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Ashland restaurant owner targeted by racist comments gets community support

Business is now booming for a restaurant owner in Ashland after he and his restaurant were subjected to racist comments last week over social media. (WCHS/WVAH)

Business is now booming for one restaurant owner in Ashland after he and his restaurant were subjected to racist comments last week over social media.

The phone has been ringing off the hook at the The Kings Diner with non-stop business after a racist Facebook post surfaced last week from an off-duty employee of the Portsmouth Emergency Ambulance Service.

"When I first read the thing on the Facebook, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, is this serious?' " owner Taj Sardar said.

Sardar said the post from the employee came after he ate at the restaurant and said that "he was greeted by a tribe from India and that he was ashamed that he probably just funded Al-Qaeda."

"I was like hopefully his backers don't try to get together and push me out here, which I've been living here since 2010," Sardar said.

Cook Tammie Grant controls the restaurant's Facebook page and said she was shocked when she got the notification from the post.

"I got a notification. When I went to go read it ,I was in shock," Grant said. "I was hurt. I first started crying right off the bat, and I said this is ridiculous."

When word got out about the comments, the restaurant has been packed with community support doubling business ever since.

"I got to realize there are more positive people out there than the negative ones we just had experienced, and I'm really thankful to this community here," Sardar said.

To top it off, Sardar and his co-workers were greeted with support and a key to the city from the mayor and city commissioners on Monday.

"It just makes you aware of how some people are and can be, but in all realization it shows us how many people cared and showed the love for Taj," Grant said.

Sardar said he has since forgiven the employee who made those comments and is thankful for the outpouring of love he has received.

"The outcome has been phenomenal. The people have been supportive. I never expected it to be that way, but thank God, God works in mysterious ways and that negative thing turned out to be positive," Sardar said.

Eyewitness News reached out to Portsmouth Emergency Ambulance Services, which said the employee who made those comments has been terminated.

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