Portland Neighborhood Divided Over ‘British Colonial’ Restaurant

The owners insist they’re not glorifying the violence of colonialism.

Many people would perhaps think twice about opening a restaurant devoted to an appreciation of “British colonial” cuisine. Not Sally Krantz, however! The Portland restaurateur, owner of the unfortunately named Saffron Colonial, wanted to create a space where people could safely indulge in the spoils of Western conquest and plunder vis-à-vis the elevated flavors of fine English dining. Weirdly, that did not go over well in the gentrified Portland neighborhood in which she chose to open her restaurant.

Since the restaurant first opened its doors, it has been subject to endless criticism from the Portland community, which Eater Portland has helpfully chronicled. In an open letter to Krantz, activist Stephanie Dünx connected the restaurant to the ongoing gentrification of the North Williams neighborhood in which it is situated. “It’s a slap in the face to people who have experience the harms of racist economic development policies (a legacy of colonialism), wherein land and resources were taken from black and brown people in order to make some white folks rich,” she wrote in a Medium post.

The outrage culminated in a number of protests—including a March 19 “Stop Romanticizing Colonialism” demonstration that forced the owner to remove the Tortolan Plantation Press cocktail from the “Winston Churchill” breakfast menu, a regrettable collection of words if I ever saw them. (“Most people like Winston Churchill,” Krantz told the Daily Beast. “Quite a fun thing to have a Winston Churchill breakfast.” Churchill, it should be noted, once said that Indians were a “beastly people” with a “beastly religion” and that Palestinians were “barbaric hordes who ate little but camel dung.” But these are minor affronts.)

But nothing—nothing—has been worse for this restaurant’s reputation than its owners, who have misguidedly chosen to dig their heels in and react to the protesters with utter disdain. In a now deleted Facebook post, the establishment’s publicist referred to the protesters with the c-word, writing, “So we had more idiot protestors at the restaurant this afternoon. I especially liked the one who thought he was all Wall St. Occupy with his hoodie up and covering his face for the teargas we had stashed in the shop! He didn’t like it when I told him he looked like a c*nt.”

For what it’s worth—perhaps very little, after that response—Krantz insists that Saffron Colonial is not celebrating colonialism. “For me, it’s about the cultural melding of food around the world, focusing on how England has transformed and affected cuisine where they’ve been present, be it America, India, or Sri Lanka,” she told the Oregonian.

Screenshot via (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less