Chef Ashleigh Shanti wants justice after racists targeted her restaurant, Good Hot Fish, earlier this month.
According to Eater Carolinas, the Top Chef alum and James Beard Foundation Award finalist reported the attack after it took place on Feb. 3, one month after the restaurant’s opening. While Shanti was in Raleigh at the time of the incident, her wife, Meaghan Shanti, had taken over lead duties at Good Hot Fish. Around 7 p.m. when the restaurant’s last customers were finishing their meals near closing time, a group turned off the power to Good Hot Fish using a power breaker outside.
“Our power went out, the group walked off, and the employee was yelling at them when some of our customers came outside to see what was happening and yelled at them too,” Shanti recalled. “One of the guys came back, flipped the switch so the power came back on, and ran off.”
Upon going outside, Meghan encountered a racist message left on the restaurant’s front door. On the entrance was a black-and-white graphic sticker with the words “How to ruin a white city.” Placed above it is a hand holding a shaker can labeled with a racist term over a city skyline, and the hand holding the shaker wearing the Star of David emblazoned on their sleeve.
“Meaghan had tears in her eyes when she showed it to me,” Ashleigh said. “The idea that a group of guys was just walking down the street and happened to hit our restaurant, the only Black-owned business in an area that presents as very white, is ridiculous. There is nothing from the street that indicates we are Black-owned, so they did their research and targeted us with their racist message.”
Shanti then went to her Instagram Stories with a five-part message about the incident, also calling out the perpetrators.