While dining at Sambuca 360 in Plano, TX, motivational speaker Johnny Wimbrey got a first-hand taste of racial discrimination. During his otherwise pleasant evening with his wife, Wimbrey was approached by the manager and asked to move seats. Apparently, a polite decline was not what the manager was looking to hear.
“No, I think we want to sit here. We have a great view. It’s only a table for two,” Wimbrey recalls responding. What he didn’t realize immediately was that the manager was hoping to give his “great view” to a white customer.
“You can pay the tab. You are leaving,” the Sambuca manager retorted, inciting confusion from Wimbrey. What the manager didn’t know as he let his inner-racist show was that Wimbrey’s wife had already started filming the exchange.
As any confused patron would, Wimbrey proceeded to inquire as to why he was being asked to leave, at which point the manager replied with a cold “Because I don’t like you.” The situation escalated from there as the successful life coach pressed to know what he did wrong, further enraging the manager to the point of calling the cops under the pretense that Wimbrey was trespassing.
“The Plano police show up. They jump out of the car and I thought what would happen if I didn’t leave,” Wimbrey describes his tense brush with racism.
According to a tweet Wimbrey posted following the event, he believes the “GM of #sambucca360 had every intent to get me arrested and probably more.” Despite the tense situation that left him and his wife shaken, he goes on to remind his followers how best to protect themselves in the same situation. “It was not easy to hold my cool… but it was so worth it.”
I believe this GM of #sambucca360 had every intent to get me arrested and probably more. My response is an example of how to protect yourself. It was not easy to hold my cool… but it was so worth it. #KeepCalmAndLive
Rebecca Lopez 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽💥https://t.co/HAkVOEIEkb
— Johnny Wimbrey (@wimbrey) May 1, 2018
The day after being forced out of the restaurant, Wimbrey found a way to turn the incident into a motivational video. “Never argue with a fool in public because the public will never be able to determine which one the fool is,” he explains in the impromptu 60-second pep talk posted on Twitter.
#60SecondsToIncrease It's better to be prepared and not called than to be called and not prepared. Personal development is personal preparation. Never argue with a fool in public because the public will never be able to determine which one the fool is!#KeepCalmAndLive#Wimbrey pic.twitter.com/NyVktvQrKo
— Johnny Wimbrey (@wimbrey) May 1, 2018
The motivational speaker is best known for his two-word mantra: “Say Increase!”. An acclaimed talk show host and #1 best selling author, Wimbrey is your classic rags-to-riches story, which may be why tells those that listen “Don’t let your past determine your future.” Growing up in a women’s shelter, Wimbrey took to the streets and turned to drug dealing at a young age. After several near-death experiences, he realized he wanted something better and started his new path as an insurance agent.
As for the lovely lady he was dining with – his wife Crystal – he attributes much of his success to having met and married her. Wimbrey co-authored Multiple Streams of Inspiration and Conversations on Success and is the brains behind the Think and Win Big DVD collection.
A spokesperson for Sambuca 360 followed up on the events, issuing the standard apology, calling it a “miscommunication” and a “mix-up at [their] host stand.” Since the incident, Sambuca 360’s Yelp page has been flooded with negative reviews. Others have taken to Twitter, hoping that Wimbrey will step forward with a civil rights suit against the restaurant and manager.
Then, I met from the book from the Hood to doing good Johnny Wimbrey
— Donna K Bush Enterpz (@DonnaKBushEnter) May 3, 2018
For some, the incident has further ignited the anti-white sentiment, with some stating that they’ll only support “black owned businesses”. Ultimately, though, Wimbrey’s experience has brought people together as few were accepting of the employee’s actions and the somewhat brief and thoughtless apology.
Blk ppl need to stop supporting these places. I decided from now on I will support blk businesses. My sorority anniversary..all blk owned venues … birthday celebration…blk owned restaurant. #donewiththem
— Tonia G (@deltaglam) May 3, 2018
I am a regular at #Sambuca360 . Never again. The management response only compounds the problem. A miscommunication? Please….
— BETO FOR TEXAS!!!! (@TherealCharvey) May 3, 2018
— Rae Gatewood (@RaeGatewood) May 3, 2018
J, on behalf of the white race, I apologize we have so many dumbasses, who think they r cool, badasses. I hope u n ur friend r okay. When I face injustice God blesses me big time; I am sure same with u all. God bless both of u!
— Mary lawrence (A Tweetin virgin no more) (@Marylaw55555) May 3, 2018