True Kitchen and Kocktails, a southern-themed restaurant located in downtown Dallas, became the subject of social media scrutiny over the weekend after its owner was caught on video delivering an anti-twerking rant to patrons. According to witnesses, a table of Black women had gotten up in their booth and began twerking when the DJ played the song “Circle (Throw Dat Ass In A Circle)” by Dallas rapper Lil Ronny MothaF.
Though the owner, Kevin Kelley, later claimed in a Facebook post that he had made prior attempts to politely ask the women to stop, it was his subsequent rant that ended up going viral. “Restaurant SUICIDE on camera,” wrote Twitter user @DJGreenVillain, in a tweet that has since been viewed over two million times in less than a day.
As the video starts, Kelley tells his room full of diners that he had invested a lot of money into developing his restaurant “so Black people have someplace nice to go.” But things quickly devolved from there.
“No, no, real talk. So all this twerking shit, don’t bring it here because we’re a restaurant,” Kelley continued. “So beyond that, 75 percent of my customers are ladies, and I want women to show respect for themselves here, so how can I tell the men to respect themselves, when you guys are twerking on glass here.”
“If you wanna do it, get the fuck out my restaurant,” he added, doubling down. “Because I did it for our people and I did it for our culture. Don’t do it again. I don’t want to hear it if you don’t like it, get out because I don’t need your money.”
As the rant continued to go viral, people began adding their two cents on Twitter. One woman pointed out an Instagram comment that suggested the women twerking had been waiting for their food for nearly two hours when the incident occurred. Another provided an example of how Kelley could have better handled the situation, and so on.
Even if the women were being out of line, one thing we can probably all agree on is that this is no way to treat your customers. Also, that is too many damn people packed into an indoor dining room during a pandemic! Not to mention, Kelley was also not wearing a mask while delivering his shouty remarks. Twerking should have been the least of his concerns, here.