The employees at an area Chicago restaurant is receiving loss of life threats after social media posts confirmed that Tank Noodle’s house owners traveled to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to assist President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday night time, social media posts with photographs of the house owners of started surfacing on Twitter, displaying them on a aircraft to the nation’s capital with the intention of taking part in protests opposing Trump’s Election Day defeat to Joe Biden.
Wednesday’s rally in D.C. turned violent as Individuals watched rioters breach the U.S. Capitol in an effort to disrupt Biden’s certification as president. Lawmakers have been pressured to evacuate, a lady was fatally shot, and three different folks reportedly died in or close to the Capitol. As images and movies of the tried coup circulated after crowds dispersed, Chicagoans started to acknowledge names and faces from native companies.
One picture reveals house owners of Tank Noodle of their seats on an airplane sure for D.C. A number of customers have alleged that Henry Chang — the proprietor of Boystown Pan Asian restaurant Ping Pong, Japanese restaurant Wakamono, and late-night cocktail den Wang’s — is within the picture as properly. Chang disputes his attendance, texting Eater Chicago that it wasn’t him. “I’ve solely been dwelling and work. I don’t assist violence,” he writes. Chang didn’t reply to follow-up questions.
Nonetheless, customers have flooded Tank Noodle account with posts condemning the restaurant house owners’ assist of Trump and a willingness to disregard COVID-19 security by boarding a aircraft in the course of the pandemic. A submit from Tank Noodle’s affiliate supervisor Thien Ly reveals him and and one other man alongside a picture of his United Airways boarding cross with the caption “Jan#6 Get Wild! #fightfortrump.”
Chang’s private Fb web page contains pro-Trump posts resulting in commenters making comparable crucial posts on Ping Pong’s Yelp web page.
A supply near Tank administration confirms house owners made the journey to D.C. The supply additionally says the store was “barely making it” in the course of the pandemic. They are saying house owners are fearful that social media outrage will trigger them to shut their 21-year-old restaurant. However after Wednesday’s scene on the capitol, many Chicagoans are aghast and don’t wish to assist anybody related to the mobs in D.C.
Gwen Ly didn’t return an e mail requesting remark. Her Fb web page, public earlier than Thursday, was switched to non-public and feedback crucial of Tank are being deleted. Possession has but to return a message left with employees over the telephone on the restaurant. Ly didn’t reply to an e mail despatched Thursday morning.
A Tank Noodle employee who answered the telephone Thursday tells Eater Chicago that employees has acquired loss of life threats by telephone on Thursday morning. The employee says possession has but to speak to them in regards to the state of affairs. In the meantime, the employee mentioned they dealt with 15 threatening telephone calls throughout the span of about 30 minutes, beginning when the restaurant opened at 11 a.m.
“We’re afraid for our lives proper now, we’re simply making an attempt to work and supply for our household,” the employee says. “[Staff] all have youngsters, now they’re scared they received’t have a job.”
The restaurant’s Instagram account is full of offended feedback, with some veering into racist stereotypes of Asian eating places. Possession hasn’t hidden their assist for Trump, as GM Gwen Ly has made a number of posts supporting the outgoing president on her private Fb web page. In a submit dated Wednesday, Ly writes: “#saveamericarally I wasn’t there with my household however I’m supporting you guys in spirit!” One other submit dated December 12 reads, “#stopthesteal,” a reference to Trump’s debunked claims of election fraud, alongside a video of individuals standing round holding massive Trump flags. The posts additionally embody photographs of Thu Ly holding an American flag amidst Trump supporters standing across the Washington Monument. Gwen Ly shut down public entry to her Fb posts round 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Commenters have turned to Yelp, littering the restaurant’s web page with one-star evaluations. In response, Yelp has issued an uncommon exercise alert and quickly disabled posting to the web page.
“l don’t wish to spend my cash at a spot that’s run by individuals who assist white supremacist insurrectionists,” one commenter writes. “Disgrace on the house owners for supporting Trump and making an attempt to undermine democracy. Trump has been extremely dangerous in the direction of the Asian group and has brought on a lot loss of life together with his mishandling of the pandemic.”
Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Trump has labeled COVID-19 because the “Chinese language Virus.” For the bigger Asian-American inhabitants, that’s left them vulnerable to a spike in hate crimes.
“Since there are many different good pho locations on the identical avenue, go to a type of locations since their house owners most likely didn’t fly to DC to attempt to subvert democracy,” writes another commenter.
A Fb occasion web page invitations the general public to a virtual protest of Tank on Thursday night, emphasizing that the protest ought to stay peaceable.
Over on Ping Pong’s Yelp web page, a commenter writes, “Ping Pong was my absolute favourite restaurant given their delicacies, nonetheless, the proprietor’s assist and participation in committing acts of home terrorism on the Capitol in Washington DC on 1/6/2021 have made me re-evaluate and select to by no means assist this small enterprise once more.” Chang didn’t remark in regards to the adverse posts.
Past Yelp criticism, a employee singled out three telephone calls she acquired on Thursday morning from a person which Caller ID revealed as Wade Greer, an outreach coordinator for the Illinois Home of Representatives. The worker says she felt threatened by Greer, alleging that he informed her that employees are “going to die” as a result of they work at Tank, and that protesters could be coming to the restaurant. Greer didn’t reply to a Fb message looking for remark, and he deactivated his account after Eater Chicago despatched an inquiry. Earlier than his LinkedIn profile was additionally taken down on Thursday morning, Greer was listed as working for State Rep. Kelly Cassidy’s workplace.
“Mr. Greer is part time worker of the workplace who referred to as this enterprise to precise his disgust with their political posts on his personal time,” Cassidy writes to Eater Chicago. “Whereas he denies making any threats, I’ve made clear that no member of my employees ought to use their place to threaten or intimidate anybody, no matter how repugnant their views could be.”
Tank Noodle, also referred to as Pho Xe Tang, opened in 2000 and has develop into one of many metropolis’s premier Vietnamese eating places. It’s positioned in a distinguished spot on the southeast nook of Broadway and Argyle, amongst a cluster of Vietnamese eating places and companies within the neighborhood. Possession deliberate to open a brand new location final 12 months at 4706-4710 W. Irving Park Street, but the outpost hasn’t materialized.
Ashok Selvam contributed reporting to this story.
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