Red's Savoy Pizza isn't copping to exactly what happened between its owner and a black customer on Friday night. Whatever it was, the old-school pizza place feels pretty bad about it.
On Monday, we brought you the story of a man's complaint that he'd had a verbal altercation with the restaurant's owner, Earl "Red" Schoenheider, the man who started the iconic St. Paul slice joint back in 1965. (The family owns two of the Savoy restaurants, both in St. Paul. All others are franchise operations.)
The customer says he was accosted by Schoenheider after trying to pay a homeless guy a few bucks to wash his windshield. When the customer didn't drop the issue, the owner said "if people want hand [outs] go talk to Obama." He also allegedly said, "I know your people" — loaded language when talking to a black person.
The story was widely circulated on social media, and eventually reached the people at Red's, who said they were "working to understand what in fact occurred." Their response to City Pages was more direct.
In a statement we received yesterday, the Schoenheider family said:
We are deeply sorry for the April 22 incident in which words were used towards a guest of our downtown restaurant which can reasonably be considered insensitive and offensive. We have reached out to the guest directly to ask for a meeting to personally apologize and express our hope for reconciliation. Our father, our family, and our restaurants have a long legacy of treating everyone with respect and kindly welcoming everyone into our establishment. We hope that this incident will not obscure the loyalty to guests for which our father is well-known.
Will that meeting, and an in-person apology, be enough for the customer? Only he can say.
Will this one be enough for everyone else? Red's will find out soon enough.