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Boulder Restaurant Gets ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ Response Amid Muslim Discrimination Claim

Rashad Khan did not know what to expect when he shared his story about a land­lord who allegedly turned his restau­rant away because his fam­ily is Muslim.

Within hours of KUNC’s pub­li­ca­tion, a huge response began to build — most of it in sup­port of Khan and his Boul­der restau­rant, Curry N Kebob.

“The over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive, rein­forc­ing feed­back — that’s just what’s struck me in gen­eral,” said Khan in an inter­view at his restau­rant on Monday

Peo­ple have stopped by his restau­rant with sup­port­ive words. Online, they’ve posted com­ments rang­ing from dis­be­lief to empa­thy. Some 500 com­ments have amassed across Red­dit threads and on Face­book the story has been shared more than 700 times.

“We’ve known you and your restau­rant since you’ve opened,” one post read. “You are the kind­est and most thought­ful peo­ple! You make our neigh­bor­hood great. Glad we can be there for you!”

Another post read: “I would love it if you opened your restau­rant in Den­ver. My friends and I would eat there — we’d be happy to sup­port you. I hope you can open a loca­tion here soon. Good luck and best wishes.”

And another: “This is ridicu­lous… Long­mont would love to have you!”

Khan has been bowled over by the comments.

“For them to just still reach out — it’s affected them in some way where they need to say some­thing — so I think that’s been pretty fan­tas­tic,” Khan said.

Khan, of Bangladeshi descent, came to the United States when he was 11. He wanted to expand Curry N Kebob into a space for­merly occu­pied by a White Fence Farms fast-casual exper­i­ment in Denver’s Capi­tol Hill.

White Fence’s Craig Cald­well turned to his land­lord, Katina Gatchis, with a plan to sub­let to the Khan fam­ily. He says Gatchis turned the plan down for rea­sons that stunned him.

So he recorded his next inter­ac­tions with her.

Accord­ing to the tapes, the woman Cald­well iden­ti­fied as Gatchis told him to find an “Amer­i­can per­son… good like you and me.”

She also said no to Mus­lims in the recordings.

“They bring all the Mus­lims from the Mid­dle East and then I have a prob­lem around here,” she said. “Bomb, boom. Bomb, boom.”

The record­ings are part of a dis­crim­i­na­tion law­suit filed in state dis­trict court. In legal fil­ings, Gatchis, through her attor­neys, has denied all alle­ga­tions, includ­ing what’s said in the recordings.

Khan and Caldwell’s attor­neys with the Rathod Mohamedb­hai firm in Den­ver are pre­pared to go to trial, pos­si­bly in 2019.

“I think both of our clients want to tell their story to a jury,” said Sid­dhartha Rathod, an attor­ney with the firm. “They want to have a jury decide what the out­come should be and that’s what’s great about this country.”

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