Bon appétit, let’s go eat!
A New Zealand restaurant is booked and busy after a local shopkeeper told visitors not to eat there because it was owned by a gay American couple.
Ken Miller and Jason Brumbaugh are the owners of Saluté in Greytown, Wairarapa on New Zealand’s North Island. While the pair is doing what they love, according to an online review, the locals on the island were not supporting the establishment in a display of outright homophobia.
“We were told that it was owned by two gay men from America and that ‘locals don’t eat there,'” a tourist named Alexia Black wrote in a review that has since gone viral. “When we asked what was wrong with the food we were told they couldn’t comment as they hadn’t eaten there in over a year, but that we should drive to the next town, Carteton, for lunch.”
Black went on to say that the local who was dispersing the advice commented that it was a “real shame” and she “hoped something nice could be done with the place in future.”
“So of course these queers walked straight into Saluté,” Black continued.
According to Black the “food, atmosphere and service were all fantastic.” After explaining the situation to the manager, she discovered they had been struggling with similar attitudes for quite some time.
“Asking to speak to the manager, we sat him down and told him what had happened,” wrote Black.“He wasn’t surprised at all, and the quiet emotion in his eyes showed us they had been battling for a while and it hurt deeply.”
Black says that “we told him we’d loved our meal and would be back, and apologised to him for the way they have been treated in NZ.”
“If you love great food and hate bigotry and small mindedness, book a table at Saluté and show these lovely men that Aotearoa is no place for hate,” she concluded.
Prospective customers wasted little time taking Black’s advice. Within hours the post had gone viral, with people worldwide wanting to wine and dine at the tapas bar.
“It’s been extraordinary to see the response of people,” Miller told the New Zealand Herald. He and his husband say they were overwhelmed by the support and positivity.
“We’ve had such an outpouring of support, with people telling us that this is not New Zealand,” he said. “We agree with it. When we left the US, we chose New Zealand because we love it so much. This is the NZ we fell in love with. It’s overwhelming in a beautiful way.”