The owner of Le Bilboquet, the Dallas bistro that hosted a birthday party attended by Donald Trump Jr. and Senator Ted Cruz this weekend, has seen the photo posted by the president’s eldest son online. He has also seen the ensuing social media kerfuffle, and he shares “your indignation without any reservation.”
In a statement, Stephan Courseau says he and the staff of his upscale French restaurant feel “betrayed and sad” by the photo, in which Trump Jr. and Cruz bare their teeth and pose with a “cake” emblazoned with a misshapen facsimile of the Shepard Fairey “Hope” portrait of former President Barack Obama. Trump Jr. helpfully tagged Le Bilboquet on Instagram in a series of three photos with the “Obama cake,” an early 40th birthday gift that careful forensic photo analysis reveals is actually some kind of big cookie, perhaps a cookie-cake. (The cookie-cake was brought to the restaurant by another party guest.)
Courseau says the Republican stars were at the private birthday party of a regular patron, not a partisan event. While it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Trump Jr. and Cruz have very little respect for the former president or the parameters of good taste, Courseau says he takes offense at the “fact that guests decided to use our restaurant as a platform to promote, disrespect, and spread hatred…”
Just the hazards of operating a restaurant in an extremely online era of partisan rancor.
Here’s the full statement from Le Bilboquet:
Dear Bilboquet Friends,
This morning a lot of you have been shocked and appalled to hear that Donald Trump Jr. and Ted Cruz celebrated a birthday of a friend at Le Bilboquet with a cake with our former president Barack Obama’s face on it.
Let me be clear, I share your indignation without any reservation.
Both Donald Trump Jr. and Ted Cruz were attending a birthday celebration of one of our regular patrons who rented out our venue for a private event. The party was not for either one of them nor was it any kind of partisan rally.
Unfortunately, I was not working yesterday and could not intervene in the unfortunate circumstances that unfolded but I believe I owe you an explanation and an apology.
Someone that attended the party brought in an outside cake for Donald Trump Jr.’s upcoming birthday and we are not sure who that was. Both Donald Trump Jr. and Ted Cruz took pictures with the cake and posted on social media outlets.
We at Le Bilboquet feel betrayed and sad. Restaurant business is about creating a hospitable environment for all, a non-partisan, non-politicized, nondiscriminatory and respectful environment. The fact that guests decided to use our restaurant as a platform to promote, disrespect, and spread hatred goes against everything we stand for.
On a personal note, I am French and my wife is Mexican. We both believe in universal values of love, respect and tolerance. Values that we have found within the Dallas community. Our friends and patrons represent a wide spectrum of American beliefs including: Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. What brings them together is the same belief that we can live together with love, respect and tolerance. I made America my home a long time ago because of these values that embody the real American dream.
I am truly sorry that such distasteful events happened at our venue and that these circumstances brought me to write this statement today. It reminds us that a divide still exists and that we have to keep promoting our core values, so that events like these don’t happen again. While I am disappointed and hurt, I still think it is possible.
Owner Le Bilboquet Dallas
And here’s Trump Jr.’s original Instagram post.
With friends like these… some good friends decided that while my birthday is not for 2 weeks that they would get me an early 40th birthday cake. And what birthday is complete without an Obama cake? I figured it was so good that I would have to share it with Ted. 😂🇺🇸😂🇺🇸😂 #tx #texas #birthday #tedcruz #obama #cake