Busboys and Poets restaurants in D.C. pride themselves on being eating and gathering places where art, culture and politics intentionally collide. And collide they did over the weekend at the Busboys and Poets on 5th and K Streets when a waitress wore a t-shirt that said "Occupation Isn't Pretty."
An offended customer wrote a note on the back of his receipt that said, "Wearing your political beliefs on your shirt cost you a percentage of your tip."
That patron also left a brochure from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which describes itself as a pro-Israel lobbying group.
Needless to say, it has caused an uproar.
Restaurant owner Andy Shallal, an Iraqi American who has been an outspoken opponent of the invasion of Iraq, is also outspoken on the Israeli-Palestianian conflict. He tells FOX 5, "Occupation isn't pretty. I don't think many people would think occupation is pretty. So I am definitely opposed to the occupation of the West Bank and of Gaza."
Shallal also says he encourages his staff to engage in political discourse.
Two customers, who used to be servers at other restaurants, spoke to FOX 5.
Aubri O'Connor said the $2 tip on a $32 check was inappropriate.
"You're not tipping the person for their political opinion," she said. "You're tipping them for their service."
Sun King Davis said he thinks there is a reason servers wear uniforms, but he agrees the tip should reflect the service.
The waitress at the center of the controversy had no comment. Neither did AIPAC.