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Falafel Bar owner speaks out about the racism and hatred he and his staff face

Posted at 5:52 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 17:52:15-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — A restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine is receiving overwhelming support from the community after the owner talked about the racism and hatred he and his staff faced in a Facebook post.

Falafel Bar owner Oded Rauvinpoor said this is not new to him or his staff, but it's reached a point where he wanted to say something.

"We have kids that work with us here in the restaurant, I don't want my kids to be exposed to that behavior," he said.

Rauvinpoor said it's difficult to talk about the several incidents of bigotry, intolerance and racism aimed at his staff and his business.

Last week, he said his staff told him that a man made remarks that made everyone feel uncomfortable and concerned.

"As an employer, I mean this is the people that work with me. I'm not going to do this without them," he said.

After keeping it to themselves for a while, the restaurant decided to speak out.

A post on their Facebook page detailing some of the disturbing incidents gained the support of patrons and the community.

Rauvinpoor said he's proud of his diverse staff, who he calls his family.

"We speak seven languages in this restaurant. We have people from India, Syria, Iraq, Israel, American, Italians," he said. "Food is supposed to bring people together. Yes, it's a restaurant, there's competition...it's different. There's no need for that in a restaurant."