An acclaimed Denver restaurant that told Mitt Romney to lunch elsewhere is facing some backlash.

After the GOP presidential candidate chose Chipotle for a lunch drop-by yesterday, the Mexican fast food chain got a lot of glory in the press after a Romney posing with staffers went viral. But it turns out the chain eatery was a fallback. And now the family-owned restaurant is paying a big price after a Westword blog post reported on its refusal to host the candidate.

“We lost a big order today,” Oscar Aguirre, co-owner of Rosa Linda’s, told The Daily. “Somebody called in and ordered $120 worth of food.

Later, Aguirre said, the customer called back and asked, “Aren’t you the restaurant that canceled Romney?”

He said the customer “hung-up” and canceled.

“They have a right to do so but don’t hurt us either,” Aguirre said.

It’s not the first time this year that a restaurant is finding out politics and business don’t always mix well. The Florida pizza shop owner who lifted President Obama in a big bear hug last month has since said his business is facing boycotts.

On Aug. 6,  Aguirre said he received a call from Romney’s campaign, which was setting up camp in Denver ahead of Wednesday night’s debate. Aguirre, the oldest of five brothers and co-owner of the family-owned restaurant Rosa Linda’s, remembers the campaign’s first visit to the establishment, which has been nationally recognized for its nachos and for feeding the homeless for almost three decades on Thanksgiving.

“They said ‘Oscar, we would like to bring Gov. Romney.’ I said, ‘Sure, why not? Let me talk to my mom and dad and call you back.’”

The family, whose parents are Mormons, conferred and thought the better of it.

“I said thank you and told him ‘We discussed it as a family but unfortunately we are going to have to pass.’”

“We could use the business, I’m not going to lie,” Aguirre told The Daily. “But at the same time, what kind of message is that going to send?”

For Aguirre and his family, they want to keep their religion and their politics separate from their “amazing” chile rilleno and shredded beef which he said “put us on the map.”

“Gov. Romney we respect,” he said. “If he’s sitting president we’ll open our doors with open arms.”

Source: The Daily


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