Four days after photos of Tank Noodle owners traveling to Washington, D.C. to attend a gathering supporting President Donald Trump surfaced online, members of the Ly family denied participating in the subsequent riots via a statement on Facebook. That post does not include an apology for attending the event.
Last week, a Trump rally to decertify Joe Biden’s Election Day victory turned violent with lawmakers forced to evacuate after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Five people died in relationship to the riot, including two U.S. Capitol Police officers. The House Committee on Homeland Security deemed Wednesday’s event a domestic terrorist attack and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may also have been a superspreader event.
Over the weekend, the Ly family — owners of Tank Noodle, a 20-year-old Vietnamese restaurant in Uptown — responded to nationwide criticism of their decision to travel to D.C. Ownership put up a Facebook post on Sunday condemning the insurrection and the death threats workers say they received over the phone.
“Like so many other Americans across our nation, we were deeply shocked, saddened, and offended when an angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol last Tuesday [sic],” Tank Noodle’s post reads.
The post acknowledges the family left as soon as the rally event ended and deny participation in the “disgraceful actions” that followed: “The nation needs healing and we will do our part to do the work,” the statement continues. “We ask the same of our fellow community members.”
The statement also reads: “If you choose to take your business elsewhere, we are sorry to lose you and thank you for your business.”
Posted around 11 a.m. on Sunday, the statement accumulated more than 180 comments in less than 24 hours. Some express support for Tank Noodle’s owners, but most say that while they don’t approve of threats to staff, they will no longer patronize the restaurant.
“I would support businesses whose political views differ from mine but not when they brag about trying to overthrow the government,” one commenter writes. “Your staff should not be harassed, that should go without saying. But you should also realize there are consequences for your actions and one of those consequences is the loss of long-time customers like me.”
Another commenter notes that officials have received death threats for some time. “And you are ok with that, right? In fact, you went to DC to support these threats, with the goal to overturn the election??? About violence, do you condemn the leadership that incited it?”
One comment shares: “Everyone has a right to their own beliefs. Deaths threats are unwarranted!”
But for others, the extremist symbols worn by rioters nullify the owner’s intentions.
“My people were gassed and persecuted and came to America to save themselves. I don’t care if you were only there to peacefully protest,” one person writes. “The fact that allying with leaders and people who think that this is okay is more than enough... We’ll never use violence against you or your property. We’re just going to peacefully protest it.”
And in other news...
— A pair of Chicago chefs appeared on the latest episode of Food Network’s Supermarket Stakeout. Both Jamie Gilmore (Lizzy J’s Cafe) and Phillipe Sobon (Polombia) were among four chefs who competed in the game show that requires contestants to create meals based on buying random groceries already purchased by customers wheeling their carts out of store. The title of the episode, “Carnivores Unite” centered around chefs cooking up meaty meals. Gilmore was eliminated in the first round after making Thai lettuce cups. Sobon lasted one more around and was done in during the bento box stage.
— Chicken, fish, and barbecue spot Uncle Remus & Guilty Pleasurez Bakery in Austin is back open after a fire in September, according to a Facebook post. The fire extensive damage to the building at 4731 W. Madison Street.
— Passover is still months away, but Chicago already has plenty of great matzo balls to go around, according to a roundup from the Chicago Reader. Top contenders include buzzy modern Jewish delis Jeff & Judes in Ukrainian Village and Rye Deli and Drink in West Loop.