Houston restaurant shuts down social media after Sessions photo backlash

A Houston Tex-Mex restaurant has shut down its social media accounts after receiving insults and death threats for posting a picture of executive chef Domenic Laurenzo with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

KHOU11, a CBS affiliate, reported the restaurant posted the photo Friday and wrote that it was an “honor” to serve the attorney general, thanking him “for allowing us to serve you.”

The Tex-Mex eatery was immediately hit with criticism online. Some called for a boycott of the restaurant and the restaurant's owner Roland Laurenzo, father of Domenic Laurenzo, told KHOU that he received death threats.

ADVERTISEMENT

Roland Laurenzo told KHOU that the response was entirely unexpected.

“We didn’t think see that we were doing something wrong. We didn’t even have any idea this was going to happen,” he said.

Roland Laurenzo said he and Sessions talked about fajitas. He added that the restaurant treated him like “any other guest.”   

The Laurenzos responded to the backlash shortly after it began.

According to the Houston’s Culture Map, the original post was quickly deleted and a new post said the picture “does not represent us supporting [Sessions’s] positions.”

Roland Laurenzo also alluded to the Trump administration’s controversial zero tolerance policy at the border, which earlier this summer had separated parents from their children and created a huge controversy.

“We don’t approve of anyone separating parents and children,” Roland Laurenzo said.

The online criticism of the restaurant continued until it shut down its social media accounts.

“People are insulting us in such a dramatic fashion, and we feel like we don’t deserve it,” Roland Laurenzo told ABC13, “At least temporarily I had it taken down because I don’t want to be insulted, my children to be insulted, my family to be insulted.”

Click2Houston reports that Roland Laurenzo apologized for the post, writing, “The last thing I ever wanted to do was to upset everybody.”