Restaurant removes sign shunning Trump supporters
June 18, 2018 | 88° | Check Traffic

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Restaurant removes sign shunning Trump supporters

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Robert Warner stood at the door of his restaurant, Cafe 8 1/2, on Alakea Street on Tuesday, next to his handwritten sign that says, “If you voted for Trump, you can not eat here! No Nazis.”

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The owners of Cafe 8 1/2 have taken down a sign from the Italian restaurant’s front door telling voters of President-elect Donald Trump they did not want them there.

The sign at the downtown Honolulu restaurant said, “If you voted for Trump, you cannot eat here! No Nazis.”

Robert Warner, chef and restaurant co-owner, said he took down the pencil-scrawled sign this morning because he felt there was no point in keeping it up.

“It’s not necessary anymore,” Warner said. “It ran its course … no need for more aggravation for me or them and all that. No problem, no big deal to me.”

It was not a financial decision because “that’s not the way I do things,” he said. Removal of the sign was prompted by other priorities, he said. “If there’s a little open space for us being human together, then that’s great.”

He doesn’t regret — and isn’t apologizing — for putting the sign up in the first place, he said. “I just ended it because I felt like ending it, and that’s my prerogative.”

The sign had generated a swarm of mostly negative reviews and comments on the restaurant’s Yelp and Facebook pages after a foxnews.com story on it Tuesday morning.

Many, if not most, of recent Yelp comments came from the mainland. One described eating bad pizza when Cafe 8 1/2 doesn’t serve pizza. Several described getting poor service from multiple servers although the establishment is a two-person operation.

The restaurant’s Yelp page got so busy that Yelp web monitors threw an “Active Cleanup Alert” of the possible removal of “both positive and negative posts that appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business.”

Warner, who does not vote, said the sign wasn’t meant to turn away people on the basis of whom they supported for president, but only as a personal expression of his view on the matter and as a warning that Trump supporters might find the environment of the restaurant unappealing.

The publicity also triggered a slew of negative telephone calls, most with mainland prefixes.

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      • allie, if you were open minded and fair you would make similar comments about the anti-Trump people who have caused disruptions and threatened some of the Trump electors, prior to the Electoral College vote. Aren’t they as “truly scary”? IMO, neither party has an exclusive on crazy people.

        • The Trump supporters screaming lock her up about Hillary, were a vicious, prone to violence, lynch mob behaving like savages and rabid dogs. And Trump and his surrogates went right along instigating the vile and depraved ravings of the ignorant and belligerent mob

        • As opposed to the frequent appearances by Hillary after the election strongly encouraging the protesters around the country to abstain from further violence, right?
          It’s all about which set of blinders you chose to wear..

        • Enjoy while you can. It won’t be long before you realize what id*ts you were for voting for this clown. But we shall see won’t we? I agree that if the stock market rises to 25,000 during the next 4 years with unemployment remaining under 5% and the deficit under 500 billion, I will admit that the Donald wasn’t a bad president. But if the stock market falls to 10,000, unemployment rises, and the deficit exceeds a trillion, I hope you will finally admit that Voodoo is never a solution.

      • Allie, you really need to do more reading, the hate is not from TRUMP supporters, it is those that lost the election that aren’t feeling the love. Think about the bakery that refused to do a wedding cake for a gay marriage that were forced out of business, this guy was telling Trump voters he didn’t want to serve them, I respect his right to refuse service, as I did the baker’s right to refuse…the ugliness is the double standard that is applied to both, why is he allowed to discriminate and stay in business and the baker’s had the fires of hell unleashed in them? The hypocrisy of the left is mind boggling!

        • Mitsuni, the lies and false information\news of the Trump surrogates and supporters, hardly make them not credible. And their fake news stories emitting out of Fox news, Breitbart, and other White Supremacist and White Nationalist, KKK, Evangelical Christian media outlets, make them all totally hypocritical, just as you are

        • Mits, did any trump supporters every get boot from this restaurant? Now the baker who refused to do a cake, based on constitutional rights, well that another story. Please don’t compare a and o.

