A black business owner is under fire, his restaurant boycotted, because he chose to cater a Republican event involving Donald Trump Jr. in Detroit.
Last week Chef Don Studvent was captured on camera with the Presidential nominee’s son. According to Studvent, he was returning to the venue to grab his pots and pans after serving food. The photo-op left a bad taste in some people’s mouths, and now Studvent’s business is suffering.
“They want to not only not support me, but boycott me!” said Studvent. “It’s unfair and it’s selfish.”
Studvent, known as Chef Don, has run the 1917 American Bistro on Livernois Avenue for seven years. The self-described Democrat said he didn’t think anything of taking the job, or allowing the candidate’s son to snap a picture with him.
“There is personal and there is business, it should always be separate,” said Studvent. “Business-wise I can’t take sides. I just can’t.”
While Studvent saw the situation as cut-and-dry, others were up in arms. One Facebook post shared more than 200 times reads, in part: “after seeing the owner spinning and grinning here with Trump Jr. I’ll be eating at Kuzzo’s from now on.” As more people commented, the call came to boycott the restaurant.
“It hurts,” said Studvent, pointing out that he had two tables filled during his typically busy lunch hour.
“This is my living,” he said. “And it’s not just my living, my employees as well.”
He hopes the situation blows over quickly, but with the tensions surrounding the 2016 election, Studvent said it may take a lot of work to get his customers back.