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Trump Voters Are Freaking Out Because This Restaurant Won’t Serve MAGA Hat-Wearing Customers

“Make America Great Again” hats, just like President Donald Trump himself, are pretty divisive. When Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann had the protest confrontation with Native American protestor Nathan Phillips, much was made of the fact that he and many of his peers were wearing them.J. Kenji López-Alt, a restaurant owner, chef, and cookbook author, tweeted on January 27 that he wouldn’t allow anyone wearing a MAGA hat inside his restaurant, comparing the hats to Nazi swastikas and white KKK hoods. López-Alt runs Wursthall Restaurant and Bierhaus in San Mateo, CA.

The tweet read,

“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.”

WTVD-TV video screenshot

López-Alt ended up deleting the tweet, but not before at least one person grabbed a screenshot.

Replying to someone who responded to his tweet, López-Alt added, “If you’re comfortable sitting next to a MAGA wearer I’m probably not interested in serving you either.”

To someone else, he wrote, “I didn’t say maga hats are racist. I didn’t even say the people wearing them are racist. I said MAGA hats represent support of a racist and racist ideas. Wearing one doesn’t necessarily make you racist but it sure associates you with them.”

The responses to López-Alt’s tweets came in the form of support as well as criticism.

He responded to the accusation of discrimination by writing, “This has zero to do with the first amendment, first of all. Secondly choosing not to serve someone because of their intolerance is not the same as choosing not to serve someone for any other reason. You don’t pick being gay. But you do pick being a bad person.”

On Friday, López-Alt tweeted that he’d written a statement about the controversy.

He began by apologizing to his staff and partners at Wursthall for “making a public statement” without “taking my team’s thoughts into consideration,” saying that it was “disrespectful and reckless” of him.

The statement ends thusly:

“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.”

If Mitch McConnell or Sarah Sanders ever find themselves in San Mateo, CA, they’ll probably want to steer clear of this restaurant.


Written by Dean

Dean Altman is a writer living in NYC.