News & Politics

Diner Owner Sublimely Turns Tables on Snitches to COVID Hotline – 'We Deserve to Know Who We Can Trust'

KIRO 7 video screenshot of Craig Kenady, owner of That One Place diner.

The owner of a Puget Sound-area diner has turned the tables on “tattletales” who called the Washington State COVID-19 snitch line to report that “people are eating.”

Craig Kenady’s savage and proportional reply to his critics may make them think twice before calling Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID snitch line on That One Place Diner again.

Tattletales have made 260-plus complaints to Inslee’s COVID violation line about the car-themed restaurant at a Port Orchard strip mall since May 2020, when Kenady defied the governor’s rules about shutting down.

snitch line diner
Washington State government website screenshot.

Kenady’s liquor license has been suspended and he’s incurred more than $130,000 in fines for staying open.

A sign announces that the diner is now on the governor’s most-wanted list.

warning sign diner
Photo of the warning at That One Place diner. Photo credit: Victoria Taft, PJ Media.

Kenady told Seattle radio host Dori Monson that his 45 employees need the jobs and he’s unwilling to go broke for Inslee.

The wife and I had been in conversation a lot about opening anyway because we were starting to struggle to pay our bills, and my employees, they couldn’t make any money off of just being take out only. I have 45 staff members, and so for our sales to be cut like that, it’s just impossible for them. So we had a crew chat, and we brought it up with our staff and asked what they thought. And everybody wanted to work. They were all 100% in.

But as an employer of last resort for people on probation and in recovery, Kenady told the KIRO radio host he believes he has a greater obligation to his employees than most.

You can imagine somebody that’s in recovery, some of them just a month or two into recovery, cannot sit at home and collect a paycheck off the government and not relapse. So then we’re talking about what could be actual people’s lives at stake here.

For the last year, Inslee, the former presidential candidate and man-made global warming religious adherent, who wears a mask outside though he’s vaccinated, ordered lockdowns of even rural counties such as Kitsap County, the home of “That One Place Diner.” The county is about an hour southwest of Seattle.

And because the town of Port Orchard is so small, with 13,000 people, Kenady told KIRO TV he had an obligation to tell community members whom they could trust.

That One Place Diner
That One Place diner complaint list. Photo credit: Victoria Taft, PJ Media.

That’s right, he outed them publicly on an inside wall near the entrance of his restaurant.

So here’s the list everybody calls the tattletale list. If you want to tell on your neighbors, then your neighbors deserve to know who you are. Plain and simple.

Kenady told Monson that it was “the right thing” to do.

The only motivation was is that I feel if they’re going to call and complain about us, then their neighbors deserve to know. We all, in our small community, deserve to know who we can trust or not.

That’s what started it. We felt that it was the right thing.

Here are just a few reasons complainers gave for dropping a dime on Kenady.

  • He has decided to “protest the stay in place order.” I believe this is due to his political beliefs which he’s always touting …
  • People are eating.
  • Hundreds of people flocked to this restaurant to show support against the stay home order.
  • Absolutely unacceptable. They are a danger to everyone. We just had a positive case. They need to be stopped.
  • They has [sic] opened for [indoor] dining
  • They are allowing people inside to eat in the restaurant against the governor’s orders
  • Owner has publicly stated he’s going against Governor’s orders
  • No masks or social distancing

Kenady previously posted the list on the front door until the son of a woman who turned him in came and tore it down. A police report was filed and the list was returned to Kenady, but he moved it inside.

The restaurant urged people not to contact or retaliate against the people on the list.

disclaimer diner
Photo of the disclaimer at That One Place diner. Photo credit: Victoria Taft, PJ Media.

But he told KIRO TV if “you don’t want to be on that list, don’t turn in your neighbors. That’s all I’ll say…”

One woman who complained claimed she’d been hassled by people because of the list, but Kenady doubts that.

One of the people that’s claiming that is just the lady that [KIRO 7 TV] interviewed there. She definitely did not. She’s just been, in our community, somebody that has really tried to slander me and talk badly about me. … She’s attacked my staff, calling them QAnon members and my customers QAnon members.

Kenady’s diner raises money and food for the down and out, supports the local festivals, sponsors litter cleanups, and holds an annual “trunk or treat” event on Halloween – the 2020 event sparked a lot of the complaints to the snitch line. He’s announced that he and the local car club will host a summer car show on June 5. “It will be a great time for sure!” reads the Facebook entry.

On Saturday, we made the sojourn to the diner to get a bite to eat. Contemporary Christian music played over the sound system, the staff was masked and extremely pleasant and attentive, license plates from all over the world festooned the walls, and my husband’s double burger was out-of-this-world great.

Masks were optional.

We’ll be going back.