A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Red Mill Burgers co-owner John Shepherd steps down after furor over offensive online comments

May 12th, 2016 by Doree

Red Mill Burgers co-owner John Shepherd posted on the company’s Facebook page that he is stepping down from his role at the company after he was excoriated on social media for offensive comments, most recently about the five female Seattle City Councilmembers who voted against vacating a SODO street for a possible new sports arena.

Red Mill has restaurants in Phinney Ridge, Ballard and Interbay.

The Stranger had a story yesterday, including Shepherd’s initial Facebook post that called the Councilmembers “bitches,” which he later deleted after the outcry started.

Here’s the full text of Shepherd’s letter of apology:

An Open Letter from John Shepherd

I am writing this letter to apologize for my offensive language and behavior in addressing a number of issues concerning our community, and those who have opinions with which I disagree.

For example, I am passionate about our city’s inability to adequately address our community’s homeless issue. As a recovering heroin addict, 33 years clean and sober, I have very strong opinions on how the addiction epidemic and the issue of homelessness go hand in hand.

Over the years, I’ve been a vocal advocate for real-world solutions surrounding this issue and like many people, I’ve found myself frustrated with the lack of meaningful response by our city leaders. I’ve also been unsatisfied with city leaders’ approaches to issues of growth, zoning, and their overall visions for our community. I am proud to be a native of Seattle and I care deeply about our great city.

While I am not sorry about my disapproval around our city’s leadership, I am horribly sorry for the ways I voiced that disapproval.

I have absolutely no excuse for my use of offensive language. It was wrong by any standard. I apologize for my comments and am reaching out to those I’ve personally offended to offer my regrets directly.
Similarly, I make no excuses for sharing posts on Facebook poking fun at the current debate around access to bathrooms. I shared a handful of cartoons others posted that I thought satirized the debate in a humorous way. Those who know me understand that I support the position of LGBTQ community. In reflection, I can see how the cartoons are offensive, and I apologize.

Finally, I want to acknowledge that people are understandably angry with me. I’ve demonstrated poor judgment. I think it is important, though, that my behavior not punish the employees of Red Mill Burgers who work hard every day to serve our beloved customers. My comments were mine alone, and do not represent the other owners of Red Mill Burgers, or the good men and women who work there.

Effective immediately, I am stepping down from my role at Red Mill Burgers indefinitely. I’ve met with my sister Babe, my brother Michael, and others within the organization and conveyed to them that I need to turn over control and operations in order to reflect on my actions.

Finally, I pledge that while I will not remain silent about critical issues I think are important to our community, I will advocate and express my views in a way that is respectful to all involved.

Thank you,

John Shepherd

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2 more LED holiday monkeys stolen from Red Mill overnight

December 31st, 2014 by Doree

Two more LED-covered metal monkeys were stolen from the roof of Red Mill Burgers overnight, making a total of five monkeys stolen from the neighborhood lighting display in the last month.

Mike Veitenhans, one of the lighting project organizers, tells us he filed a police report this morning. The first two monkeys were stolen from the trees in front of In the Red Wine Bar; the third was stolen yesterday from Red Mill.

RedMill-monkeys-cropped

Holiday monkeys on Red Mill Burgers and neighboring Starbucks in late November. Photo by Mike Veitenhans.

Since the thieves left behind the lighting controllers, he says the police believe the monkeys were stolen for scrap metal. Each monkey has only about $20 worth of metal.

The Phinney Neighborhood Association Business Membership Group and the Greenwood Arts Council came up with the lighting project as a tie-in to Woodland Park Zoo’s annual WildLights and a way to promote neighborhood businesses in a unique way. Each monkey has roughly $80 worth of materials and another $120 worth of volunteer time.

The monkeys – about 150 throughout the neighborhood – have been displayed since Thanksgiving week and will be taken down beginning Jan. 2 and stored until next year.

If you have any information about the stolen monkeys, call the PNA at 206-783-2244. Veitenhans says the stolen monkeys also can be dropped off at the PNA, no questions asked.

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‘Dine Out For Life’ at neighborhood restaurants on Thursday

April 23rd, 2013 by Doree

Seven Phinney Ridge and Greenwood restaurants are participating in Thursday’s “Dine Out For Life” by the Lifelong AIDS Alliance. They’ll donate a portion of your bill to the organization’s fight against illness and hunger.

Here’s the list of participating restaurants in our neighborhood (you can check out the full city-wide list here.):

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Red Mill Burgers shows off its famous ‘bacon pile’ on TV Tuesday night

February 4th, 2013 by Doree

Red Mill Burgers‘ famous pile of bacon and bacon burgers will be featured on the TV show “United States of Bacon” at 6 p.m. Tuesday on Destination America (channel 201 on Comcast). Host and well-known chef Todd Fisher filmed here last September. The episode also will feature Mike’s Chili Parlor in Ballard.

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Stop by Red Mill on Thursday for a chance to be on national TV

September 26th, 2012 by Doree

A food show on the Discovery Channel will be filming at the Phinney Ridge Red Mill Burgers on Thursday. Staff members wouldn’t say which show it was, but did say the show’s giant production trailer will be parked in the parking lot all day, starting around 8:30 a.m.

The show’s main focus will be Red Mill’s Double Bacon Deluxe with Cheese.

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Red Mill’s new Ballard restaurant opens tomorrow

October 10th, 2011 by Doree

If you’re hankering for a Red Mill burger, Phinney Ridge and Interbay are no longer your only choices. Red Mill’s new Ballard restaurant opens Tuesday.

The Red Mill Totem House, 3058 NW 54th St., will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 12-8 p.m. on Sunday.

Read the full story on My Ballard.

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Red Mill Burgers looking to expand to Ballard

January 31st, 2011 by Doree

The Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson reports today that Red Mill Burgers, with locations in Phinney Ridge and Interbay, wants to open a third location, in the recently closed Totem House, next to the Ballard Locks.

Photo from MyBallard.

Red Mill co-owner John Shepherd told Leson they’d love to open a Red Mill that also serves fish ‘n chips.

Read Leson’s full article here.

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