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Oceana Owner Swears the Restaurant is not Racist

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Yesterday, Midtown Lunch pointed to a post by Chubby Chinese Girl in which she, in a funny but kind of not joking way, calls high end seafood restaurant Oceana racist. Basically, she was seated in a dining room with five other tables of Asians (see right) and not so many tables of any other race. Meanwhile, "the main dining room outside looked really white."

Since the Midtown Lunch post went up—in which the restaurant's co-owner Paul McLaughlin said "...we did 191 lunches Sunday, 95 guests were Asian or have Asian names. That’s 49%"—it has received 63 comments. And now McLaughlin would like to weigh in again. He just sent the following statement to Eater:

As a representative and voice of ownership, management, wait staff, cooks and hosts of Oceana, everyone at the restaurant is deeply saddened by a food blog accusing us of racism. Chubby Chinese Girl posted a photo yesterday on their blog, taken this past Sunday, of several Asian diners enjoying lunch at the restaurant. Because there were no other non-Asian guests seated in the immediate area, we were quickly branded as racists.

Oceana is a large restaurant with some 80 plus tables in all. The photograph intentionally shows only five tables grouped together who all happen to be Asian, a pure and total coincidence. What the photograph doesn’t show is the other 82 tables in the restaurant. If that photograph was taken, the viewer would clearly see Asian and non-Asian diners throughout the restaurant enjoying their friends, family and good food.

I commented yesterday on the Midtown Lunch Food Blog, saying 49% of our clients last Sunday were Asian. These were not pre-compiled statistics, but rather done in support of my comments made to a journalist from Midtown Lunch. We are in fact proud and thankful that the Asian community enjoys Oceana, not only during the Restaurant Week Campaign, but at all times during the year.

As an employer, I am proud to boast of the cultural diversity of our brilliant employees. All of these unique individuals play a key role in providing hospitality and putting forth great food to our equally diverse and brilliant clients. We respect and admire all of our employees and guests alike.

Sensationalism type journalism and a rush to judgment are prominent in our society, please know it is without foundation and hurt us all.
Thank You.
Paul McLaughlin
Oceana Restaurant

· Does Oceana Have a Racist Restaurant Week Back Room Just for Asians? [ML]
· OCEANA: Asians eat at the back... How RACIST!!! [CCG]


1221 6th Ave., New York, NY

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