As Andy Ternay walked into the restaurant Sunday morning, he had to know his T-shirt was going to elicit a reaction.
With the subtlety of a frying pan to the face, it said, [expletive] Trump and [expletive] you for voting for him" in big black meme block letters on the front.
On the back was an outlined middle finger pointed upward with another morning message for anyone who happened to have chosen the same breakfast nook as he and his partner did: "[expletive] the racist alt-right."
How's that for a "good morning"?
Long story short, he had to pursue the morning meal elsewhere. He was kicked out of the Richardson First Watch location without being served.
The restaurant said in a statement that the issue was the offensive language on Ternay's T-shirt, rather than the politics involved.
"Just as young children cannot go to R-rated movies that feature language like that, we do not believe they should be exposed to it in a family restaurant and we absolutely understand our customers’ uneasiness and decided to invoke our right to refuse service to that individual," the statement read. "In fact, our decision closely aligns with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s choice to edit or filter obscenities in articles on occasion."
But if you believe Ternay's account of his "adventuresome morning," as he called it in a Facebook post, he had his supporters in the breakfast crowd, too. That post had been shared more than 125,000 times as of Monday afternoon.
He said a manager approached and let him know that customers were distressed by his T-shirt and by the fact that children could see the language. He apologized, and he and his companion were seated and ordered drinks, apparently.
Before the pair was kicked out, though, he was given compliments by the "Latino" woman and two African-American workers at the restaurant, according to his Facebook post. One of them quit his job "on the spot" over the whole episode.
First Watch would not confirm whether any employees sided with Ternay in the dispute, which was resolved quietly, or whether any employees at the Richardson location quit Sunday.
"For the protection of our employees, we're unable to confirm private employment matters publicly," said Eleni Kouvatsos, a spokeswoman for First Watch restaurants.
Richardson police responded to the incident as Ternay was in the parking lot leaving at about 11:30 a.m.
"Since he was in the process of leaving when officers arrived, no additional action was taken," said Sgt. Kevin Perlich, a police spokesman. "But profanity can be considered obscene. There is a limit."
In his Facebook post, Ternay said the decision to wear the shirt in public "is very worthwhile, to let people of color know they are not alone — that some whites also see the evil of racism is resurgent — and we will fight with our brothers and sisters of color against it.
"Treating Muslims and people of color, LGBTQ and women as 'less than' is the real filth and harm to our country."
In November, Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said the owner of a truck with the same message on a bumper sticker could be cited for disorderly conduct for displaying the message.
First Watch also has locations in Fort Worth, Arlington and North Richland Hills.