No Breakfast For You: Red Hen Kicks Out Sarah Sanders And Her Family [UPDATED]

SarahHuckabeeSandersRecently we discussed the disturbing protest carried out at the MXDC restaurant against Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.   Members of Congress like Rep. Jackie Speier (D., Cal.) defended the protesters in disrupting the restaurant and forcing Nielsen to leave.  It was a sad statement on the utter loss of any sense of civility in our current political discourse.  Now, the owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia is at the center of this debate after throwing out White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and her family from breakfast.  Many liberals celebrated the rude denial of service by the owners while conservatives have directed their anger at the restaurant.  Much of the criticism has been misdirected against the Red Hen in D.C. which has gone to pains to point out that they are not associated with the Lexington Red Hen.  Many critics on Yelp and other sites have unleashed on the restaurant.  The co-owner responsible for the decision was Stephanie Wilkinson. Wilkinson founded the restaurant with John Blackburn, who reportedly named the restaurant after his favorite childhood story.  Wilkinson is reportedly the founder and publisher of Brain, Child magazine. She lists herself as a co-owner of the restaurant.  UPDATE: Wilkinson says that she is proud of her actions and would do it again.

Friday night, Jaike Foley-Schultz, a waiter at The Red Hen, posted on Facebook that “I just served Sarah huckabee sanders for a total of 2 minutes before my owner kicked her out along with 7 of her other family members…”

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Sanders confirmed that “Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”

Sarah Sanders@PressSec

Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so

 The defense of such disgraceful conduct by liberals is itself shocking.  Presumably Rep. Speier and others would be put out if they were denied service due to their political beliefs. Indeed, this double standard is the subject of an earlier column.
Wilkinson lists herself as a graduate of Dartmouth with a B.A. in English Literature and a Ph.D., European & American Religious History from the University of Virginia. She also lists herself as Executive Director of “Main Street Lexington.”

The website for Main Street Lexington states:

“Main Street Lexington exists to enhance the economic prosperity and cultural vitality of our community, re-establishing downtown Lexington as the vibrant economic and cultural nexus of our area while maintaining its unique character.”

It is a curious approach for either economic development or managing a restaurant to tell conservatives that they are not welcomed.  Lexington is an area with many conservatives as well as liberals.  With marginal profits at many business, particularly restaurants, this inhospitable message for conservatives cannot be a good business plan.

Wilkinson is shown at executive director on the site.

I have been highly critical of Trump and his Administration.  However, I find this action to be incredibly offensive and wrongheaded.  I would feel that same if Rep. Speier were chased from a restaurant by a conservative owner.  Once again, we seem to have lost any sense of restraint and civility in our politics.  Extremists on both sides claim license to say and do most anything vis-a-vis their opponents.  There is a sense of utter release in these actions — the right to act in the most monstrous or menacing ways because you believe that you are right and they are wrong.  You can denounce Trump for petty and childish attacks and then engage in the very same conduct in response.  And so it continues on and on and on.  It is the impunity of action that comes with being right.

I would not go to the Red Hen any more than I would go to a restaurant that refused to serve Rep. Speier.  It is simple matter of courtesy and civility.

Update: The original column correctly noted that “[p]revious stories identified the co-owners as John Blackburn and Stephanie Wilkinson” while noting that it was unclear who were the other co-owners of the restaurant at this time.  It has since come out that Blackburn gave up his ownership a three or four years ago.  The original story said that it appeared likely that it was Wilkinson who is referenced by Sanders and, when Wilkinson confirmed her role, the column was updated.  While one of the two founders with Wilkinson (and the person who named the restaurant), Blackburn however gave up his interest in the Red Hen in 2014 and has complained that he is receiving considerable backlash from the story. That was obviously not our intention when we shared the information on the prior ownership information. He now appears to be in the unenviable position as the many other Red Hen restaurants receiving blowback after Wilkinson’s actions.  As noted in the column, what was missing in the Wilkinson’s actions was civility and understanding. The same failure of judgment can be found in those who are attacking third parties like Blackburn.  While the story would have still referenced Blackburn as a founder with Wilkinson, there was no intention to add to Blackburn’s burden in reporting what information we could find on the restaurant’s ownership history.

720 thoughts on “No Breakfast For You: Red Hen Kicks Out Sarah Sanders And Her Family [UPDATED]”

  1. When civilized debate becomes a non-starter, the only recourse left to adjudicate difference is violence, either directly or indirectly.

    1. Agree. 100%. And the world has turned topsy-turvy when it’s considered bad manners to call out liars and fascists. Oh brother.

