Art of the veal: Schnitzel Haus under fire for signed Trump photo

Art of the veal: Schnitzel Haus under fire for signed Trump photo
Wurst-case scenario: Schnitzel Haus owner Fred Urban shows the controversial photo and the letter he and his wife posted to replace it on the wall of their Bay Ridge restaurant.
Community News Group / Caroline Spivack

“Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.”

The owners of Schnitzel Haus took down a signed photo of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that graced the Bay Ridge German joint for nearly a decade, because online reviewers called the eatery racist for appearing to support the divisive White House hopeful who has proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. and has been accused of using white-nationalist imagery in campaign materials.

Sausage slingers said the link was half-baked, but they begrudgingly removed the picture anyway — because the move made capitalistic sense.

“When you’re hurting my income and taking food off my family’s table, we’re forced to make changes,” said Amber Urban, who owns the restaurant with husband Fred. “Honestly, I was very upset. I don’t know how posting a picture on the wall is promoting hatred.”

It hanged there since the restaurant opened in 2007, said the owners. The Urbans are friends with the head of Trump’s security, and The Donald — whose paternal grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Germany — swung by the restaurant in its infancy to wish them luck with their business.

The real-estate mogul offered to send the pair a signed photo of himself, and the Urbans accepted, even though they figured they’d never receive it. The next day, a delivery man showed up at the door with a signed headshot that read: “To Fred + Amber, best of luck with Schnitzel Haus! Best wishes — Donald Trump.”

The Urbans were thrilled to display das foto, because of Trump’s Teutonic roots.

“I was honored to hang the photo,” said Fred. “He’s a prominent businessman and a big supporter of German-American heritage.”

But social media users said the photo was less than appetizing.

“Came here with friends and the food was excellent, true German cuisine,” one Yelp reviewer wrote. “But I felt uncomfortable. On the wall there is a picture of Donald Trump.”

Another customer likened the photo to displaying a portrait of Adolf Hitler, Fred said.

So the stein-house owners dumped Trump’s mug and replaced it with a letter to patrons explaining the picture’s origin.

But neither Urban plans on casting lots with The Donald in November’s election — in fact they may not vote at all, because they are more interested in stuffing sausage casings than ballot boxes, Fred said.

“We don’t speak politics, we speak beer and wurst,” he said.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at mspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow him on Twitter @carolinespivack.

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