Ken said something earlier about this on facebook, but I wanted to weigh in also. We’ve eaten at Hibachi Grill on the HP/Archdale line for years… so when a friend told me that the owner’s husband had kicked out a homeless veteran, I thought that was really out of character for these people.
So we got talking to the owner last night. Turns out the homeless guy is someone we know pretty well (we do lots of ministry in the area the restaurant is in). This particular person is most assuredly NOT a veteran. Not even close.
He had been hanging around the restaurant and getting free water, but that turned into panhandling and that turned into harassing customers and cussing out a waitress. The night that everything got ugly, his meal had been purchased by a customer (which was fine) but because of his history, at checkout he was asked to not hang around outside any more that evening. In the past, he’d gotten one customer to buy his dinner – then another – then another – and many customers were reporting that they felt harassed and intimidated.
The people who bought his meal blew a gasket over this request… and then started a smear campaign against the restaurant… based on a completely falsified story.
And that turned into an all-out assault by “well-meaning citizens” – harassing phone calls, threats, flat tires, blatant racism… really crazy and nasty stuff. The irony is, this restaurant does a lot for all sorts of people – veterans, police/fire benefits, and even caters some meals for Open Door Ministries.
I totally get that people would be outraged if the story that’s circulating were true… but a) it’s not and b) even if it was true, how does that warrant threats against these people? But the bottom line is this – it’s not true. Period.
Anyway – it’s a great place to eat, owned by really sweet people, and if you believed this story and have boycotted the restaurant, you should stop now and go get some potstickers and sushi. 🙂