After posting selfies of their plane trip to Washington, DC, in early January for the fascistic Save America rally, Tank Noodle’s owners came under fire from restaurant patrons. On social media, neighborhood residents lambasted the bosses for their reactionary Trumpism and promised to eat elsewhere. The bosses responded with utterly hypocritical pleas for “healing” and feigned concern for Tank’s workers, who they alleged had received death threats.
But the Tank bosses have never been concerned about the workers who make all the food for very little money. Unsurprisingly, Tank bosses have been stiffing the restaurant’s sixty workers for years. Finally, they’ve been forced to cough up nearly $700,000 in back wages after an investigation by the Department of Labor. Yet even that amount is based on the measly wages on which restaurant workers across the country must ruthlessly ration to survive.
Meanwhile, gentrification has run roughshod over the neighborhood, as middle-class interlopers settle into Uptown and force long-time residents out. And realty magnates dangle the neighborhood’s food as a lure for hip, middle-class white professionals in search of the urban living experience. As the realty website “Luxury Living” noted in 2018,
“Uptown also has a notable Vietnamese restaurant scene with Tank Noodle coming out as number one. They present a broad array of Vietnamese food ranging from pho to spring rolls to stir fry. It is said around Chicago that Tank Noodle is one the best places to eat authentic, Vietnamese cuisine!”
No doubt, the food is delicious, thanks only to the people who make it. But Tank Noodles’ bosses—like restaurant bosses everywhere—are more concerned about their profits than good food and the health of their workers. Like Uptown’s real estate robber barons, Tank Noodle’s bosses are just another example of the slimy business acumen that condemns working-class people to lives on the margins while hiding behind free speech and fake sympathy.
Shut down the bosses’ Tank Noodle. And reopen it under the workers’ control.