Richmond, VA

Virginia restaurant denies service to Christian group to protect staff

Margaret Minnicks

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Metzger Bar and ButcheryPhoto bymetzger bar

A Richmond, Virginia restaurant refused to host a private event for a conservative Christian organization because of the group's position on same-sex marriage and abortion rights. 

Metzger Bar and Butchery, located at 801 N 23rd Street, is known as an inclusive establishment that has rarely refused service to anyone. However, the restaurant denied service to a conservative group for a particular reason: to protect its staff consisting mostly of women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

The restaurant said in a recent post on Instagram:

"Recently we refused service to a group that had booked an event with us after the owners of Metzger found out it was a group of donors to a political organization that seeks to deprive women and LGBTQ+ persons of their basic human rights in Virginia."

The Instagram post continued:

"We have always refused service to anyone for making our staff uncomfortable or unsafe and this was the driving force behind our decision. All of our staff are people with rights who deserve dignity and a safe work environment."

The restaurant included a photo of a cocktail named "Cracks in the Foundation" and said it would donate all proceeds to Equality Virginia, an organization that advocates for LGBTQ equality. 

Reaction from the Christian group

The president of the Christian group, The Family Foundation, authored a blog post after the episode last week entitled We've Been Canceled! Again.

Victoria Cobb wrote:

"Have you ever been denied a meal because of your beliefs? Last night, our team and supporters got that firsthand experience when Metzger's Bar and Butchery in Richmond, VA refused to service our pre-reserved event, leaving us scrambling just moments before."

Cobb said the group had a reservation, but one of the restaurant's owners called her to cancel the reservation about an hour and a half before the event was scheduled to begin. She compared the experience to "the 1950s and early 60s when people were denied food service because of their race."

She then requested monetary donations from concerned citizens.

"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?"

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I love pop culture, movies, television, and entertainment. I keep up to date on the latest movies and television shows. I like sharing news about them. I also like sharing information about different foods and their health benefits. I have been a high school teacher and a college professor for over 50 years and an online writer for over 30 years. I have three degrees: BA in English and Literature, MA in Christian Education, and MDiv in Theology. Get to know me through my writing.

Richmond, VA
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