Sonoma restaurant closes after backlash for not allowing server to wear BLM mask

A BLM rally is now scheduled for Valentine's Day outside of the restaurant and the owner says they have received threats of violence and are currently closed.
SONOMA, Calif. (KGO) -- Wednesday night a well-known Sonoma restaurant is closed, and the owner says they are now getting threats.

A server recently left after she was not allowed to wear a Black Lives Matter mask.

UPDATE: Former waitress opens up about incident as The Girl & the Fig owner defends BLM mask policy

The Girl and the Fig restaurant in Sonoma is currently closed and there is no information as to when they'll be back open.

Former server Kimi Stout left when she was told she wouldn't be allowed to wear a Black Lives Matter mask at work.

"I would have absolutely abided by the mask rules if they had a sign up that said Black Lives Matter," says Stout.

The restaurant owner on Facebook, referring to the incident and Stout's situation, said "we did not fire her, we did not force her out, she made her own decision to quit because she did not want to follow the rules."

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A BLM rally is now scheduled for Valentine's Day outside of the restaurant and the owner says they have received threats of violence and are currently closed.

Yelp has disabled reviews due to hateful comments. Monday night, many neighbors we talked were in full support of the restaurant.

"Most places at a winery, at a restaurant, at a hotel, at the airport, you have a uniform. You have certain things that you have to wear to be part of that organization," says Katharina Baskin of Sonoma.

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Aaron Mills is part owner at nearby Sunflower Café. He says it's tough because he supports Black Lives Matter and the owners of The Girl and the Fig. He says John and his wife are good people who have publicly said they support the cause.

"If they were to choose one side or another, they are going to alienate some segment of the customer base or local community, so it puts us in a hard position," says Mills.

But Stout says it's not political, it's a social movement for racial equality.

"As a Brown queer fem person, standing up for the marginalized has always been important to me. I know how it feels to walk around in downtown Sonoma when you have darker skin than others and getting those sideway stares," says Stout.

At this point it's unclear how big Sunday's 11 a.m. protest will be, but some tell us they are hopeful that it doesn't interfere with special Valentine's day lunches planned in the square and at restaurants that have previously been closed due to the pandemic.
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