Protester Incident at Cache Caused by “Poor Decision in the Heat of the Moment”

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.

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“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.

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  • Jason

    Here’s a professional suggestion: Go outside, talk to the protestors, let them
    know you support their constitutional rights to protest, and them ask
    them to move over a little so guests can enter and exit without
    obstruction.

  • Nicola O’Hara

    What are you five that you couldn’t politely ask them to not block your entrance as its a fire hazard and it’s not fair to customers who have no involvement whatsoever.

  • OzarkTroutBum

    Interesting that the water shown in the picture going around Twitter and FB appears to be mainly out towards the curb and nowhere near the door that was supposedly being blocked.

    Either owner Payne Harding has terrible aim or he’s lying in his non apology. He did manage to hit the activists so one can only assume he’s lying about the whole thing.

  • Jason

    I will never support this establishment. No one was blocking an entrance according to the photos and it was three people from what i understand. This non-apology just makes them look worse.

  • Phillip Smith

    It was water. Get over it.

    • OzarkTroutBum

      It was also a public sidewalk, not Payne Hardings personal property.

      • Phillip Smith

        It was still water. Kind of like the guy that splashes you with a puddle when he drives by: pretty much an asshole thing to do but not that big a deal in the grand scheme.

        • OzarkTroutBum

          Not big deal because……. it didn’t happen to you.

          • Phillip Smith

            No. No big deal because it was just water. It’s past. Surely the people involved have better things to worry about than getting splashed with water. Had it been me I wouldn’t have gotten wet in the first place and, had I, I would have moved on within a few minutes.

          • OzarkTroutBum

            You wouldn’t have gotten wet because….. you are a ninja?
            You want to know what would have REALLY been no big deal? Ignoring those guys on the street and going on about his business. Then there would have been no story to report and no bad publicity to deal with and no non-apology to issue.

            My point is that the protesters had every right to be there and Payne Harding had no right to do what he did. Its not what he threw at them, its that he threw anything at them and thought he could get away with it.

          • Phillip Smith

            No. I wouldn’t have gotten wet because I would have been somewhere minding my own business, letting my vote speak for me. In my opinion there IS no story to report, thus my very first comment.

  • CTYankee

    A couple of weeks ago I was canvassing for voter signatures on a petition approved by the Arkansas Attorney general to put medical marijuana back on the ballot in 2016 , standing on the public sidewalk at the Verizon Arena on the Saturday evening when Hillary was scheduled to speak. One of her young staffers asked me to leave, as he didn’t want me ( a citizen and Vietnam veteran exercising my rights under the constitution). I told him to call a cop and go to hell. Stand your ground people !

  • Marck L. Beggs

    Biggest douchebag restaurant in LR. May they go down in flames soon.

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Protester Incident at Cache Caused by “Poor Decision in the Heat of the Moment”