It looks like the more than 2,600 people who petitioned for José Andrés to pull his fine dining restaurant from Donald Trump's forthcoming D.C. hotel have gotten their wish. The Post reports today that the Spanish chef and restaurateur has backed out of his deal to open the flagship restaurant in the Old Post Office following derogatory comments about Mexican immigrants made by the presidential candidate and real estate mogul.
In a statement obtained by the Post, Andrés says:
“Donald Trump’s recent statements disparaging immigrants make it impossible for my company and I to move forward with opening a successful Spanish restaurant in Trump International’s upcoming hotel in Washington, D.C. More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests. And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status.”
Trump isn't letting it go lightly. His son, Donald Trump Jr., tells the Post, "José has no right to terminate or otherwise abandon his obligations under the lease." Trump Jr. also threatens to take legal action to recover rent for the entire 10-year lease and "enforce the exclusivity provisions preventing Mr. Andrés from opening a competing restaurant anywhere in the D.C area."
Y&H has contacted Andrés' team for additional comment on these legal threats.
Photo by Jessica Sidman