The 571 Grill & Draft House in New Carlisle, Ohio, has a fairly inconspicuous online presence. He has appeared for his burgers on a local blog and his Yelp page had only a few reviews after four years on the restaurant review site.
But everything has changed since an article from the New York Times over the weekend about a white nationalist, Tony Hovater, worked there. The Washington Post followed on Wednesday that Hovater was fired from his job at 571 Grill. His wife and brother-in-law were also fired from the restaurant.
SEE ALSO: The New York Times responds to violent reactions after simulating Nazi sympathizers
After the Saturday article and the violent reaction to what many considered a normalization of the neo-Nazis, 571 Grill was caught in the confrontation between supporters who claimed that Hovater could believe what he wants to believe and those who praise the establishment for letting it go.
A look at the Yelp page of the restaurant shows how the place became a battlefield.
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A four-star review of Greg. B in Long Island City, New York, arrived on Thursday praising the hamburger shop for its position in Hovater, not for its food or service. "A great job, saying goodbye to the Nazis who worked there, if I ever visit there I'll check your place," he wrote.
Jennifer P. of neighboring Dayton, OH, gave out five stars and said: "Good rotating beer selection and pizza and burgers are good, but what I like most about this place is that the owner recently fired a Nazi sympathizer admitted after reading an article about him in the NYT By chance, many negative publications were published here and elsewhere, believe it Propaganda of a group of odious bags of garbage It is 2017 and in fact we are debating whether the Nazis they are decent people, "he wrote.
Others expressed their displeasure at the restaurant's decision to fire Hovater for his beliefs.
Dozens of criticisms of a star came on Wednesday and Thursday. More than 40 of those reviews were marked on Yelp as "currently not recommended," meaning they are not counted toward the company's overall rating.
Some addressed the contraction of article NYT while others were dressed as true messages about poor quality food and service
Online hatred has not completely destroyed the online reputation of Grill 571 – it still has four stars despite the barrage of troll reviews.
When we approached the restaurant about Yelp's hatred, they forwarded us to a statement they gave on Wednesday at TippNews Daily a local online news outlet. The owner made it clear that the business does not share any of Hovater's opinions and does not tolerate hatred. The statement said that the article on Hovater illustrated "some very disturbing images and thoughts of this individual".
The owner noted the attacks in the place that were derived from the article and the subject. "Since the launch of this article, we have been inundated with phone calls and messages on social networks that are threatening and intimidating for both us and our employees." These hateful and disturbing messages are really saddening for those of us who just want to serve Delicious food and cold beers, "said the restaurant.
Hovater apparently suggested he be fired, the statement said. "We felt it was necessary to completely sever the relationship with them in the hope of protecting our other 20 employees from the verbal threats and social networks that are carried out from individuals across the country and to Australia."
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