Virginia Restaurant Refuses Service to Christian Group, Citing Staff ‘Dignity’

“We have always refused service to anyone for making our staff uncomfortable or unsafe and this was the driving force behind our decision,” read an Instagram post from Metzger Bar and Butchery, a German-influenced restaurant in the Union Hill neighborhood whose kitchen is helmed by co-owner Brittanny Anderson, a veteran of TV cooking shows including “Top Chef” and “Chopped.” “Many of our staff are women and/or members of the LGBTQ+ community. All of our staff are people with rights who deserve dignity and a safe work environment. We respect our staff’s established rights as humans and strive to create a work environment where they can do their jobs with dignity, comfort and safety.”

The group, the Family Foundation, was set to host a dessert reception for supporters on Nov. 30, the group’s president, Victoria Cobb, wrote in a blog post describing the incident. About an hour and a half before it was slated to start, one of the restaurant’s owners called to cancel it, she wrote. “As our VP of Operations explained that guests were arriving at their restaurant shortly, she asked for an explanation,” Cobb wrote. “Sure enough, an employee looked up our organization, and their wait staff refused to serve us.”

The Family Foundation is based in Richmond and advocates for “policies based on biblical principles.” It has lobbied against same-sex marriage and abortion rights.


Cobb said one of the restaurant’s owners called her to cancel the reservation about an hour and a half before the event was set to begin. 

She compared the experience — and today’s cultural climate — to “the 1950s and early 60s, when people were denied food service due to their race.”


She then called on readers for monetary donations. 

“Will you consider a donation today to support our efforts to ensure that no Virginian will ever have to worry about being refused a simple meal because of his or her religious beliefs?” the post read. 



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