After speaking with Eric Trump, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday called for stricter discipline against the Aviary server who allegedly spit on the son of President Donald Trump. Lightfoot called Tuesday night’s incident at the posh Fulton Market bar “repugnant” and said “this isn’t about politics, this is about civility.”
The server, only identified as a young woman, was placed on leave by Aviary’s parent company, the Alinea Group — the company known for acclaimed restaurants like Alinea and Next Restaurant. Law enforcement agents kept the server in custody for two hours on Tuesday night after she, as Eric Trump and the Trump Organization described to various media, spit in his face while he was customer at the upscale cocktail lounge. Eric Trump did not file charges against her. Lightfoot called Eric Trump “very gracious” for that decision. The mayor added that the Aviary should “take appropriate action against this employee.”
“We may not agree,” Lightfoot told reporters on Thursday. “And in my case I don’t agree with a lot of things that President Trump stands for. Our values are different. But you cross the line when you assault someone.”
Not everyone agreed with the mayor, as Chicago’s restaurant and bar industry raged privately on social media over how far they’d bend to ensure good hospitality for a polarizing customer like Eric Trump. Some restaurant owners and chefs claimed they’d offer the Aviary worker a job if she was fired. Others claimed good service was the No. 1 priority for all customers no matter what.
Meanwhile on Thursday afternoon, a GoFundMe page that misled the public into thinking it was raising money for the Aviary worker was taken offline. It was a hoax. In a series of Facebook posts, a Chicago woman claimed she worked at the Aviary and that she was fired and needed money. She then linked to the GoFundMe page on her Facebook profile. Alinea Group’s Nick Kokonas emailed and wrote that his company asked GoFundMe to take the page down. The page went up on Wednesday and raised a little more than $5,000 by Thursday morning. The organizer told Block Club Chicago that he was duped by the fake server and would refund donations.
- Lightfoot: Spitting at Eric Trump ‘repugnant’ because ‘civility matters’ [Sun-Times]
- Mayor calls for Aviary owners to ‘take appropriate action’ in Eric Trump spitting case; GoFundMe account taken offline [Tribune]
- Fundraiser For Woman Who Claims To Have Spat On Eric Trump Raises $5K, But She’s Not Actually The Spitter [Block Club Chicago]