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The New Jersey airport restaurant that a New York Times columnist apparently tried to disingenuously shame over the cost of a meal just happens to be owned by Black men who clearly took umbrage at the suggestion.

David Brooks, who gets paid to share his opinions, on Wednesday night tweeted a photo of a burger and fries and let all his followers know how he felt about the price once he got the bill.

“This meal just cost me $78 at Newark Airport,” Brooks posted on the app formerly known as Twitter. “This is why Americans think the economy is terrible.”

Lurking behind the “meal” is a glass of brown liquid under a mountain of ice cubes. More on that later.


Brooks was immediately dragged on social media by folks who understood that the columnist was likely traveling for work and would expense it to have the New York Times eventually reimburse the same man whose net worth is reportedly at the very least $1 million. Among those to criticize Brooks was writer Joyce Carroll Oates, who found the social media post about food to be in, well, poor taste.

“(bar bill: $66. food bill: $12. tip: $0 N Y Times expense account),” Oates wrote in a post clearly mocking Brooks for complaining about something he more than likely wasn’t even paying for.

As fate would have it, Oates was actually much more accurate than she may have initially thought.

After wrote a news article reporting how Brooks went viral with his complaint, the restaurant’s social media presence was felt after adding some more context to the columnist’s words.

“Looks like someone was knocking back some serious drinks – Bar tab was almost 80% and he’s complaining about the cost of his meal,” the Facebook account for 1911 Smoke House Barbeque posted on Thursday afternoon before adding: “keep drinking buddy – we get paid off everything.”

The same Facebook account later teased a promo for a “D BROOKS SPECIAL” with a price of $78 crossed out and replaced by $17.78, presumably the actual price of a burger and fries at the restaurant.


To make matters worse for Brooks, his initial post on the app formerly known as Twitter was appended with a damning disclaimer that linked to 1911 Smoke House Barbeque’s Facebook post indicating that “Readers added context they thought people might want to know,” before adding: “The restaurant has noted that 80% of this tab was Brooks’ bar bill.”

It was unclear how many drinks, and which drinks, Brooks had with his meal.

It’s also unclear what Brooks’ objective was with that social media post, particularly since he never mentioned the name of the restaurant.

But reported that 1911 Smoke House Barbeque has “an outpost at Terminal A in Newark Airport” called Smokehouse BBQ where the columnist ate.

A website devoted to economic development in New Jersey showcased Maurice Hallett as the owner of 1911 Smoke House Barbeque, a restaurant in the capital city of Trenton that the Black man said he was only able to reopen after the pandemic through a municipal loan program.

“With this loan, we were able to keep all 21 employees on board, get the cleaning supplies necessary to adhere to new restaurant requirements and help the community,” Hallett, who is a co-owner with his brother, Reggie, said about the $20,000 loan from the Trenton Small Business Emergency Loan Fund Program.

The Trenton location is a “favorite” of Gov. Phil Murphy.

Now, another Smoke House location has opened elsewhere in the Garden State.

1911 Smoke House Barbeque originally opened in 2015 and had been thriving when COVID-19 shut down the country and many of its small businesses, particularly restaurants. What was once a bustling business in a busy metropolis had become “a ghost town,” Maurice Hallett said in an interview about his loan published on the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s website.

Hallett, who has an MBA and played college basketball at Lehigh University, has said the numerical part of his restaurant’s name is a nod to Kappa Alpha Phi, the historically Black fraternity to which he belongs.

Black-owned businesses have finally begun to rebound after the pandemic, according to Forbes, and Hallett is apparently riding that same wave of success. The last thing he needs is a viral tweet spreading misinformation to derail all the post-pandemic progress he’s made and sully the name of his business at a time when people are extra cost-conscious.

Perhaps all of the above will compel Brooks to think twice before he fires off another social media post that he knows to be intellectually dishonest.


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The post NJ Airport Restaurant That David Brooks Falsely Complained About Is Black-Owned appeared first on NewsOne.

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