UPDATED 12/3, 10:10 a.m. ET: True Kitchen and Kocktails owner Kevin Kelley said his business is up since his anti-twerk plea went viral. "I'm glad the public has had a chance to decide what they do and don’t want in their restaurants. The effect on our restaurant has been overwhelmingly positive," he told TMZ in the video below.
Kelley went on to add, "We’ve received an outpouring of support that we did not anticipate online and in person. This lets us know the public believes in our vision for the restaurant and they will support a concept working to fill a void in our communities."
See original story below.
The True Kitchen and Kocktails restaurant in Dallas has come under fire after a video shows the owner of the restaurant kicking out guests for twerking. Instead of approaching the customers and asking them to leave, the man in the video can be seen launching into an anti-twerking rant in which he told the guests to "get the fuck out my restaurant."
"I invested a lot of money into buying this building, into developing this concept so Black people can have somewhere nice to go to," restaurant owner Kevin Kelley says in the now viral clip before telling the DJ to turn the music off. "All this twerking and shit...don’t bring it here because we’re a restaurant."
He then went on to say that "75 percent" of his customers are women, and that they're somehow disrespecting themselves by twerking. "If you wanna do it, get the fuck out my restaurant," he continued. "I did it for our people, I did it for our culture. ... Don’t do it again. I don’t want to hear it if you don’t like it, get out because I don’t need your money."
In a response to the video, the restaurant shared a statement apologizing for the "poor choice of wording," but also asserts that the customers were in the wrong. "When the first incidents occurred the guests were politely asked to stop and have respect for themselves and other customers," the statement, which assumedly was written by Kelley, reads. "Later, as another video shows, a customer stood on her seat, placed her hands against the glass windows and began to twerk. My immediate reaction was this woman could fall through this window and we could be the target of a lawsuit if she is injured."
The restaurant claims that it will "adjust" the playlist and "DJ selections" going forward, but no guest will be allowed to stand on the furniture "because of any song played." The statement also continues to criticize twerking, which seems unnecessary. "As for twerking being a part of our culture, we do not welcome the part of the culture that will come into a restaurant, stand on furniture and twerk while using 'culture' as an excuse," the statement adds.
As Eater Houston reports, this isn't the first time that Kevin Kelley, who owns a similiar restaurant called Taste Bar and Kitchen in Houston, has been embroiled in drama. Kelley filed a lawsuit against a former business partner Don Bowie, in which he alleged they misused funds and stole from the restaurant. Bowie filed a countersuit in response, and claimed that Kelley had stolen recipes for True Kitchen and Kocktails from Taste.
See reactions to the video below.