Stella, a University Heights restaurant known for its burgers, stirred up controversy over the weekend based on a cover charge game — with news stories, including stories on national news sites, reporting that Trump supporters were required to pay higher cover charges than Clinton supporters. But co-owner Kevin Perez said Wednesday that those reports were over-simplified.
“It was like a Monty Hall game, with customers turning questions over, like, ‘Are you a Michigan fan?,'” Perez said, admitting that one of the questions involved support for presidential candidates. “It was humor. That’s what it was meant to be.”
The restaurant, just a stone’s throw from Kinnick Stadium, usually charges a cover fee on game days. Perez said if customers refused to pay the higher fees or changed their answers, they would have just been told “Okay.” After the incident made the news, he said people have been calling in with threats and both he and his employees are stressed.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the restaurant’s Yelp site was undergoing an “active cleanup.” According to the alert, the page was being monitored to remove “both positive and negative posts that appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business.”