Joe’s Crab Shack landed in hot water with patrons after one of its branches in Minneapolis, Minn., utilized an image of a black man being lynched as decoration for a dining table.
According to Buzzfeed, customers Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen went to the restaurant on Thursday (Mar. 10) to commemorate a birthday when the image captured their attention. The picture was taken in 1895 at a lynching in Groesbeck, Texas.
Within the caption of the image, the text reads, “All I said was, ‘I don’t like the gumbo!'” which was in reference to the reason the black man was being hanged. “Seeing a picture of two black men being lynched was the last thing that I expected to see at what was supposed to be a family-friendly restaurant,” Allen said.
Williams also added, “This type of blatant racism should not be tolerated in this country, or in our local and national eating establishments. I have felt sick to my stomach and stressed out since seeing that image on the table where I was planning to eat my food.”
Nekima Levy-Pounds, chapter president of the NAACP’s Minneapolis division, said the tables within the the restaurant are “uniquely made,” therefore “it shows that there was some intentionality on the part of the person who designed them.”
Following the news of this incident, David Catalano, COO of the restaurant’s parent company Ignite Restaurant Group, issued a statement, writing, “We sincerely apologize to our guests who were disturbed by the image and we look forward to continuing to serve the Roseville community.”