A video shared on social media shows two anti-mask customers harassing employees at a kosher Chinese restaurant in Maryland on Sunday after they refused to put their face masks on.
When the two customers were told by staff at Holy Chow! in Silver Spring that it is the law to put on face masks while eating, the woman in the video can be heard saying to an employee: “It’s not a law, it’s not a law, segregation was legal, Jim Crow law was legal, the Holocaust was legal.”
“It was bizarre, I think extremely awkward, but as she started to raise her voice and the comparisons to Nazi Germany at that point it started getting a little bit scary,” restaurant owner Ami Schreiber, who was not present during the incident, told WUSA-TV.
The two are believed to have been from out of town and were looking to stir things up at Holy Chow! and nearby business owners.
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“They just went off the rails,” he said. “They showed up to stir up trouble.”
Schreiber told Montgomery Community Media that the two customers were headed to the D.C. area to participate in an anti-vaccine rally.
The restaurant became the target of online harassment after the video went viral on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit.
“We started getting obscene phone calls of people cursing at us and hanging up. They started posting one-star reviews to Google and Yelp to try and bring us down,” Schreiber explained. “We got one Facebook message so far where someone threatened us that said wait till I come there, and you’ll see what problems you have or something to that effect.”
He commends his employees for the way they handled the situation and is thankful for the community support.
“The silver lining here was my employees stepped up and people noticed,” the restaurant owner said. “That to me is most important. We’ve had people call up and order $14 worth of food and then offered a $36 tip to give to the employees.”
It isn’t the first time Holy Chow! has been confronted by anti-maskers. On Sunday, a father and son reportedly came into the restaurant and spewed vitriol at employees over the county’s mask mandate.
From now on, the restaurant plans to hold conflict resolution training for employees and hire a security guard to keep watch busy hours.