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.
I don’t think the owner of TRUE kitchen was wrong. He has a vision & you can’t knock him for wanting to maintain that status of elegance & sophistication. Yes, his delivery could have been more professional, but overall I don’t blame him for wanting to keep an image. @TrueKK_— GoFundMe Please (@_kayloveee_) November 30, 2020
The True Kitchen & Kocktails owner said “I want men to respect themselves and how can I do that when ladies are in here twerking”— el malo (@LouisXXIV) November 30, 2020
We not talking about that statement enough for me.
Like NO ONE agrees with that girl cutting up on their furniture. The owner should’ve addressed HER. Y’all trying to justify a business owner cursing out the entire establishment for something he could’ve professionally resolved— Jameis Winston QB1 (@_chevy_baby) November 30, 2020
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.
"If you tired of these other restaurants stopping you from twerking. Not letting you climb all up on the furniture. Come To Da 'Bee!" pic.twitter.com/pOqqVPlKe1— Roy Wood Jr- Ex Jedi (@roywoodjr) November 30, 2020
Since y’all wanna delete tweets true kitchen. They also blocked me. SOMEONE GET THEM A PR team ASAP ???????????? pic.twitter.com/qFMFhvMMJb— Desireé | Wellness Influencer (@itsdesicakes) November 30, 2020
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.
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