An interaction between the restaurant and a group of protesters last night (Tuesday August 11th) appears to have gotten out of hand. Executive chef Payne Harding threw water from the balcony of the River Market restaurant to disperse the protesters who were gathered on the sidewalk in front of the entrance.
The protesters were gathered outside the restaurant to protest Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz who was dining with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson that night. The water landed on several of the protesters, including one who was an active Air Force member. According to witnesses the restaurant did ask for assistance from the River Market Police station across the street.
Cache and Chef Harding released a statement this afternoon saying the action was done in the heat of the moment after guest had difficulty entering and exiting the restaurant. Harding says he was not aware of what the protest was about nor who any of the individuals protesting were.
“On behalf of myself, Cache Restaurant and my family I would like to issue my sincerest of apologies to James Ryan Bozeman along with every individual affected by the events that took place last evening. This was a heat of the moment action driven by frustration, these actions were in no way shape or form politically motivated. Customers were having difficulty entering and exiting the restaurant and I thought it was causing a problem for my business. I did not know who the protesters were or what they were protesting. It was as simple as a poor decision that, given the opportunity to make again, I would obviously think about the consequences before I acted. Cache is, and will always be, an establishment that welcomes everyone. There is no excuse for my actions, and I sincerely apologize.”
Harding says the actions were not politically motivated in any way. Speaking with several representatives of the restaurant they are disappointed by the incident and say it does not in anyway reflect the employees of the restaurant or their behavior.