        • Tonight’s 6 o’clock news reports that today was the restaurant’s busiest day ever. Tweak the Dumpster’s nasty supporters and stimulate our economy? Double win! #MAGA

        • DannoBoy, good for you, NanakuliBoss, Klastri, and Allie. I’m sure you all made his day by being the only patrons supporting a wife beater.

      • Uh-huh. Like all the rioting and violence from the Conservative camp when The Incompetent One won not once, but twice? And in the midst of all of the post-election violence, looting, and destruction, NOT ONCE did I ever hear obama, Hillary, or ANY Democrat call for an end to their destructive behavior. Instead, they remained smugly silent, sending a non-verbal seal of approval. Where were all the pleas for civility then? As I speak, Michael Moore is calling for disruption and protests during Trump’s inauguration. How can you even make such a statement with a straight face?

      • Allie, you talking about the ‘coercion and threats’ that Hillary campaign manager Podesta, Debbie Wasserman Shulz and other Democratic insiders used to guarantee Hillary would be the Democratic party nominee over Sanders and Gabbard? Don’t know if Putin and the Russians and a hand in hacking their emails, HOWEVER that does not justify their ‘coercion and threats’ they used to try to make Hillary President of the US. Like someone caught on a ‘hot mike’ they are responsible for their comments, even if it was meant to be private.

      • It’s not a relic of Germany 1940s, it is alive and well recently in the US South, where posters have gone up telling gay people are not welcome, or before the Civil Rights era, signs everywhere in the South and Midwest barred Blacks from their premises.

        • So you admit that you encourage and support a misogynist whom was recorded vulgarly abusing his wife in front of patrons inside his restaurant on numerous occasions. Bring your wife/GF/daughter, maybe you might win in court when the misogynist beats your wife/GF or daughter while dining there!

        • Geez. What happened to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Why flaunt it if you really want to buy something from a joint? Why fight about it, boycott it and walk away as the shop owner being the loser of a sale. Geez

      • IMO, they all are stunts! Look up the meaning of “stunt”. lol He’s creating controversies that’ll be talked about by word of mouth at the least. Notoriety for his joint, imo, there’s no need of these stance running a business. Running for office or a cause would be a better venue to state his views. Is he using his business to show his political views? He has the right too but then again… .

      • Vector, injected too much estrogen hormones up your a$$ again? Vector, no matter what you identify yourself as currently, you will always be a misogynist deep down inside your self hate-filled life. Go jump off a bridge already or go dine at your misogynist Cafe 8 1/2 buddy’s place.

      • @vector
        You still humiliated you LOST in a LANDSLIDE?
        I understand…well on a good note you got at least 4 years to get over it….maybe.
        btw…do you know a “ikefromeli”?

        January 20, 2017 #MAGA

        • But wait, Hillary won the popular vote. Did you hear me? She won the popular vote! Do you know what that means?
          Oh, that’s right – it means nothing.

        • There you are with your landscape lie again.

          Do you think that if you CAPITALIZE a lie often enough, it will become true by magic? It won’t.

        • TMJ…California won her the popular vote. Every candidate knew that the electoral vote determines the winner of the election. Oh, that’s right-it means nothing.

        • klastri, Trump won the electoral college by a landslide. I know you’re still delusional, why don’t you fly over to HitLIARy’s inauguration speech and wait for her. She promised you she would be there for you! LOL

  • The more important fact gleaned from this article, is that YELP really means little…after all it just processes opinions…and opinions are like ******* as the old saying goes, everybody has one.

        • Vector is Kalstri’s twin tranny sister, he/she/it get’s really nasty real quick by calling everyone a Nazi’s and racists the minute you post something that triggers his/her/it’s emotions even if not directly at him/her/it or whatever the F* Vector really is.

        • dragoninwater – Do you think it’s odd that you think about me and write about me so often? I sure do. I have never once thought about you. Never.

          Mental illness takes many forms.

