A Korean restaurant in New York City was vandalized on Friday with a racist message. The vandal(s) used a Sharpie marker to write “Stop eating Dogs” on the plastic windowpane in front of “Jeju Noodle Bar,” reports Eater New York. The owner, Chef Douglas Kim posted the picture of the hateful message on his restaurant’s Instagram.
“Stop! Hate Crime! This was on our winter vestibule. And one of [our] customer[s] reported to us and she also suggested if she can clean for us. Wake up and grow up,” Kim said. “This is [a] very tough time for everyone and we do not have time for this kind uneducated action. This hate crime must stop now.”
Kim said he received a DM from one of his customers notifying him of the racist graffiti. “I’m so sorry to have to relay this message and even more sorry that someone was horrible enough to do that,” the customer told him through Instagram.
The customer did her best to scrub the graffiti off before Kim cleaned the rest off the next day. Kim did not go to the police because he didn’t think much would come of it but instead posted the picture on Instagram to let people know what’s going on.
Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have surged since the coronavirus pandemic. Chef Douglas Kim said he wasn’t surprised by the racist incident and in some ways was expecting it due to the current climate against Asians. However, he was surprised by all the people who sent supportive messages and were angry at the incident.
“It’s good that people still care,” Kim said.
In New York City, several Asian owned restaurants have been vandalized while Asian Americans have been violently attacked. New York’s General Attorney Letitia James started a hotline for Asian residents of New York to report racism against them as anti-Asian sentiment grows.
Jeju Noodle Bar is the only US noodle restaurant to receive a Michelin star. The restaurant opened in 2017.