Restaurant owner who banned customers in MAGA hats takes back remarks, apologizes for 'amplifying the anger'

The restaurateur who said earlier this week that he would be refusing to serve anyone wearing MAGA hats has apologized for making the statement without the consent of his staff and partners, and for being “reckless” in the way he had presented his thoughts.

J. Kenji López-Alt, the chef and owner of Wursthall in San Mateo, Calif., shared his latest message on Medium.com on Friday, and apologized for the way he communicated his initial Twitter remarks, in which he said, “It hasn’t happened yet, but if you come to my restaurant wearing a MAGA cap, you aren’t getting served, same as if you come in wearing a swastika, white hood, or any other symbol of intolerance and hate.”

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López-Alt also claimed the original tweet, which has since been deleted, was meant to “reject” the anger, hate, and violence he says he associated with the red “Make American Great Again” hats.

“It was aimed at these three elements rather than at a physical object, but I understand that many interpreted my words in a different context, and construed a message of hate directed at them. This was not my intent in any way, and I am sorry for my recklessness.,” López-Alt wrote via Medium.com, in part.

“Unfortunately the way I tried to communicate this ended up only amplifying the anger, and I apologize for that.”

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He added that the restaurant would not be following through on his initial statements, in which he said he would be refusing service to those wearing MAGA hats.

“Wursthall will continue, as it always has, to serve all customer regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual preference, gender orientation, disability, or political opinion — so long as they leave hate, anger, and violence outside of the doors of our restaurant.”

The owner of Wursthall said the restaurant would not be following through on his initial statements, in which he said he would be refusing service to those wearing MAGA hats.

The owner of Wursthall said the restaurant would not be following through on his initial statements, in which he said he would be refusing service to those wearing MAGA hats. (Google Maps)

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Lopez-Alt had first posted the controversial tweet last weekend, though it was removed as of Thursday. He had also tweeted, “MAGA hats are like white hoods except stupider because you can see exactly who is wearing them,” in a post that has also been removed.

He had also said that since he put up the first tweet, his business has received threatening emails, but he refused to change his mind.

In his latest remarks, López-Alt said that he, himself, comes from a diverse family that has differing political opinions, although they are nonetheless united by “family, a love for our country, and most importantly, respect for each other and our communities.”

Alexandra Deabler and the Associated Press contributed to this report.