A small restaurant in Virginia is suddenly at the center of a political firestorm after an owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave. See what it's like inside.

Facebook/The Red HenThe Red Hen is dividing the internet.

Thousands of people – including President Donald Trump himself – have taken to social media to offer their opinion of a small-town Virginian restaurant that kicked out White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders over the weekend.

Sanders said on Saturday that she was asked to leave The Red Hen, a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, because she works for Trump. One of the owners told the Washington Post that it was Trump’s policies, which she called “inhumane and unethical,” that had prompted them to deny service to Sanders.

“The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!” Trump tweeted on Monday.

The restaurant’s decision to throw out Sanders has divided the internet. Some angry consumers are comparing it to America’s history of racial segregation.

“I remember the days when certain people in the south were not allowed to eat in restaurants. Looks like nothing has changed with the southern democrat crowd,” one Yelp user wrote online.

Others have come out in support of the restaurant.

“I’ve never been to Virginia. Recent events make we want to travel there just to patronize your wonderful restaurant!!! Thank you for your authenticity and integrity!!!” one customer wrote on The Red Hen’s Facebook page.

Yelp has posted an alert to inform customers that the restaurant’s page is now in “Active Cleanup” mode. This means that any review that is only related to the news event and not the food or service of the restaurant may be removed.

See inside the restaurant that’s at the center of the controversy:

The Red Hen is a farm-to-table restaurant located in Lexington, Virginia. Customers describe its small dining area as cosy and intimate.

Facebook/Red Hen

The menu changes on a daily basis. Ingredients are sourced from local areas such as the Shenandoah Valley.

Facebook/Red Hen

It is considered to be one of the best restaurants in the area, with a 4.5 rating on TripAdvisor.

Facebook/Red Hen

It has an open kitchen so that customers can watch Chef Matt Adams in action.

Facebook/Red Hen

While the menu varies each day, the restaurant provides a sample menu online, which includes appetizers such as steak tartare and entrees such as a pan-seared pork chop.

Facebook/Red Hen

The food is certainly experimental, but some customers say it is pricey. An entree costs between $US25 and $US28 on the sample menu.

Yelp/John B

Lemon meringue is one of the most popular desserts.

Yelp/Patricia H

Reviews have temporarily been suspended on The Red Hen’s TripAdvisor page, and a warning flag has been placed on Yelp to inform customers that reviews could be removed if they are too focused on the recent news event.


The restaurant’s co-owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, was the person who asked Sanders to leave after talking to staff.

“Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave. They said yes,” she told the Washington Post.

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