After temporarily closing (and posting an angry sign that went viral), SO Restaurant's chef-owner, James Chu, is taking a softer approach. In place of his former missive (which stated, among other things "Yes, we use MSG!" and "Don't give a s--t about gluten free!"), Chu now has a more measured sign that reads: "We work hard to please everyone, but we know we can't. So if you're hard to please, please just turn around and go somewhere else. Thanks!" (Among the hard-to-please who should probably just turn around: anyone with a distaste for comic sans.)
Chu's original sign has made SO the center of controversy this weekend, with supportive messages from fans and tirades from celiac sufferers flying on Twitter and on Yelp, where a surge of one- and five-star ratings have blossomed on SO's page. "This is a classic example that Chinese restaurant owner doesn't have a heart to own a restaurant," wrote one Yelper; another, "Go James, good for you for standing up for yourself!" The vocal restaurateur also appeared on the news, arguing that he's "tired of catering to hard-to-satisfy patrons." Here's the video of his appearance:
Chu also noted on the news that he's been getting more business as a result of the written outburst, and a server at SO confirmed to Eater that it's been much busier since Friday, with many regulars dropping by to show their solidarity. A few diners we spoke to on Saturday night said they'd never been in before and had come because of the buzz surrounding the sign.
Patricia Chang contributed reporting to this story.