After Sarah Sanders controversy, Red Hen owner resigns from local business group
The owner of the Red Hen restaurant who kicked out White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has stepped down from her position with a local business group.
Stephanie Wilkinson submitted her resignation as the executive director of Main Street Lexington to Elizabeth Outland Branner, the president of the organization.
"Considering the events of the past weekend, Stephanie felt it best that for the continued success of Main Street Lexington, she should step aside," Branner wrote in an email.
Irina Vilarino, a Cuban-American restaurant owner, said other local business owners may not want to associate with Wilkinson because it’s not the best business savvy practice to isolate your customers.
“It’s not my place to determine what customers come in to my restaurant,” Vilarino said during an interview on FOX Business’ “The Evening Edit” on Tuesday. “I’m here to serve food.”
Vilarino, the owner of Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine in Miami, Florida, called Wilkinson’s actions against Sanders “un-American” and said she serve anyone who wants to dine at her restaurant, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“It’s morally incorrect. It’s un-American,” she said.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told FOX Business that Wilkinson further escalated the situation with his daughter by organizing an effort to scream at Sanders from the sidewalk of another restaurant where she was dining.
“You don’t show your hate, your bigotry, your animosity towards people who are your guests,” he said on Monday. “You open your door, you say, we’re open for business, then you treat people respectfully.”
Vilarino said the recent political discourse is invading every aspect of our lives and if people can’t go to a restaurant while wearing their political affiliations on their sleeves, than the U.S. will become like many of the countries where freedom of expression is prohibited.
“If we can’t go to a restaurant because we have a Trump hat or a Hillary [Clinton] hat on, then we are no better than third-world countries,” she said.