Honolulu’s Café 8½ response to its new ‘policy’ barring pro-Trump patrons has been unquestionably mixed.
It gets rave reviews on Yelp for its “Radiatore Verde” and “Italian stir fry,” among other popular dishes at the eclectic mom-and-pop restaurant. Now the reviews have changed somewhat.
A bright yellow, handmade sign posted on the restaurant’s front glass door declares: “If you voted for Trump you cannot eat here! No Nazis.”
A photo of the sign was shared posted on the café’s Facebook page, and got some 40 ‘likes’.
One Facebook user wrote next to the photo, “…The next time you’re in Honolulu, eat lunch here, not only are they on the right side of things, the food is delicious and reasonable.”
Other people don’t seem to find the sign as ‘likeable’.
“Extreme poor taste. It’s childish and very unprofessional. The restaurant owner doesn’t have to worry … I will not be stepping foot in that establishment.” said Honolulu resident and Donald Trump voter Susan Roberts in an email.
Former chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party and now president of National Federation of Republican Assemblies and who is of Chinese descent said, “The sign is discriminatory, and harkens back to ‘racist and hate-filled’ days before statehood. Remember when Filipinos couldn’t go in certain places, or Japanese wouldn’t be allowed (in) many homes? And, it didn’t matter who they voted for.”
One apparent former customer wrote on ‘Yelp’, “People should be able to get food without hearing a political message, I will never go back.”
The café was founded by Robert Warner, a former hair stylist for Vidal Sassoon in San Francisco and former restaurateur in Seattle, along with his wife Jali, according to the Honolulu Star-Advisor.
Jali was reported as saying the restaurant is not actually asking customers whether they voted for President-elect Trump, and said even if they see a customer with a Trump shirt, “We don’t put anything different (in) your food. Robert just wants to express how much he doesn’t like Trump. If people take it personally or it hurts them, we cannot help. That’s why we say they have (a) choice if they want to come or not come. We don’t force them.”
She was noted as mentioning that only three people called to complain about the sign.
Jali is known to be soft-spoken. Her husband Robert is compared to the “Seinfeld” character the “soup Nazi” of New York City. He hangs not friendly reminders on butcher paper for his customers to read.
“It was funny on Seinfeld, but this place can rot away. Stay away. Hawaii ain’t like this. There’s a lot of better places on the island than to have deal with extra crap like this,” another ‘Yelp’ reviewer wrote.
Hillary Clinton was supported heavily in Hawaii but the restaurant owners might want to make a sign that can last the four to eight years Trump will be president.
Personally, I wouldn’t go there. I would not trust what was put in my food.