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People Are Harassing The Wrong “Red Hen” Restaurant After Another With The Same Name Refused To Serve Sarah Sanders

The Red Hen in Washington, DC, has spent the last few days trying to explain to people that two different restaurants can have the same name and not be part of a chain.

Posted on June 25, 2018, at 2:20 p.m. ET

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant called the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, on Friday night "because I work for [President Donald Trump]," she said on Twitter.

Alex Wong / Getty Images, Google Maps

Sanders said she "politely left" the Red Hen after the owner told her to leave.

On Saturday morning, a second restaurant called the Red Hen, located in Washington, DC, tweeted out that it is not affiliated with the Red Hen that refused to serve Sanders.

Alysa Turner, the communications director for the DC-based Red Hen, told BuzzFeed News that the restaurant hoped to get ahead of the news because the two Red Hen restaurants do get mixed up from time to time."We had already heard from the Virginia restaurant because we do occasionally get mixed up with the other one," Turner said. "We found out about it very, very early, which I’m grateful for."
Twitter: @RedHenDC

Alysa Turner, the communications director for the DC-based Red Hen, told BuzzFeed News that the restaurant hoped to get ahead of the news because the two Red Hen restaurants do get mixed up from time to time.

"We had already heard from the Virginia restaurant because we do occasionally get mixed up with the other one," Turner said. "We found out about it very, very early, which I’m grateful for."

The replies to the Red Hen's tweet, however, have been an absolute disaster. Turner has spent the last few days trying her best to explain to trolls how two different restaurants could have the same name and not be part of a chain.

It wouldn't even be legal for a DC-based restaurant to refuse service for political affiliation, which Turner pointed out.

The Red Hen has even been pulled into several conspiracy theories.

Which they're trying to handle as best they can.

Some people on Twitter are just tagging both Red Hens for the hell of it. It's a mess.

Turner told BuzzFeed News that while the replies may seem funny to people following along on Twitter, she's very aware that it could result in real-life violence.

Turner said that she's aware of the similarities between what's happening with the Red Hen right now and what happened as a result of the "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory in December 2016. Far-right internet trolls inspired Edgar Maddison Welch, a 28-year-old from North Carolina, to go into a DC-based pizzeria with an assault rifle and fire three shots.

"The DC restaurant industry is small and close," Turner said. "It’s a lot easier for everyone outside of our community to see the humor in it."

She said that police have been monitoring the restaurant throughout the weekend. And she said that she expects police to continue monitoring the restaurant after President Donald Trump tweeted about the Virginia-based Red Hen on Monday morning.

Turner said that no one has been hurt so far, but the restaurant was egged Sunday night.

She said the responses haven't been all bad, but even people who are supporting the Red Hen in Virginia for refusing service to Sanders are mixing up the two restaurants and tweeting support at the DC-based Red Hen.

"Once we switched from just trying to say, ‘No that's not us’ — once we switched from that — to a little sass, we started to get people reaching out," Turner said.

The harassment has been intense, though, with many people refusing to imagine a world where two different unrelated restaurants could have the same name.

Turner said that she's most grateful for the people trying to spread the word that they aren't the Red Hen in Virginia.

"Those are the ones that I’m appreciating the most," she said.

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