This tweet by Tom Morello rattled a few cages recently…
Here’s how the restaurant owner responded to the former Rage Against The Machine guitarist.
And PSS – I’m the owner of the 5 Point and have worked to raise the minimum wage in Seattle and support the same nationally, worked to get paid sick days law in Seattle, and am supporting a City sponsored retirement plan for employees of small businesses. I hope you do the same for your employees on the road…
“I regret that my Twitter salvo about the treatment I received at a Seattle restaurant and the subsequent digital tempest in a tea pot may have taken away from the important work of those organizing for a $15 minimum wage and the Seattle show I played on their behalf.
“When next in Seattle, I would be happy sit down over a beverage — or sooner on the phone — and discuss the matter to conclusion with all concerned. The restaurant, the incident and my bruised feelings don’t matter. What does matter is the hard, tireless work put in by those committed to fighting for a more just world.
“If interested however here is the non-140-character blow by blow of the ‘Encounter At The 5 Point Cafe':
“Our team of musicians flew to Seattle for a benefit show for 15 Now, the grassroots campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15. I’ve long been a supporter of this particular campaign as well as the national drive for a living wage.
“The show itself at the former Off Ramp went great. I was reunited with former AUDIOSLAVE band mate Chris Cornell for the first time in years, and together with the raucous crowd, it was really a special evening. A good deal of money was raised for the 15 Now cause and we wandered into the Seattle late night happy… and hungry.
“Two of our hosts from 15 Now, a band mate of mine, a woman from management, and my brother from Kenya comprised our party. Someone suggested Five Point, a spot I remember fondly from back in the day. I had some reservations because one of our 15 Now friends said that while the owner was a good guy and treated staff well, the restaurant itself was on ‘the wrong side of the minimum-wage issue’ and had attempted to water down the $15 mininum wage legislation by drawing out the implementation period and adjusting for tips to make it more palatable to small businesses. I am 100% on the side of an undiluted 15 Now initiative which is in my view the only ‘pro worker’ position, but hey, we were hungry, so let’s give it a shot.
“The restaurant was packed and spirited and we asked the doorman ‘party of 6 for dinner?’ He said they were at capacity and it would probably be a 10-minute wait. No problem. Then ten people or so left the restaurant. ‘Can we come in now? Those people just left.’ No. ‘Why?’ I’m not letting anyone in. ‘Wait a second. Are you at capacity or are you not letting anyone in?’ I’m not letting you in. ‘So you’re no longer at capacity but we can’t come in?’ No. ‘Um ok. How about we order take out and sit at one of these 20 empty tables outside?’ No. ‘Ok what’s really going on here dude? Some of us have traveled a long way. He’s from Kenya! I’m from the ’90s!’ I’m not letting you in. ‘Say, is your manager here? Maybe he’s a RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE fan? He might even raise your pay to $15 an hour!’ More people leave the restaurant. It’s clearly under capacity. Then our friends see that inside the restaurant several tables are occupied by friends of ours from 15 Now. ‘Hey look we don’t even need a table. We’ll just join our friends who are already inside?’ No. ‘Really? Why not?” I’m not letting you in. ‘Can we just go TALK to them and see if they have room for us?’ No. It was like a hipster version of a Studio 54 doorman. At that point, my band mate made a flavorful declaration and we decamped to the trusty, attitude-free, IHOP where we enjoyed a drama-free stack of hotcakes.
“To be clear: at no point did myself or anyone in our party ‘demand special treatment,’ a ‘private room’ or any other ridiculousness. I was, however, pissed at the rudeness of the doorman to my friends and my younger brother — of whom I’m quite protective. I question what underlying motives the doorman may have had. Bad day? Anti-Kenyan? Preferred the SPIN DOCTORS?
“Whatever the cause, it is unfortunate that MY actions in response have diverted attention from the great work done by 15 Now. ‘Twitter bitching’ is counterproductive as it invites grossly misinformed conjecture not easily dispelled in 140 characters. Lesson learned.
“As I’ve said before, Seattle is truly an advanced society with its $15 minimum wage, its legal pot, its gay marriage, its great music and its Seattle Seahawks.
“Next time we’ll call ahead.”