Don Studvent is a chef and restaurant owner. He has owned and operated 1917 American Bistro in Detroit for the last seven years. Although Studvent is a lifelong Democrat, he didn’t think twice when offered a job catering an event for the Trump campaign prior to election day. After all, business is business. He has mouths to feed and employees to pay.
Studvent also didn’t think twice when a picture of him and Donald Trump, Jr. was taken by a local news station and posted online. He told WXYZ, “There is personal and there is business, it should always be separate. Business-wise I can’t take sides. I just can’t.”
But that hasn’t stopped leftists from taking sides. Those who typically call for blacks to support black-owned businesses now think that Studvent should be punished for his traitorous behavior of taking a catering job because it just so happened to be for the Trump campaign. Some in the neighborhood call him a sell-out. Others took to his Facebook page and social media to attack him as well.
While Studvent saw the situation as cut-and-dry, others were up in arms. One Facebook post shared more than 200 times reads, in part: “after seeing the owner spinning and grinning here with Trump Jr. I’ll be eating at Kuzzo’s from now on.” As more people commented, the call came to boycott the restaurant.
While his restaurant is usually packed during weekday lunch, he now usually only has two tables filled since the November 7 picture was taken and seen on social media.
Addressing the attack on his livelihood, Studvent said, “It hurts. This is my living. And it’s not just my living, my employees as well.”
Local radio talk show host Mildred Gaddis weighed in on the boycott of 1917 American Bistro and reminded the community of all the wonderful things Studvent has done there. She did not hold back in her criticism of the attack on his, his business, and his livelihood for simply doing what he set out to do — serve food.
By the way, this Is the same Chef Don who has been hiring DPS (Detroit Public School) students for the last 7 years demanding they bring their report cards with them and working with them to get and keep their grades at an acceptable level in order to work @ 1917 American Bistro. I haven’t seen anyone boycotting any of the businesses that are refusing to serve or hire our people in this city…Where are the boycotters? Just what I thought! Missing in action! Let’s get back to supporting the 1917 American Bistro and the adults and teenagers working there. They’ve earned our respect and our support!
Gaddis also called those who are attacking Studvent who thinks he should segregate his business, only accepting jobs from people with his same beliefs “uninformed”and reminded them of the fight against segregation by blacks in the 1960s.
Of course, as his employees show up for work to an empty restaurant, Chef Studvent expressed concern that this call to boycott his business will last beyond election day. That would threaten not only his economic security with the business he has spent years building,but also that of his employees.