Famed New York restaurateur Keith McNally outraged customers, fellow restaurant owners and even his own colleagues with a social media post about the Hamas attack on Israel.
The owner of Balthazar posted a photo of the strikes on Instagram with the caption: “The more disgusting the facts, the greater the responsibility becomes to listen to the other side.”
His posts were immediately flooded with customers and even top hospitality names from Surf Lodge and Sixty Hotels, vowing never to eat at any of McNally’s restaurants again.
“I stand by what I wrote this morning: the more utterly disgusting the facts, the greater the responsibility to listen to the other side,” McNally told me. Page six.
“This doesn’t mean you have to forgive. This does not mean that revenge should not be taken. It simply means listening. There is nothing to lose by listening. Nothing.’
Restaurateur Keith McNally (pictured) is known for his famous hotspot restaurants and posting provocative comments online
McNally (left) poses with British-born Vogue editor Anna Wintour (right). He has previously caused controversy for his comments that the British are the worst tippers and even banned James Corden from visiting his restaurants.
President Joe Biden said at least 11 Americans were killed and more than 900 Israelis were killed as of Monday afternoon, while more than 2,000 were injured in the Hamas attack.
‘I’m part Jewish. In the 1970s I lived in an Israeli kibbutz for a long time. My older brother Peter risked his life spying for Israel. I believe the atrocities committed by Hamas are despicable, barbaric and completely abhorrent,” said McNally.
Page Six claimed that sources told them that partners at McNally’s flagships Balthazar and Morandi asked him to take down the post, but he refused to do so.
But McNally refuted that claim: “I only have two partners in my restaurants. Stephen Starr in Pastis and Helen Benham in Balthazar and Morandi. I haven’t heard a word from either of them today,” he said.
A spokesperson for Starr Restaurants, Stephen Starr’s company, said: “Hamas’ heinous acts against Israelis and all Jewish people are indefensible and barbaric.
‘This was a terrorist attack. Starr Restaurants and Pastis do not share Keith McNally’s views in any way.”
The restaurateur admitted that an employee of his Meatpacking restaurant Pastis had confronted him about it.
McNally said, “Pastis landlord’s partner, Jared Epstein, who previously emailed me thinking I wrote ‘Support the other side’ and not ‘LISTEN to the other side.’
Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City (pictured) continued on Monday evening after more than 900 Israelis were killed and more than 2,000 injured in a Hamas attack
People in Israel were putting out their cars on Saturday after Hamas’ surprise attack. Many people are still missing and are believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas
Epstein said he did not email the business owner but did respond to the post: “Oh boy, I’m sure this horrific post will result in many lost friends, supporters and followers of yours, including myself.”
“This attack is not just against Israel, but against the entire Jewish people. Hamas is an enemy of Christians, Hindus, minorities, LGBTQ, atheists, people of color and anyone who deviates from their extremist idealist ideology that all Jews must die. We all have a role in the game and must show our support for Israel,” Epstein said.
The landlord said he fully supports Starr, saying he “believes in my heart that no Pastis employee or client shares Keith McNally’s views.”
Jayma Cardoso, founder and creative director of Montauk’s chic Surf Lodge, said McNally’s comments “ignore the horror of the actions against Israeli civilians by Hamas.”
“He used his platform to spread ignorance and still hasn’t corrected his comments. Shame on him,” she said.
Hotelier Jason Pomeranc of Sixty Hotels said: ‘There is no political justification for genocide. Did you think 911 was a time for funny jokes or moral clarity?”
In response to McNally’s pro-Hamas and pro-Palestine post, New Yorkers criticized McNally and vowed to boycott his companies.
One person said, “You and your restaurants suck.”
“I’m canceling my Pastis reservation just like you’re about to be canceled,” one user said.
Another said: ‘You just lost your biggest customer base. Myself and the Jews of New York love your restaurants.”
“I think you regret not using your brain before talking about this. There is no ‘other side’ to killing innocent people,” said one user.
Earlier this year, the London-born celebrity hotspot owner was criticized for saying English people are the worst tippers.
McNally banned British talk show host James Corden from his restaurants last year because of his “abusive” behavior towards servers. Corden apologized and the ban was rescinded.
DailyMail.com has contacted Keith McNally for comment.