The "Red Hen" is a 26 seat restaurant in Lexington, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley. The town is the seat of Rockbridge County, an intensely conservative area while the town which is completely surrounded by the county is very liberal. the town has 7200 inhabitants, and is a very pretty little place that is the location of Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute, my alma mater.
Sarah Sanders, the president's press secretary was in Lexington for some reason on Friday with seven of her relatives and chose to go to this restaurant for dinner. The eight of them would have been a major piece of trade in what passes for "fine dining" in the area. I have never eaten there but remember that when I was a cadet at VMI it was a junk shop and that later it was a BBQ take-out place before ascending to its present grandeur.
The restaurant is expensive for the local dining scene. Half the population of the town are students at the two colleges. They are not going to be eating much at the Red Hen unless mom and dad have come to town to visit. Faculty at the two schools are not paid so much that they are likely to eat there very often.
Soo, the custom for this little eatery must be the constant stream of alumni, family and friends who flow through scenic and historic Lexington in a pilgrimage to the colleges and to such features as the home of Lt Gen Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson, CSA which is across the street from the Red Hen as well as the graves of Jackson and Robert E. Lee which are a few streets away.
I will predict that the liberal leaning element among the visitors to the town will continue to patronize the restaurant but as the news spreads there will be a drop in patrons among "all others."
Sanders and her party had not broken any furniture. They were not cursing drunkenly. They were nevertheless asked to leave on political grounds by the woman owner of the restaurant. pl