        • klastri, not just I, but many remember you. We missed you on Nov 8 and many days afterwards. Everyone thought, you and ikeformeli drank the kool-aid laced with automobile antifreeze. Glad to see you back, we miss your humorous posts and insults at everyone. BTW, those suffering from mental illness have poor memory, as you’ve admitted, I have the memory of an elephant so you must be referring to your twin tranny sister Vector.

    • What’s more funny is most of the tourists here are from the mainland. For a state with an economy built on tourism, we do NOT need this type of negative publicity.

  • I ate there. The food is not good “Italian” of any kind. The owner/cook makes dishes up and has no formal training except from his family. I have tried Italian restaurants all over this country and no way can it even be deemed as such. Save you money and eat real good Italian the next time you are in San Francisco’s North Beach. Not only is the food not good, it is too expensive. For poor Italian cuisine, really too expensive.

    • It does not matter what kind of food this restaurant serves. Why would anyone want to eat there after seeing the photo of the owner/operator with a sleeveless t-shirt, arm pits exposed, greeting customers, working in the kitchen or serving food? It violates basic food sanitation rules everywhere, perhaps with the exception of Hawaii. It is enough to make a maggot vomit.

      • dragon, you belong back in Nazi Germany, where you can condemn whole groups of people based on their religion, race and beliefs. Your Karma will make you reincarnate as one of the victims of Nazi persecution, violence, murder, and extermination. You have this to learn about suffering and compassion

        • OMG you really are a nut job, Vector! Thanks for the laughter, I needed it today.

          Vector, don’t forget to visit and support the misogynist owner of Cafe 8 1/2 whom was recorded vulgarly abusing his wife in front of patrons inside his restaurant on numerous occasions. Bring your wife/GF/daughter, maybe you might win a free pasta dish in court when the misogynist beats your wife/GF or daughter while dining there!

  • reviews done before robert put up his hate filled sign expose his restaurant as filthy with roaches running across tables, leaking roof, dirty dishes stacked up and noxious odors from the drink prep area.

    the reviewers also list robert’s explicative filled verbal abuse of his wife and kitchen tantrums accented with tossing pots and pans.

    seems that robert is about to close up shop for lack of revenue and needs to deflect lenders’ attention away from his management failures and shift the blame somehow to trump supporters.

      • st1d is not lying. These are posted reviews I’ve also read on Yelp dating back many years. Go read the Yelp reviews yourself of patrons posting claims of domestic violence against his wife whom also works there. The reviews were also from patrons that have reputable local profiles of locals that actually reviewed many places so they definitely look legitimate.

      • these are just a sample of negative reviews on yelp posted prior to robert putting up his hate filled sign. the first 60-70 pages of reviews on yelp are posted after robert put up proof of his intolerance and hate. if you doubt the description of leaky roof, enlarge the photo in the article. you can plainly see the tarp hanging, bloated ceiling tiles, missing ceiling tiles. but, thank you, commentor2346 for proving that you never actually stepped into that rat trap to eat or you would have noticed what others did in their yelp reviews.

        7/24/2014
        but I would have paid triple that to stop hearing all the swearing and throwing going on in the kitchen.

        12/12/2013
        OK, the food was absolutely delicious BUT when I heard the chef cuss out one of his employees (apparently it’s his wife) I wanted to run away screaming. . . So so sad but I’ll never go back for moral reasons

        6/22/2016
        The ceiling is leaking, dirty dishes are everywhere, it’s cluttered, dark, and well…unsanitary. The thing that got me the most though, was the violent slamming of dishes and abusive yelling from the husband to his wife! . . . I don’t recommend supporting an establishment that isn’t clean and has a hostile environment.

        3/11/2015
        THREE COCKROACHES SCURRYING ACROSS YOUR TABLE AS YOU EAT.
        thought the worst part about the cafe was the garbage smell from the nearby dumpster outside, but once inside, decided it was the insta-fountain mix iced tea that made for a foul first impression. . . . I can forgive one roach. Turns out my limit at “what’s your threshold” is three. No puttanesca is THAT good. I loved the food, but I’ll never go back.

