‘For the rest, your table is waiting,’ she added.
‘In the meantime, the new rules apply. If you’re directly complicit in spreading hate or perpetuating suffering, maybe you should consider dining at home. For the rest, your table is waiting,’ Wilkinson said. Eric Trump pictured in 2019 at an Irish pub
President Donald Trump’s son was leaving the upscale Aviary bar (pictured) when the incident happened Tuesday night
The Aviary is seen above. It is located in the West Loop and features creative cocktails
Wilkinson’s bold move to ask Sarah Sanders to leave the Red Hen in June 2018 when she arrived with seven family members was met with public outrage and support.
Following the incident Sanders tweeted about the encounter saying she ‘politely left’ and ‘[Wilkinson’s] 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.’
Wilkinson said that her employees felt uncomfortable having Sanders there and took a vote before asking her to leave.
On Tuesday June 25 Eric Trump was visiting Chicago for work when he walked into the upscale Aviary bar – run by the famed chef Grant Achatz.
After entering a female server approached him and allegedly spat on him.
U.S. Secret Service took that employee into custody and Chicago Police arrested her. Trump then asked Chicago Police to let her free when told she would otherwise be charged.
Alinea Group, which runs the bar, says that the employee has been placed on leave.