A video of a downtown restaurateur went viral Sunday evening after True Kitchen + Kocktails owner passionately asked a guest accused of dancing on a table to stop “twerking.”
“I invested a lot of money into buying this building, into developing this concept, so Black people can have somewhere nice to go to. Somewhere where we can feel good about ourselves as a people. Somewhere where our people can feel good about ourselves as a culture,” owner Kevin Kelly is heard saying in the video.
“All this twerking and shit, take it to Prime, take it to PINK, don’t bring it here because we’re a restaurant.
“Beyond that, 75% percent of my customers are ladies, and I want men to show respect for how they carry themselves here. So how can I tell the men to respect themselves and you guys are twerking on glass here?
“If you want to do it, get the fuck out of my restaurant. Because I did it for our people, and I did it for our culture. So don’t do it. … If you don’t like it, get out because I don’t need your money. I need to provide something for my people. Don’t do it again.”
The video has prompted a variety of responses on Twitter; some siding with the owner and his impassioned plea. Others find his comments derogatory toward women and grounds for ending patronage of the black-owned business.
True Kitchen + Kocktails opened in downtown Dallas in August. As of Monday morning, True Kitchen + Kocktails stopped accepting messages for inquiry on Twitter.
Kelly posted a response on Instagram midday Monday:
“While I would like to apologize to the patrons who I offended by my poor choice of wording … my immediate reaction was this woman could fall through this window and … enough is enough,” he wrote.
The incident has also spurred discussion of the restaurant’s history of service. A number of Thanksgiving catering orders went unfulfilled by the restaurant last Thursday, and previous patrons have become more vocal about their poor dining experience.
Twitter responses are encouraging Dallasites to dine elsewhere and True Kitchen + Kocktails to get a public relations team.
True Kitchen + Kocktails, 1933 Elm St. (downtown). Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.