The Slatest

Online Reviewers Descend on Restaurant That Refused to Serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders conducts a White House daily news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House June 18, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

It seems that it is getting more and more difficult for members of the Trump administration to get a decent meal in restaurants around Washington. On Friday night, it was apparently the turn of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was apparently kicked out of a Virginia restaurant. Word of the move first came from Jaike Foley-Schultz, who describes describes himself as a waiter at The Red Hen, a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. In a Facebook post, Foley-Schultz wrote that his boss kicked out the White House press secretary and seven members of her family.


(Update at 12:20 p.m.: On Saturday morning, Sanders took to Twitter to confirm she had indeed been barred from the restaurant. “Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left,” she wrote. “Her actions say far more about her than about me.”)

Brennan Gilmore, the head of Clean Virginia, a nonprofit group, appears to have been the one to make the post go viral by posting it on Twitter along with what appears to be a handwritten note from the restaurant that reads “86 — Sara Huckabee Sanders.” Gilmore said that the owner of the Virginia restaurant “apparently… didn’t want to serve her and her party out of moral conviction.”


The online report immediately led to an online reviewing battle in the restaurant’s Facebook and Yelp pages. While some gave the restaurant one star for refusing to serve the White House press secretary, many others rated it five stars and congratulated management for taking a moral stand.

“If baking a cake is participating in a gay wedding, then serving that hideous beast SHS is participating in this racist, fascist administration,” one Facebook reviewer wrote.


Many others however, gave the restaurant a one-star review: “Kicking someone out of your restaurant because you disagree with their politics is un-American. You should be ashamed of yourself.”*

The same pattern was evident in Yelp. “This restaurant refused to serve our Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. This is simple hate,” one reviewer wrote. “Shut up and cook.” Another expressed gratitude: “Thank you Red Hen for exercising moral fortitude and standing up to liars.”


The press secretary was reportedly kicked out of the Virginia restaurant mere days after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was confronted by protesters while eating at a a Mexican restaurant Tuesday night. “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace,” protesters yelled. Protesters also gathered outside Nielsen’s home Friday morning and blasted audio of crying children. “No justice, no sleep,” they yelled.

*This post initially included a link to a different one-star review that has since been erased from Facebook.