HENRICO, Va. – The owner of a Buz and Ned's barbecue thinks someone has gone hog wild with rumors about the new sign recently erected outside the Henrico restaurant.
The sign went up outside the Broad Street store about a week ago, to let people know "haters" aren’t welcome at Buz and Ned’s establishments. The term means what it sounds like, “a negative or critical person; a person who greatly dislikes a specified person or thing.”
Think a person with too tangy a political or racial slant that just might cause indigestion -- and then some. Specifically, owner Buz Grossberg said he was motivated to put up the sign after the violence unfolded in Charlottesville.
Grossberg said he wanted to make it clear that haters, including racists, aren't welcome at his restaurant. He said it was important for people of influence to make a statement.
Instead, what has been served up is a hefty plate of rumors, with some sides of hype.
A Facebook post has been cooking over the coals online, where rumors are easy to start. A couple of hours after CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit reached out to him, the page disappeared.
The post claims that the sign went up as a response to a racially charged interaction, in which the management team (allegedly) removed African American cooks from the line at the request of a white customer.
Employees of Buz and Ned’s responded online by denying that interaction ever happened.
“We are truly disheartened at this accusation, and hope that our customers realize that what is being said is a nasty rumor and that is all it is,” wrote employee Lorraine Lester.
Flames continued to rise on the restaurant’s Facebook page in response, with people asking for the restaurant to respond. Grossberg has, and he called the situation "fake news." He said he plans to keep the "No Haters" sign up.
Conclusion: the rumor is hogwash, nothing butt false.
Buz and Ned’s originally launched as a food cart in 1992, with the first brick and mortar restaurant opening on Boulevard three years later. The Henrico restaurant opened in 2011 and is more than twice the size of the first spot.
After CBS 6's story went online, reporter Melissa Hipolit was able to reach Anthony, who explained why he removed the Facebook page. He said he deleted the page because Buz and Ned's employees got mad at him. He went on to say that an employee told him that story. He said he has witnesses and he's happy to talk directly to Buz Grossberg about it.