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No, the Red Hen That Kicked Out Sarah Sanders Is NOT the One in DC

The Bloomingdale restaurant is getting a lot of misdirected attention
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Friday night, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of the Red Hen. No, not that Red Hen.

“I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so,” she tweeted.

Even though Sanders specifically mentioned that the restaurant is in Lexington, Virginia, that hasn’t stopped people from confusing it with a popular restaurant of the same name in DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood. The two establishments are completely unaffiliated.

Mike Friedman, the chef and co-owner of DC’s Red Hen, says he noticed something was up when he started getting bombarded with social media notifications this morning. Since then, the restaurant has been bombarded with calls, emails, and mistaken Yelp reviews—including death threats. Over the weekend, someone egged the restaurant.

The DC Red Hen sent out an email to media trying to clarify that it has nothing to do with the Red Hen in Lexington. But the problem was exacerbated Monday morning when President Donald Trump himself started tweeting about the incident—without specifying which Red Hen.

This is not the first time people have confused the restaurants. Friedman says they occasionally get reservation mix-ups with the other Red Hen.

Even though they share nothing but a name, would DC’s Red Hen have also kicked out Sanders?

“We serve everybody,” Friedman says. “Everybody is a guest. We treat everybody with the same respect.”

This story has been updated with additional details. 

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.