        1. Maybe the three of you can coordinate with a mentor like Maxine Waters.
          She, better than anyone, is perfectly suited as an advisor to your testy little group.
          She can act as spokeswoman, too, if you’re going for that high intellectual level of political rhetoric.

    2. Oh? Another keyboard warrior? In real life, you won’t and don’t say anything to anybody. You’re merely a timid, frightened, small-minded, intolerant, klan-lite wannabee who wants the world to slow down and for “those people” to be put back into their place because they’re too “uppity.” Amiright? I thought so. Pro tip: order up some more cammo underwear and canned goods, You too, make me puke.

      this is to “but I also picked up some bottled water and batteries for the radio” some weird guy

      1. The foolish man attacks with mouth and stick, while the wise man responds with flowers of condolence to the next of kin . . .

          1. Now Now Dear, we discussed this, Terms of endearment are a private thing. I know you ‘Love’ me for you have no room in your heart for anything else, but at times you do get a little foolish, you need not tell the whole world, it is enough that I know . . .

      2. Mark, anyone that knows you would know nothing would stop you from peeing in their food if you were serving them. You wouldn’t do it in the open because you are: Another keyboard warrior? In real life, you won’t and don’t say anything to anybody. You’re merely a timid, frightened, small-minded, intolerant, klan-lite wannabee who wants the world to slow down and for “those people” to be put back into their place because they’re too “uppity.”

  2. Nick Spinelli. I love your posts. You hit the mail right on the head. These liberal /left wack jobs are getting Donald Trump re- elected.

    1. Shhh, Independent Bob. Don’t let the Liberal/ left wack jobs to know that people can’t stand the way the leftists are acting today. The number of Deplorables grow every time the wacky left opens its mouth.

    2. Thanks, Bob. It’s no coincidence the far leftists are attacking Republican women. They’re the women hater/abusers led by Hillary.

  3. The free market will decide if this restaurant stays open, but for the right to have their pearls clutched and get the vapors over how they get picked on is hypocrisy. I don’t remember people getting punched and spit on at HRC rallies. Or to have the candidate order them out because of a t-shirt or sign. They have reaped what they have sowed. And there is one thing that history has taught us is, fascists and totalitarian leaders don’t like to be questioned.

    1. So, Sarah Huckabee Sanders gets to see what discrimination feels like. Now she knows how a lesbian family would be treated in Arkansas with her father’s approval and the law’s protection. Call me when she learns something from it.

      As for her father who accused the restauranteur of hatred, loving someone doesn’t mean loving everything they do. Your daughter enabled the permanent separation of families and the subsequent violation of due process. The restauranteur didn’t approve of Sarah’s actions. It really is a case of “Love the Sinner; Hate the Sin.”

      1. Now she knows how a lesbian family would be treated in Arkansas with her father’s approval and the law’s protection. Call me when she learns something from it.

        When has her father ever advocated public confrontations with people?

      2. “Your daughter enabled the permanent separation of families and the subsequent violation of due process.”

        Obama enabled the permanent separation of families for 8 years and the pictures shown demonstrated that separation. The original pictures were taken during the Obama administration.

        Less than 2 years in office Trump wrote an executive order to keep families together.

        These separations happen because there is money to be made south of the border smuggling children and drugs while those same children are raped and used as slaves. That is the result of a border policy that permits illegal entry into our country. Stop illegal entry and the children will no longer be raped and murdered on the way to our border. There is a way to legally enter this nation and it has been used for decades. It works.

        1. Another kellyanne pivot. Dismissed. Wean yourself from hannity; you’ll thank me for it eventually.

          this is to “but who knew how complicated electing a totalitarian wannabee would be?” allan

          1. Mark, you are repeating yourself. I prefer to hear how you pee in someone’s food and then hide.

  4. In other acts of stupidity, there was a restaurant in Sedro-Woolley two years ago that caused a row when they refused to serve LEOs. The Skagit County Sheriff confirmed that one of his deputies was emphatically refused service on the pretense that their customers felt uncomfortable with police officers there. He spread the news to other LEAs and soon the public found out. Their declaration ended badly for the restaurant and they quickly became the pariah of the county. The restaurant later apologized and eventually the public accepted this.

    1. Mrs. Sanders left to satisfy the wishes of the owner, and in that, she did the right thing. I do not care for disagreement capitalism, but I think it is better than the alternative, in which businesses are forced to enter into transactions with almost everyone.

