Spady: Sorry, but we don’t serve your ideology here
I took Tuesday off because I needed a break from the rhetoric that is tearing our city and country apart. In Seattle and King County, we are facing the worst homeless crisis in our region’s history. Sadly, even talking about solutions (as we’ve done over the last seven months on the Saul Spady Show) is too much for some in our city to bear.
I’ve made Glo’s my go to hole-in-the-wall brunch spot ever since moving to Capitol Hill in 2012. My usual salmon Eggs Benedict, with a side of avocado and bacon, plus bottomless drip coffee has gotten more expensive (now at $25) since I first I sat down. But it still is, and will always be, my favorite meal on the hill.
On Tuesday, however, the host took it upon himself to bluntly deny me service. Why? Because, as he told me, “Your rhetoric against homeless people is dangerous for the community and you’re not welcome here.”
In short, he told me I was not allowed to eat there and should take my business elsewhere. No one else at the establishment said anything (no surprise there) — ideological discrimination is a Seattle special. Stunned and not wanting to make a scene, I walked away.
My radio station, 770 KTTH, reached out to restaurant owner Julie Reismann and received this confirmation.
Unfortunate situation … I had a server who is a person who spends a lot of time helping the homeless, especially around the neighborhood, and he was personally offended by an article Saul wrote. He took it upon himself to talk to Saul about it.
In a quick rebuttal, he did not attempt to engage me in a conversation on homelessness, the problem, or our different solutions. All he did was deny me service (which is illegal in Seattle, by the way). In fact, I still don’t even know what specific rhetoric he was referring to.
It may be my idea to create a new softer short-term jail. This is an idea based around a community farm structure and much-needed rehab called farm jail. Maybe he was offended by my most recent piece calling out our attorney general on his lack of awareness of the homeless children in our state. Or the extremely hard hitting Seattle’s best isn’t good enough.
Luckily for me I might be able to eat my favorite meal again because Glo’s owner Julie confirms: “It’s not our policy to tell customers that they can or cannot eat here based on what they think. It’s not our policy. It’s not our game. Saul is welcome.”
I’m glad Julie Reismann doesn’t identify with her rogue employee and will serve me the best Eggs Benedict in the city despite my differing views. I hope this article, in turn, will encourage her and her staff to learn more about my work and the debate we’ve engaged in on this show.
I’ve been advocating for Seattle to dramatically increase shelter capacity, creative ways to build affordable housing for artists, on-demand rehab, and yes, I have written an article advocating for “farm jail.”
Over the last five years my ad agency Cre8ive Empowerment and Dick’s Drive-In have partnered with Mary’s Place to create a giving movement called “No Child Sleeps Outside.” That effort galvanized the business community to dramatically increase shelter capacity for homeless families each winter since we first started the campaign in 2014.
I challenge Glo’s, alongside the rest of the Seattle business community, to join with us this year to see where we can align and how we can make a difference. Last year, over 75 companies joined together and we raised $2.4 million. It’s my hope that this year Glo’s will find a way to take part in our community movement to end family homelessness. Julie, you have my number, I’m ready to help you take part — especially over breakfast.
I have a challenge for those of you who are angry that ideology has reached such a boiling point that we feel comfortable refusing service to someone with a different opinion than our own. Take a deep breath and please take Glo’s Owner Julie Reismann at her word as I plan to do over the next week. Give her classic Seattle breakfast spot a try and then make your decision.
If you’re feeling up to the challenge order my favorite salmon Eggs Benedict with all the fixings (avocado and bacon). Be polite and please be sure to leave a tip with a note mentioning our show. Call me naive, but with a kind gesture and a deep breath we can possibly start finding the solutions to the problems overwhelming our city.
Listen to and engage with the Saul Spady Show weekdays from 6-9 a.m. on AM 770 KTTH.