Ohio restaurant fired Nazi sympathizer after ‘NYT’ article. Now its Yelp page is caught in the crosshairs.

The 571 Grill & Draft House in New Carlisle, Ohio, has a pretty inconspicuous online presence. It's been featured for its burgers on a local blog and its Yelp page had just a few reviews after four years on the restaurant review site.

But that's all changed since a New York Timesarticle came out over the weekend about a white nationalist, Tony Hovater, worked there. The Washington Post followed up Wednesday that Hovater was fired from his job at 571 Grill. His wife and brother-in-law were also fired from the restaurant. 

After Saturday's article and the backlash to what many considered a normalization of neo-Nazis, 571 Grill got caught up in the clash between supporters claiming Hovater can believe what he wants to believe and those praising the establishment for letting him go.

A look at the restaurant's Yelp page shows how the place became something of a battleground.

RELATED: World's Best Restaurants 2017

51 PHOTOS
World's Best Restaurants 2017
See Gallery
World's Best Restaurants 2017

50. Hof van Cleve, Flanders, Belgium

Facebook

49. Tegui, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Facebook

48. Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin, Germany

Twitter

47. Vendome, Cologne, Germany

Instagram

46. L'Astrance, Paris, France

Courtesy photo

45. Den, Tokyo, Japan

Courtesy photo

44. Brae, Victoria, Australia

Instagram

43. Reale, Abruzzo, Italy

Courtesy photo

42. Borago, Santiago, Chile

Getty

41. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China

Instagram

40. Cosme, New York, USA

Facebook

39. Relæ, Copenhagen, Denmark

Instagram

38. Azurmendi, Biscay, Spain

Instagram

37. Saison, San Francisco, USA

Instagram

36. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, England

Getty

35. Septime, Paris, France

Facebook

34. De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands 

Facebook

33. Astrid y Gaston, Lima, Peru

Getty

32. Attica, Melbourne, Australia

Instagram

31. Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris, France

Getty

30. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain

Getty

29. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy

Courtesy photo

28. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand

Getty

27. The Ledbury, London, England

Getty

26. The Clove Club, London, England,

Getty

25. Tickets, Barcelona, Spain

Getty

24. Amber, Hong Kong, China

Getty

23. White Rabbit, Moscow, Russia

Instagram

22. Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico

Facebook

21. Alinea, Chicago, USA

Facebook

20. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico

Reuters

19. Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark

Reuters

18. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan

Reuters

17. Le Bernardin, New York, USA

Instagram

16. D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil

Getty

15. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy

Courtesy photo

14. Restaurant André, Singapore

Getty

13. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris, France

Courtesy photo

12. L'Arpege, Paris, France

Getty

11. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York, USA

Getty

10. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria

Facebook

9. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain 

Getty

8. Maido, Lima, Peru

Getty

7. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand 

Reuters

6. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain

Instagram

5. Central, Lima, Peru

Reuters

4. Mirazur, Menton, France

Getty

3. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

Getty

2. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy

Getty

1. Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA

Getty

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

A four-star review from Greg. B in Long Island City, NY, came in Thursday praising the burger joint for its position on Hovater — not for its food or service. "Great job firing Nazis who worked there.  If I someday pass thru will check your place out," he wrote.

Jennifer P. from nearby Dayton, OH, doled out five stars and said, "Nice rotating selection of beer and the pizza and burgers are good. But what I love most about this place is that the owner recently fired an admitted Nazi sympathizer after reading an article about him in the NYT. Lots of negative reviews have coincidentally been posted here and elsewhere; don't believe it. Propaganda from a group of hateful dirtbags. It's 2017 and we're actually debating on whether Nazis are decent people," she wrote.

Others expressed disgust at the restaurant's decision to fire Hovater for his beliefs. 

Dozens of one-star reviews came in Wednesday and Thursday. More than 40 of those reviews were flagged on Yelp as "not currently recommended," meaning they aren't counted towards the business' overall rating.

A few addressed the NYT article backlash while others were dressed up as real posts about bad quality food and service.

Credit: Yelp

The online hate hasn't destroyed 571 Grill's online reputation entirely — it still holds four stars despite the barrage of troll reviews.

When we reached out to the restaurant about the Yelp hate, they referred us to a statement they gave Wednesday in TippNews Daily, a local online news outlet. The owner made clear the business doesn't share any of Hovater's views and doesn't tolerate hate. The statement said the article about Hovater illustrated "some very disturbing images and thoughts from this individual."

The owner noted the attacks on the venue that stemmed from the article and subject matter. "Since the release of this article, we have been swamped with phone calls and social media messages that are threatening and intimidating to both us and our employees. These hateful and disturbing messages are truly saddening to those of us who just want to serve delicious food and cold beers," the restaurant said.

Hovater apparently suggested he be fired, the statement added. "We felt it necessary to fully sever the relationship with them in hopes to protect our 20 other employees from the verbal and social media threats being made from individuals all over the country, and as far as Australia."

 

Read Full Story

Can't get enough business news?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from retailer news to the latest IPOs delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.