The family that owns Rosa Linda's, a popular Mexican cafe in Denver's Highland neighborhood, are receiving threatening calls and emails as well as cancelled orders over what the family is saying is a misunderstanding of why they refused to play host to a Romney campaign stop.
Oscar Aguirre, the eldest son of the family that owns the restaurant who says he has also received death threats about not hosting the Romney stop in Denver, told 7News' Wayne Harrison that they have nothing against Romney, but that the family "just didn't want [their] business used as a campaign stop."
Aguirre and his parents are Mormon and were contacted in August about being the location for a possible campaign stop. But the Aguirres turned the offer down because his family are not Republicans nor are they Democrats and didn't want to be part of a political campaign. "We will welcome any sitting President of the United States," Aguirre told 7News. "But, we did not want to be a campaign stop."
On the restaurant's Facebook page, Aguirre posted this to try and clear the air:
I (Oscar) would like to apologize to EVERY ONE WE MAY HAVE Offended. concerning Governor Mitt Romney, and the article in Westword.
We did not refuse him service yesterday THAT IS FALSE! as stated in the article when we were contacted by the campaign of Candidate Romney on August 6th, by a former mormon missionary that he would like to bring the canidate here, NOT TO EAT but; it was presented to us that he wanted to do a political stump here. Talk about our small business and how because we share our religious views with the candidate and are Latinos it would be great for him to do a campaign stop. We Did say NO because we are not Republicans, Nor are we Democrats. We will welcome any sitting President Of the United States. But, We Did not want to be a campaign stopping place....
Since this article came out we have been getting hate emails, from people across the country, people sending us death threats and people calling us telling us we are racist... that they hope we go out of business. All are welcome to join us for family meal! we may not be your cup of tea but we still welcome anybody with open arms.
We DID NOT WANT TO BE A POLITICAL STOP!!
If we do go out of business our Annual Thanksgiving Feast to the needy would end. Last year we fed 5500 meals, this year we may serve above 6000 meals. Please let the American public know that we are not racist or bigots. We are just a working family wanting to help our community and our country by serving those in need.
PLEASE STOP THE HATE!!
The Facebook post had already received over 70 comments, many in support, but many critical of the restaurant's decision and Aguirre's explanation. Some were even unjustly critical of Westword's article. Responding to the comments and in defense of Westword, the cafe added:
With all do respect Westword didn't say anything wrong if your read the article... the headline is misunderstood! We just didn't want to be a campaign stop...
The Denver Post reports that Rosa Linda's is usually on the receiving end of love from patrons and the local community it has been serving since 1985. The restaurant is well-known around town for the thousands of free meals it donates to people in need on Thanksgiving.
Watch a video The Denver Post produced on Rosa Linda's Thanksgiving meal donation in 2011 below the slideshow.