        4/14/2016
        The cook is some kind of crazed fiend!.  He slams pots and pans against the wall, screams, posts signs all over the place to warn people about his “kiss my a-s-s” attitude.   The restaurant is a total dump.  Seriously.  They should hire someone to clean it.  Prices are high for what you get.  Do NOT take a date here….doesn’t matter if the food is good, you have to consider what you’ll be exposing the other person to.  We shouldn’t have to apologize to our guests for bringing them to a restaurant that has so much negativity.  NADA  NADA NADA!!!!

  • What I love is how people now want being a Trump supporting racist boneheads to be a “protected class,” free from confrontation or criticism. Sorry you big babies, that’s not how anti-discrimination laws work. time to put on your big-person lederhosen.

  • This does not change my opinion of 8 1/2. Personally, I feel compelled not to patronize this establishment. It’s not comfortable going into an establishment that does not welcome those who may differ in…(choose an issue). By the way, “…recent Yelp comments came from the mainland”…well I am certainly not from the mainland and this is the first time I’ve come across a “local” business establishment treating potential clients this way. Definitely a bad business decision…sad.

  • One thing that I just noticed is all of the anti-trump posters revert to personal attacks and name calling. No civilized debate just, you’re a “racist, misogonist, psychotic, sexist, white supremist,, I’m sure others can provide more adjectives, but it just shows how impossible it is to have a discussion with them. (sorry if misspelled all these silly words, but you get my drift).

  • the owner says he’s not telling those who voted for trump they cannot eat there, yet the sign clearly said if you voted for trump you cannot eat there. perhaps this non-voting entrepreneur would have all trump voters wear a red T on their clothing so he’ll know who they are? hmmm. coupled with the no nazis thing. hmmm. maybe it takes one to know one, in this case. good thing he lives in the united states and his right to free speech is protected by the first amendment. in another country his attitude toward the duly elected leader might not be so tolerated. and let’s be clear about this, those first-amendment rights are american ideals.

  • You have only one chance to make a first impression. My first impression of this restaurant is DISGUSTING based on how the owner/operator is dressed. Open arms pits – sickening.

  • Ate bad pizza there when he doesn’t even serve pizza. Got attitude from multiple wait staff when it’s a two-person operation. Just more blatant lies from low-information voters. They’re so eager to show the world their okoles. Keep up your class act, Drumpfanzees!

    • I think everyone is clearly aware that the recent posts will state just about anything. Repeating the latest posts as of the news release is not entirely just as it doesn’t truly give one a good perspective of the owners past reputation. Go back to 2015 or 2014 in Yelp reviews and other review sites and you’ll spot quite a few shocking allegations of criminal misconduct by the owner. Even allegations of him committing domestic abuse towards his wife right in front of the patrons, whom also works there. These allegations were noted by HI locals that seem to have lengthy, active profiles with many reviews so the reviews seem legitimate. If in fact these posts are true, the district prosecuting attorney needs to open a criminal investigation of the domestic violence incidents and summon the reviews as evidence and reviewers as witnesses to prosecute him under domestic violence charges.

  • Good for Mr. Warner for posting the anti-Trump sign! The act of voting and the choice of candidate are voluntary actions that reveal the voter’s values and priorities. It’s a very different identifier from non-voluntary attributes such as race or gender or sexual preference or gender identification.

    • But supporting an exclusionary bigot is a choice you just made.
      Or can you only be a bigot if you lean right?
      Thus, in your view Hitler was a bigot, but good for Joe Stalin, the people he massacred deserved it.
      After all the bourgeoisie would have voted for Trump.

  • Restaurants and stores qualify as “public accommodations” even if they’re a private business. As such, discrimination laws apply just as much on private property and to private businesses as they do in any public place.

    Whether you post a sign or not, businesses never have the right to refuse or turn away customers because of their race, gender, age, nationality or religion or POLITICAL AFFILIATION. In addition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, several states have their own civil rights legislation designed to prevent discrimination.

    Time to sue and shut him down!