According to a tweet from NBC5 Chicago political reporter Mary Ann Ahern, an employee at Chicago’s high-end Aviary bar — run by the same team that operates the restaurants Alinea, Next, and Roister — spit on the president’s son as soon as he sat down in the cocktail joint. (The younger Trump confirmed the incident to conservative news outlet Breitbart News.)
The Aviary opened in 2011 and quickly earned acclaim for its imaginative cocktails, like a ship-in-a-bottle cocktail featuring ice in the shape of a schooner, and another made over a burner in a Japanese-style coffee maker. A second location opened in New York City at the Mandarin Oriental in late 2017.
The incident at the Chicago location reportedly occurred around 8:30 p.m. last night, and the Secret Service had the female employee arrested, but declined to comment, according to the Washington Post.
In a statement provided to Grub, Aviary representatives confirmed the incident, stating that HR met with the employee in question and placed her on leave. The full statement reads:
Last night an unfortunate incident occurred between an employee at The Aviary and Eric Trump. We did not witness the incident and we are just beginning to learn the details.
What is certain is this: no customer should ever be spit upon. We have not yet spoken with the employee but our HR team has, in the meantime, placed her on leave. We will not discuss internal HR matters beyond this statement.
More broadly, the online discussion about the incident is troubling. Hundreds of people are calling for the demise of our business, threatening our employees, and posting fake reviews … they are wrong to do so based on the actions of a lone individual.
So too, however, are those people wrong who are praising this as an act of civil disobedience. We have voices and the means to be heard. A degrading act lowers the tenor of debate. To some it might feel good, but it is unlikely to serve any larger purpose.
We hope this incident can, at least, serve to illuminate the current absurdity of the discourse in our politics.
As fellow Americans and citizens, we should all aim higher.
This post has been updated to include a statement provided by the Aviary.