      Sure, boycotts may follow (disagreement capitalism), but I hope there will be new supporters of the business, such that it survives. This way, both sides would have had their say without economically harming the business and its employees.

  5. Sarah Sanders has remained a class act in the face of truely vicious attacks from the Left. Like any mean girl bully, they have even mocked her looks.

    It is not shocking that this happened. Shock would mean it was completely unexpected, like if a roping kid was impolite. This behavior is routine. It is not the same on both sides, because the media is Liberal. With that PR powerhouse behind them, Antifa is labeled beneficial and non violent, universities are encouraged to intimidate and harass conservative students, the FBI, DOJ, NSA, and IRS all target conservatives with impunity.

    What would be the term for efforts to turn a country into a Single Party state, to erode individual rights in favor of a big government for the common good, as determined by The Party, and encouraging violence or criminalizing dissent? Fascism.

    Just because the Left claims to oppose Fascism doesn’t make it so. To them, it’s a term for any party or individual who opposes them. They can’t have that, can they? It is they who most closely align with the requirements of the term.

    God help us when an ultra hard Left wing candidate wins the Presidency. They would have the entire government machine behind them, down to the alphabet soup. Maybe in our lifetimes we’ll end up like Venezuela, our advantages ruined, and prisons full of political prisoners.

    Migrants flee corrupt socialist regimes to capitalist democracies. Yet the Left hates Capitalism and is enamored of Socialist and Communist regimes.

    1. The dystopian Venezuela IS our future Karen. Sad to say. I sacrificed my time to serve–all to live to see the day when it was all thrown in the garbage can.

      If all those people who died to build this country can see it now—they would’ve packed up bags and moved to Mars. Mars is more hospitable than what America will become.

    2. Haha. Ya, law enforcement has always been a hotbed of liberal activism. I’m sorry for your loss of reality. Pro tip: Pravda Faux News is not trying to inform you.

      this is to “but that hannity feller is sho a looker” karen

  6. Regarding Co-owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA, Stephanie Wilkinson….

    go after her children Isabel and Harry, and husband Duncan Richter, just like the leftist do to Trump employees. see how that feels, beatches

    “Stephanie Wilkinson loves reading, eating, knitting, and starting businesses. She co-founded Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers in 2000, co-founded The Red Hen restaurant in downtown Lexington in 2008, and helped launch Main Street Lexington, a non-profit dedicated to local business and cultural enhancement in 2013. Stephanie learned to knit and crochet at age seven from a maiden aunt, but she still feels she has a lot to learn. She and her husband, Duncan Richter, a philosophy professor with a wicked sense of humor, have lived in Lexington since 1995. They have two children, Isabel and Harry.”

    Dr. Duncan J. Richter
    Ph.D. – University of Virginia
    225 Scott Shipp Hall

    Tables have turned, sweepy! LOL

    Post on Facebook, Twitter and everywhere possible, to protect the USA out of moral conviction. 😘

    1. Kind of explains it. Their friends are UVa faculty. She hasn’t a clue as to how repulsive this sort of behavior is to normal people.

      1. My bad. Her husband’s at VMI, whose faculty is likely a great deal closer to the national median. My guess would be that his department teaches classes for distribution credits.

        1. we live near Lexington, VA 1 hour east…our entire state is very conservative, lots of Confederate Flags and they love Civil War History.

          Western parts of Virginia especially Lex / Blue Ridge Pkwy in VA isn’t nearly as liberal as the MSM is painting it. All things Virginia except NoVa is very proud of the Civil War. This restaurant will lose its business fast. Lex is the home of VMI where Confederate monuments are spit polished and history thrives on the streets

          1. Isn’t it interesting that for eight years under Obama, no one had any problem with the Confederate statues? Then Trump is elected and all of a sudden everything is offensive and statues must be torn down or removed and absolutely everything Trump does must be RESISTED. Unbelievable.

            1. Remember when ISIS was destroying ancient monuments and statues? It seems the left of today has some of the same bad habits as ISIS.

    2. Inconvenient Truth,…
      – Additionally, the confrontation with Nielsen seemed pre-arranged.
      By a largely identifiable group. If evolving social mores leans toward more of this kind of behavior as a legitimate form of commentary or “feedback”, there’s nothing to really prevent organized targeting/ heckling of the DOJ folks and others who targeted Neilsen when they go out.
      Once that door is opened, the ultimate fallout and blowback from these stunts can be hard to predict.

