‘Not Bothered by You Being Here’: Honduran Restaurant Praised for Act of Kindness Toward Houseless Man
A Honduran restaurant in Arkansas went viral after a diner inside the restaurant posted a photo of a homeless man getting a free meal. This story of kindness and generosity immediately resonated with people online. Additionally, commenters everywhere are praising the restaurant for treating the man with decency and respect.
An act of Arkansas kindness goes viral
Initially, Little Rock resident Ronda Chung posted the image on January 4. At the time, she was eating at El Sur Street Food Co. In the caption, she calls the restaurant “the epitome of compassion and local love.” At first, Chung explains how a homeless man walked into the restaurant asking if they had any food they’d planned to throw out.
“The guy behind the counter,” she writes, “said I would love to pay for your food and asked if he would like to hear some recommendations.” The employee then offered the man a large menu item “instead of trying to give him cheap stuff like chips and salsa or a pupusa.”
However, the El Sur employee went the extra mile. “He asked if the guy wanted to eat at a table or if he wanted it packed to go,” Chung writes. “When the person said that he wanted to make sure he wasn’t bothering the business the guy behind the counter said I am not bothered by you being here and offered a table.”
“Amazing food, amazing folks,” she concludes. “This is the Arkansas I want.” Consequently, it seems like the world agrees. The post immediately blew up online, garnering hundreds of comments on the original Facebook post. Additionally, a Reddit repost from user Grayhome blew up on the MadeMeSmile subreddit.
People want more restaurants to follow suit
“Always will be a razorback,” writes one commenter, in reference to the popular college football team in Little Rock. “Bless him. We need more compassion in the world,” writes another.
However, one commenter tells a story about their own experiences with wasted food. “I think that’s an excellent idea,” they wrote. “One time I drove behind a Walmart and there was two big trash bins of discarded breads and pastries in there. They were thrown it away instead of donating it to a local homeless shelter.”
They add, “I wonder how many other restaurants that throws food away instead of opening up their kitchen and their dining room- to let the homeless come in and eat that’s all they want it’s just a meal in their belly.”
The restaurant’s owner is an activist and a queer man from Honduras
However, El Sur Street Food Co. is already a staple in the local community. In fact, Passport Magazine even profiled the restaurant’s owner, Luis Vasquez. He appears in a piece about members of the LGBTQ+ community in Little Rock.
At one point in the interview, Vasquez says, “I worked with Heifer International, whose mission is to end hunger and poverty around the world in a sustainable way by supporting and investing alongside local farmers and their communities.”
Knowing more about the owner, it makes sense why El Sur fed a man in need of a hot meal. Vasquez also revealed more about his background, explaining how he’s originally from Honduras and came to the United States to avoid persecution as a gay man.
The world needs more restaurants like El Sur Street Food Co. and more people like its owner, Luis Vasquez.