Port Orchard diner owner defends doxxing folks who reported his opening
A number of businesses in the state stayed open in defiance of the governor’s emergency orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, including many restaurants that chose to remain open for indoor dining. The owners made the call for variety of reasons, some because their employees couldn’t pay their rent or didn’t know how they were going to put food on the table.
In Port Orchard, a diner called That One Place is one such business that decided to stay open.
“What kind of started the ball rolling was we held a Halloween trunk-or-treat, and we had over 3,000 people attend this event, and we got turned into the liquor board over it,” That One Place owner Craig Kenady told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show.
“The wife and I had been in conversation a lot about opening anyway because we were starting to struggle to pay our bills, and my employees, they couldn’t make any money off of just being take out only,” he said. “I have 45 staff members, and so for our sales to be cut like that, it’s just impossible for them. So we had a crew chat, and we brought it up with our staff and asked what they thought. And everybody wanted to work. They were all 100% in.”
That One Place is known as a second-chance employer, Kenady said, so the majority of their back of house and a couple managers all come from work release or are in a recovery program.
“You can imagine somebody that’s in recovery, some of them just a month or two into recovery, cannot sit at home and collect a paycheck off the government and not relapse,” he said. “So then we’re talking about what could be actual people’s lives at stake here.”
That One Place reopened its doors. There were then community complaints submitted via the government line set up, which Dori refers to as a “snitch line.” KIRO 7 TV reports That One Place received 260 complaints after opening in May 2020.
“A lot of them I believe were anonymous, because the snitch list I have only has a handful, maybe 25,” Kenady said.
Because the submitted complaints are public record, Kenady obtained the list of people who could be identified and had complained, and hung that list on the wall of his restaurant.
“When we first got it, we had makeshift barn doors to meet Jay Inslee’s requirements, and we posted one on the outside of the barn door so anybody driving by could see, and then we posted one right in our entryway, which is still up there, although it’s in a different spot than where it started from,” he said.
“The only motivation was is that I feel if they’re going to call and complain about us, then their neighbors deserve to know. We all, in our small community, deserve to know who we can trust or not,” he added. “That’s what started it. We felt that it was the right thing.”
KIRO 7 TV contacted people whose names were on the list, some of whom say they have received threatening phone calls because of the list posted at That One Place. Kenady told KIRO 7 TV that he wouldn’t be inclined to believe that people had actually been threatened unless he saw proof of it.
KIRO 7 TV did speak with a man who called one of the people who reported That One Place, and he admitted that he called because he was annoyed that somebody would snitch on the restaurant.
“That one seems legitimate,” Kenady admitted. “One of the people that’s claiming that is just the lady that [KIRO 7 TV] interviewed there. She definitely did not. She’s just been, in our community, somebody that has really tried to slander me and talk badly about me. … She’s attacked my staff, calling them QAnon members and my customers QAnon members.”
The woman’s son came into the restaurant and took down the list, but Kenady says the police have returned the list to That One Place. The restaurant had also already reprinted a new copy to hang up. Kenady did add that they have a notice up by the list that says they don’t want any retaliation and they don’t encourage contact.
Dori says while he doesn’t like telling people to rat out their neighbors by calling a government hotline “so they can report somebody who is violating a government edict that is of questionable constitutionality,” he also knows nobody likes doxxing people.
For now, That One Place is facing $132,000 in fines.
Ben says the owner of That One Place is lying when he says Ben ripped down the sign and caused a scene that included his mom’s name and phone number after reporting the restaurant for being open.
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