Accusations of racist overtones in Donald Trump’s election were bolstered on the evening of Nov. 21 when a group of neo-Nazis threw a party at a popular D.C. eatery.
Maggiano’s Little Italy, a restaurant in the fashionable Friendship Heights neighborhood in the nation’s capital, inadvertently reserved space for a white nationalist event, complete with guests who praised Adolf Hitler, reports The Washington Post.
The group in question was the National Policy Institute, a racist organization devoted to white supremacy. The group held the special dinner to celebrate Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election. Demonstrators gathered at Maggiano’s to protest the event, but were forced out by police.
Maggiano’s, a nationwide chain with 51 locations, was quick to issue a Facebook post on the matter.
CEO Steve Provost’s statement began with an apology for the protest. “On Friday night, Maggiano’s in Friendship Heights was the inadvertent site of a protest that caused us to close our restaurant to protect the safety of our Teammates and Guests,” he wrote.
Provost explained that the reservation had been a mistake:
"The protesters were upset because of a banquet we were hosting for a group called the National Policy Institute (NPI). This was a last minute booking made Friday afternoon, and the reservation was made under a different name, therefore we were not aware that NPI was dining with us or what the group represents. After the event, an attendee sent a tweet in which she made a “Sieg Heil salute” in support of Hitler and white supremacy. This expression of support of Hitler is extremely offensive to us, as our restaurant is home to Teammates and Guests of every race, religion and cultural background."
Provost concluded by noting that all profits from the day’s sales would be donated to the D.C. office of the Anti-Defamation League.