After promoting a bottomless mimosas deal surrounding Thursday’s emotional testimony of the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Shaw’s Tavern reacted with a textbook crisis communications plan: donate all of the day’s proceeds towards anti-sexual violence nonprofit RAINN.
The internet erupted with criticism for the casual Shaw eatery’s insensitive promotion tied to the hearing on Capitol Hill, with national outlets like People picking up the story.
The six-year-old burger bar (520 Florida Avenue NW) immediately apologized, saying highlighting the booze deal was “an oversight ... given the very serious circumstances of today’s hearing and in no way did we intend to offend anyone or make light of the situation. Shaw’s Tavern stands with the victims,” according to a Facebook post. Shaw’s Tavern threw a watch party last year for the James Comey hearing, but that event didn’t center around sexual assault allegations.
The restaurant provided the following statement to Eater:
We realized once folks starting posting on social media that our highlighting the bottomless mimosas was a mistake and certainly insensitive considering the subject at hand during today’s hearing. At Shaw’s Tavern, we strive to provide our patrons with good food, drinks, service and events to bring together our community. We sincerely apologize again for offending anyone, as that was not our intention. We will be donating all proceeds from the day to the RAINN organization.
Shaw’s Tavern told Eater it will post the final sales figure on Friday, September 28, all of which will be donated to RAINN. On Thursday, a female Shaw’s Tavern employee posted an online donation to the group.
Meanwhile, another D.C. restaurant helped support a cause this week, with Congressman Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) throwing a dinner party at his Capitol Hill house to raise funds for Southern California wildfire survivors on Wednesday, September 26. The meal, cooked by with Charlie Palmer Steak chef Mike Ellis, included beef carpaccio crostini starters and beef tenderloin paired with 2014 Opus One red wine.