The president of a Christian conservative advocacy group spoke out on Wednesday after members were denied service at a Richmond restaurant. Since claims that the location has “always refused service” to anyone who makes staff feel “uncomfortable or unsafe” have been made public.
“We were certainly shocked that this happened, and I think most people assume that food service is something that we can all agree on,” said Victoria Cobb, Family Foundation of Virginia President. “It’s stunning, and it does feel a bit like ‘no Christians can eat here,'” Cobb added, slamming the Metzger Bar & Butchery for alleged “religious discrimination.”
The restaurant emphasized the importance of a “safe work environment” and “dignity” for staff members in a statement defending its actions to cancel the reservation of the conservative group; however, Cobb argued that deferring blame to the waitstaff is irresponsible.
“Certainly, they can put it off on their team, but the owner made the phone call, they’ve put out an official statement, and the bottom line is the buck stops with the owner of the restaurants,” continued Cobb. “Restaurants are not allowed to discriminate even if their employees are discriminatory. They can be hateful, they can be bigoted, but that’s not the right of the restaurant to say, ‘We’re just not going to let you eat here.'”
The restaurant is German-style and is co-owned by television chef Brittanny Anderson, who is known for stints on “Chopped” and “Top Chef.” The restaurant manager called a member of Cobb’s group at the last minute to let them know their reservation had been canceled.
“Thankfully, we were able to pivot to another restaurant who graciously hosted us. Since then, we’ve gotten so many offers from folks,” said Cobb.
‘Double standard on the left’
The faith-based non-profit focuses on growing religious principles in government and family. The organization criticized the restaurant in a post where Cobb blasted the “double standard of the left.”
“Last night, our team and supporters got that firsthand experience when Metzger’s Bar and Butchery in Richmond, VA refused to service our pre-reserved event, leaving us scrambling just moments before,” read the post by Cobb.
“For weeks, we had planned a gathering of supporters and interested people in a private room to fellowship and receive an update on our work. About an hour and a half, before the event was set to take place, one of the restaurant’s owners called our team to cancel the event. As our VP of Operations explained that guests were arriving at their restaurant shortly, she asked for an explanation. Sure enough, an employee looked up our organization, and their wait staff refused to serve us,” continued Cobb.