      1. There are networks of “organizers” (Obama’s real legacy) and activists all over the country and in DC. One of them was dining in the same Mexican restaurant as Secretary Neilson and when he spotted her he then took a photo with his phone and texted out an emergency protest alert asking any and all available protestors to show up at the restaurant. And the mob showed up and got to work. Then they showed up at her home the next morning.

      1. Her children are ages 17 and 20. When someone suggests they be raped by paedophiles, you get back to us.

      2. Oh so children are off limits? Why don’t you tell the leftist fascist mob? Since the MSM doesn’t report what is really happening, I’m wondering if you know that the protest mob showed up not just at the restaurant Homeland Secretary Neilson was dining at, but then the mob also showed up at her home to harass her as well?

        Have you seen Hollywood actor Peter Fonda’s sick Tweets directed at harming Barron Trump by putting him in a cage with pedophiles? Or the threat made about coming after Don Jr’s kids? Or Sarah Sanders? Or the vile personal attacks and hatred directed at Ivanka and her young family? Or the online mob giving out personal addresses and phone numbers of Trump administration members encouraging protestors to go and harass them at their homes? None of it is okay. None of it. And ALL of it is coming from the left. You know, because Love trumps hate.

        1. Surprisingly, Peter Fonda did not suggest that his sister throw Barron into a Vietnamese prison..



    Huckabee-Sanders is an earnest girl trying to succeed at an impossible job. She can’t possibly speak for Trump without supporting lies.

    There was no crisis at the border. Not until Trump created one. There was nothing wrong with NAFTA. Nothing wrong with NATO. Nothing wrong with G-7, Merkel or Trudeau.

    With Trump we have reeled from one false narrative to another. And false narratives require lies to support. That’s why Huckabee-Sanders is getting ostracized. She’s becomes the face of false narratives.

    No American adult, with any common sense, can say this president is normal. Trump is long past the point of dangerous megalomaniac. And that’s why liberals are getting rowdy. That’s why DeNiro was applauded at the Tony Awards. He openly expressed how half the country feels.

    Trump is the drunk driver of a tour bus. We must remove him from the drivers seat! The situation is perilous. Trump must be forcibly yanked while someone grabs the wheel. But it can only be done if Republicans assist. For now they are enabling an intoxicated driver.

    1. “Huckabee-Sanders is an earnest girl trying”

      What a chauvinist pig you are. Huckabee-Sanders is a woman or did you not notice?

      “There was no crisis at the border. Not until Trump created one.”

      That is right. Trump exists and therefore he is the cause. Some of the photos released demonstrating the severe crisis we were facing were taken during the Obama administration and used as if they were taken during the Trump administration. This is the type of lunacy we hear from the left that doesn’t care about the truth or children.

      “With Trump we have reeled from one false narrative to another.”

      That is right with Trump it was revealed by the IG report and other reports that there was severe corruption from the Obama administration and the leadership of the FBI. The left and the FBI leadership have reeled from one false narrative to another.

      “That’s why DeNiro was applauded at the Tony Awards. ”

      He was applauded by a bunch of overpaid actors and actresses that scorn the regular American that has provided them with such fame. They talk about conservation and the planet but look at how they live. Huge homes with huge carbon footprints and private planes all over the world eating gas at a rate that huge numbers of Americans never use but are told to conserve.

      Peter, you represent garbage and without fact or evidence just spew out whatever you think sounds good. I think the regular American public including those that vote democratic have had enough of your type.

      1. I’ve never cared about Hollywood’s political opinions, especially their laments about capitalism.

        Famous actors get to wear couture and rivieras of diamonds, often on loan for free. Ateliers fight for access to them. They get free swag bags often worth upwards of $35,000. They are famous because a capitalist economy gives fans the opportunity to buy tickets. There aren’t a lot of movies in socialist regimes, unless it’s our-dictator-is-great-rah-rah propaganda. They have sycophants and assistants at their elbow, and burly armed security guards at their backs. They live behind walls monitored by security companies. On set, they demand their particular brand of water, and bowls of only red and orange M&Ms, or quinoa, or whatever culinary whim they want. They have personal trainers and designer bags. Very few of them are doing Hamlet or Dostoevsky.

        And they want to lecture the working people on politics? As Rene Russo said in Get Shorty, I doubt they even know their own social security numbers. They are insulated from many of the crushing hurdles to employers. When high taxes drove filming out of California, they just jumped on their chartered jet and felt awed at the scenery of New Zealand.

        1. Lately, I don’t even find the movies to be much of anything. However, I do note that I find some foreign films to have merit even though their performers aren’t paid that much.

