White House

Napa Restaurant Confused for Press Secretary's ‘Red Hen'

A case of mistaken identity has one Bay Area restaurant caught in the cross-fire between the White House and the people.

People have confused Red Hen Bar & Grill, located just north of Napa, to the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia that reportedly asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave its establishment.

The owner of the Napa restaurant says he has received angry phone calls, emails and criticism online after being confused with the Lexington, Virginia, restaurant. 

"I was amazed by all the negativity people came up with, I couldn't believe it," said Norm Sawicki.

Sawicki says business has been down since Sanders tweeted that she was told by the owner of the Red Hen that she had to "leave because I work for (at)POTUS and I politely left.''

"I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so,'' Sanders said in the tweet from her official account, which generated 22,000 replies in about an hour.

The restaurant's co-owner Stephanie Wilkinson told The Washington Post that her staff had called her to report Sanders was at the restaurant. She said several restaurant employees were gay and knew Sanders had defended Trump's desire to bar transgender people from the military.

Comments left on the Napa Red Hen's Yelp page filled with both mistaken hate and support for the owner.

"I will not patronize any of Red Hen Restaurant or any restaurant who won't treat any customer who would give them business the respect and service they deserve," wrote one commenter, Zeny M. of Pittsburg.

Another Yelp reviewer wrote: "They are now in the middle of a political firestorm, which I don't care about. If I roll through there again, I will eat there again."

Sawicki says he hopes the restaurant will bounce back to normal after all the attention has died down.

His restaurant wasn't the only "Red Hen" that was caught in the political storm. Other Red Hen restaurants in New Jersey, Washington D.C. and Connecticut were also affected.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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