They Forced This Proud Restaurant Owner TO Remove His Flag Because One….


An iconic Buckhead restaurant which has been shuttered for months after a devastating fire gutted the facility faces a politically-charged hurdle before it reopens.

The restaurant has been closed since December when an electric fire caused heavy damage to its Buckhead building. OK Café features a carving of a 1956 Georgia state flag, which includes the Confederate battle emblem. Owners have said the carving will return when the restaurant reopens in the fall.

However, after facing too much pressure from Black Lives Matter and the Democratic State Sen. Vincent FortOK Cafe will permanently remove from its restaurant a controversial rendering of the old Georgia flag, owners said.

Fort wants the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau to ignore the restaurant unless it agrees to remove the symbol, which he says is “counter to everything Atlanta aspires to be,” according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I thought, ‘I’m just going to take it down,'” said Susan DeRose.

DeRose is a co-owner of Liberty House Restaurant corporation which operates OK Cafe as well as Bones and Blue Ridge Grille. “I understand it offends people. I’m going to take it down, auction it off and give the money to the police force,” she said.

Photo Credit: WSB-TV Atlanta

Isabel Johnson, a student at Georgia Tech and leader of Buckhead for Black Lives, stated that she was happy to see the flag removed.

She said: “I’m glad that it’s a good gesture in the right direction. I’m glad to see that steps are being taken to kind of reform the restaurant and to make it a little bit more friendly for everyone.”

Johnson and others saw a sign and tea party stand in front of the restaurant as they marched through Buckhead on Sunday. The sign, which read: “Lives that matter are made with positive purpose,” was later taken down.

Photo Credit: WSB-TV Atlanta

DeRose provided this statement regarding the flag removal:

We took down something that was a part of OK Cafe’s history for 33 years, the craved wooden Georgia flag. Many of the staff hated to see it go, some were indifferent, perhaps some thought it right, but many customers will feel we “folded.”

I did it because threats against us were called in yesterday. The several calls said a march was planned next week to take down OK Cafe and burn the flag. They were considered credible threats and home security were monitoring. I didn’t want the wonderful people who work at OK Cafe (and many for decades) to be harmed over something like art, so I decided to take the piece down and commissioned another piece to put in its place.

When the art piece came down there was a moment of melancholy, then we ( OK Cafe’s staff) applauded our decent and right actions. Its time we move on. There were customers present who asked me why but I suppose they didn’t understand how sensitive this has become and how much negative energy it is producing. It takes away for our mission to serve and make the world a better place.

In closing all this, let me make this one point perfectly clear: none of us are racist (the current scarlet letter). And all of us hope all the meanness toward us is over now. We have nothing left which might offend. We have only open hearts, good food to kind serve.

Photo Credit: WSB-TV Atlanta

Sources: OpposingViews, WSB-TV Atlanta, Atlanta Journal-Constitution