The dinner, held Friday at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Friendship Heights, was sponsored by the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist organization that supported President-elect Donald Trump in the election and held a conference in the District to celebrate his victory. Protesters tried to confront those attending the dinner Friday, but were forced out by police.
On Monday, Maggiano’s apologized, saying that it was “the inadvertent site” of the protest and that it closed the restaurant for the safety of its staff and guests.
“This was a last minute booking made Friday afternoon, and the reservation was made under a different name, therefore we were not aware that NPI was dining with us or what the group represents,” Steve Provost, the president of the 51-restaurant chain, said in a statement posted to Facebook.
The statement also referred to a tweet sent by “an attendee . . . in which she made a ‘Sieg Heil salute’ in support of Hitler and white supremacy.”
“This expression of support of Hitler is extremely offensive to us, as our restaurant is home to Teammates and Guests of every race, religion and cultural background,” the statement said.
Brinker International, the Texas-based company that owns the Maggiano’s chain, referred questions about the incident to Provost.
The statement said Maggiano’s would donate $10,000, the profit from its Friday restaurant sales, to the D.C. office of the Anti-Defamation League, “which for decades has been working to bring people together in peace and understanding.”
On Friday night, Maggiano’s in Friendship Heights was the inadvertent site of a protest that caused us to close our...