OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Kong’s Tavern management is speaking for the first time since their Cinco de Mayo party sparked a social media firestorm.
“It was the people, not us,” Kong’s Tavern Manager Chris Hutchison said. “They made the choice to get so close together. It’s people being people. They’ve been locked up for two months.”
It was all caught on video – a packed patio, an overflowing line and no social distancing. Several people who drove by the restaurant located at 1016 N. Walker Ave., in Oklahoma City called 9-1-1 to report it as well.
When KFOR tried to ask why managers didn’t step in, there was some pushback.
“We had an agreement,” one manager said.
“I can ask what I want though,” KFOR reporter Peyton Yager said.
But getting Kong’s on camera wasn’t easy.
After our story aired Wednesday, they invited us to come by and clear the air.
But when we showed up, there was a surprise as we recorded.
“I think it would be good if you talk on camera and give your side of it,” Yager said.
“No way in hell,” Kong’s manager said.
But 30 minutes later, they changed their mind.
“Our protocol Tuesday is the same as today, but we stepped it up more,” Hutchison said.
Come Thursday, KFOR was shown how the patio seating is now limited, everyone gets a temperature check at the door and they are sanitizing stations along with single use menus.
There are also signs up outside that say “wear a mask in line,” and if you don’t have one on, you are asked to leave and go get one.
“Do you see when someone is driving by that it looks bad?” Yager asked.
“It was their perception of what was going on,” Hutchison said. “They didn’t know what was happening inside.”
Police did show up Tuesday, but since Kong’s was following protocol on the inside, no ticket was given.
However, Kong’s refused to release surveillance video from Tuesday night.
Managers also add they didn’t have security at the beginning of their Cinco de Mayo party, but we checked and security is there now.