To maintain a feeling of novelty, restaurants are often decorated with news clippings and photos from the past. Most of the time, patrons don’t give them a second thought as they have their meal. But a Joe’s Crab Shack in Roseville, Minnesota wasn’t so lucky and had to make a public apology after guests found a seriously troubling photo on their table.
According to USA Today, Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen were sitting at a table when they looked at their table and saw a picture of a black man being lynched. The bottom of the picture read “Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas, on April 12th, 1895” and a caption at the top read “All I said was that I didn’t like the gumbo.”
“Although the manager was apologetic about the lynching depiction, that does not change the fact that this sickening image of black men being lynched was intentionally embedded inside of a table,” Williams said. “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.”
“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.
The Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP is demanding a public apology from Joe’s Crab Shack and for the company to donate to a local community organization that mostly serves black children.
“We sincerely apologize to our guests who were disturbed by the image and we look forward to continuing to serve the Roseville community,” David Catalano, COO Ignite Restaurant Group, Joe’s Crab Shack parent company, said in a statement.