          Karen, if you have a chance see the Hungarian movie “1945”. It played only a short time and probably wasn’t seen by that many though IMO it was one of the best films I have seen in recent years.

    2. Huckabee-Sanders is an earnest girl tryin

      She doesn’t hyphenate her name, twit.

      The ‘earnest girl trying’ is a 35 year old mother of three who has worked in different aspects of public relations for 13 years.

      She’d be much more respectable if she were a perpetual student, changed careers every 2 or 3 years, had 8-digit gifts shoved down her throat, and worked for a money-laundering operation founded by her grifter parents.

  8. In a restaurant, you must serve blacks, women, all manner of ethnics and even Alaskan Aleuts under a tortured view of the Commerce Clause but you can refuse Republicans a meal. This is the well-intentioned madness wrought by the SCOTUS in trying to press the envelope of social evolution to its liking. How’s it working out, Dr. Frankenstein?

    1. It was well-intentioned in 1964. It stopped being well-intentioned re the labor market around about 1971 and in re higher education in 1978 if not earlier. In regard to suffrage, around the time of the 1982 redistricting if not earlier. In re legislative acts generally, around about 1996 with the Romer decision. It just gets worse every year. What amazes me is that appellate judges are largely unmolested in this country.

  9. Isn’t this a type of discrimination? Discrimination against a person because of his/her political affiliation? Why is this any different from the situation involving the cake shop owner? Of course anyone with a sense of civility should avoid the “Red Hen”.

    Why should Secretary Nielsen be harassed when she goes out to a restaurant or is in the sanctuary of her own home?

    How can democrats seem to be supporting completely open borders? Is there no concern for the possibility the influx might include terrorists?

    In my mind, the country is in a state of anarchy and we are all involved in a non-shooting(yet) civil war!

  10. From another perspective, as a customer why would I patronize a restaurant that shows a propensity to throw out and shame customers for arbitrary reasons? It’s not a place I would choose especially if I have invited others for a dinner party.

    1. This restaurant incident is worse than that. Generally, if something bad is going to happen most reasonable people will do it without children around. This restauranteur acted this scene out in front of children. It demonstrates how low some people truly are and the problem is that this is becoming more common.

  11. Red Hen “co-owner” (as Stephanie Wilkinson styles herself) just added fuel to a blaze of extremist self-righteous anger that might spiral out of control in our nation.

    She publicly justified this action out of what she says is her concern for “honesty, compassion and cooperation”, but I don’t recall hearing or reading about her asking any Senate Democrats to leave her establishment. Thus, those concerns are partisan and likely bogus.

    I hope she likes what happens next. This can’t end well for anyone but the extremists on both sides, who utterly lack consciences and common sense.

  12. The Red Hen might as well close today. They won’t be in business very long after this major blunder. Every restaurant owner across the nation is cringing at her behavior.

  13. Maybe we should thank Red Hen and those who defend their actions for the precedent they are setting. Now anyone should be able to kick out LGBTQIP people without any fear of law suits or protests. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way in the minds of libs and Dems.

  14. I like this idea of violating the Civil Rights of  American Citizens and symbolically jackbooting them in front of their children because of their political beliefs, but why stop at taking away their cheese sticks?  Why not take their lives instead? It’s all the same thing and a lot more effective message for “the cause.”

    1. You don’t have a civil right to a meal in a restaurant. Suspect classes have a statutorily-defined right, which is regrettable in most circumstances.

  15. I’m in me, me mode

    You really do not feel obligated to check facts before posting,
    You posters evidently don’t feel obligated to read what I said, either. So there!

    1. You don’t feel obligated to stick to your handles, Diane. Because puerile.

      1. I’ll meet Nutchaha in the alleyways of Juarez, Mexico where Nutchaha punks for pesos.

      2. Nii said, “You don’t feel obligated to stick to your handles, Diane. Because puerile.”

        OFCOLA. Wrong again, Nii. And it’s not flattering this time, either. Check the damned time stamps next time. 5:31 PM and 6:02 PM. L4D has never posted at those times.

        P. S. Who doesn’t know that The Little Red Hen is an anarchist fable?

      3. While you’re at it, Nii, check the post below for comparison and see how well the last two sentences comport with your objection that L2 didn’t bother to read what you had said.


        June 23, 2018 at 3:17 PM

        There are (at least) three completely separate entities called The Red Hen on the East Coast: one in Lexington, VA, one in Washington, DC, and one in Swedesboro, NJ. They are not related at all, and have no common ownership. You really do not feel obligated to check facts before posting, do you? Your arrogance is completely unjustified.

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