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Friday, October 7, 2022

Owner of American restaurant ‘Goose & Gander’ apologises to Jonathan Butler for ‘racial’ incident, says they are ‘disgusted by all racism’

Florsheim, who owns the restaurant in Napa Valley, California, issued a joint statement with South African singer-songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Butler over a “racist” incident which took place at the US restaurant last Sunday.

The long-time St Helena restaurant was accused of “racial profiling” by Butler after the establishment’s manager followed him to his car to find out if he and his friends had paid a tip to the waiter who had served them a meal shortly before.

Outrage over the incident echoed across the world on Monday after Butler, who was born and raised in apartheid-era South Africa, posted the video to his social media accounts.

In a video posted to TikTok on Sunday, Butler said: “I have never been followed out of a restaurant in my life. He showed so much lack of respect for me and all of us who ate at the restaurant. I don’t think he would do it to a white person, but he felt comfortable to do it with me to find out if we took care of the server.

“With that being said, it’s offensive, and highly disturbing to me that in Napa Valley of all places, there’re jazz restaurants, (where) people from all over the world come (and) this guy decided to come to my car to find out if I took care of the server.”

Goose & Gander responds

“This has been a challenging week for all of us, and I can assure you that we have always wanted to be agents of positive change and are disgusted by all racism, ” says Florsheim.

“This is not us. We have been sick to our stomachs since Sunday night that one of our managers was horribly insensitive to any guest, let alone Mr Butler.

“Regardless, as painful as this experience has been, we are determined to turn this into a positive experience and plan to use this opportunity to grow, learn and help make our community and world a more inclusive place. We are really going to try.”

Speaking exclusively to on Thursday, Florsheim requested the media to “keep following our story, because we think this is going to turn out to be a good one”.

Butler has been living in the US for over 25 years.

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