Did Red's Savoy Pizza "joke" go too far?

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Red posts a joke more offensive than sauerkraut pizza.
If you enter the front door at Red's Savoy Pizza on E. Seventh Street in St. Paul, it can take several moments for your eyes to adjust to the dim, windowless, blue-collar pizzeria, which is known for its gruff schtick--a sign warns that the management reserves the right to tow any children left running unchaperoned--and cheese-swaddled, square-cut pies.

But if you enter in the back door, (the one that leads to the always-full parking lot visible on closed-circuit security camera from inside the bar) there's plenty of light coming through the glass door to illuminate the rotating cast of jokes and cartoons that the owner, Red Schoenheider, likes to post on the back wall.

On a visit earlier this week, one of the cartoons suggested that working for the Pope was easier than working for Red, because, "at least you only have to kiss his rings." Ha!

But below it was a "joke" that several customers didn't find so funny:

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The joke in question: posted at Red's Savoy on 7th.

When Hot Dish inquired about the posting to one of the staffers, she indicated that they usually changed fairly frequently and she hadn't seen the piece in question. "I don't read it," she said. "I don't go through that way, so I don't pay attention to it."

When Schoenheider, who has run the place for more than four decades (he also owns the Red's Savoy on White Bear Avenue; the other locations are franchises), was reached by phone for comment, he confirmed that he used the space to post material that he found or somebody gave to him, "if it's not too radical."

But what about the dog joke? Wasn't that offensive? Schoenheider said he wasn't even sure if the joke was still back there and went to go check. The Hot Dish heard what sounded like a guffaw in the background and when Schoenheider returned, he remarked, "that one's pretty funny."

Schoenheider admitted that he had received one complaint about the dog piece, but said he believed 99 percent of the people who read it found it humorous. "I could put some worse ones up there," he said, and went on to describe some commentary he'd seen on the internet about racism towards white people that he'd decided not to post. "That's too far out," he said.

While sauerkraut should always have a place on Red's pizza, a "joke" about wanting a dog to maul people because of their race or religious beliefs doesn't belong on the pizzeria's wall.


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41 comments
EastSideResident
EastSideResident

Stupid post.  There are hundreds of people that will happily jump into the space in line that you left behind.  The pizza is out of this world good compared to the competition in the cities.  Is the place racist?  Perhaps a bit.. do they discriminate?  Hell no.  If you lived on the East Side your whole life like myself, I think you'd find a least a little humor in that 'funny' yourself.

"Just think not that long ago people of color was allowed to be on the east side of Saint Paul without being harassed." -- Yea, if you are talking over 2 decades ago.. How can you even bring this up?  Go to ANY surrounding community not named the West Side, Frog Town, or North End and the problem is 10 fold.. I'd say the East Side is pretty dang tolerant considering the way the city has destroyed that community with poverty zoning.

deannaedjo40
deannaedjo40

It doesn't take reading something on the wall to already know that this establishment is racist. You could see it you can feel it when you first walk in and sit down. The food is very good the waitresses always treated me right, but something about the clientele just kinda makes you think that you know people of color are not very welcome. You can just tell. When an atmosphere comes off that way, it's because of what the owner has created in his own established without even realizing it. Just think not that long ago people of color was allowed to be on the east side of Saint Paul without being harassed. There are other pizza places that are just as good or even better. If he sees nothing wrong with what he posted in his restaurant he's not worth giving your money to move on.

Jeffp
Jeffp

my ADVICE... grow a thicker skin!

4cryinoutloud
4cryinoutloud

I hope the dog is very healthy, he breeds it, and it yields very large litters ..... hopefully the idiot who wrote the article will find his butt in the jaws of one of the dogs very soon !!!!!   

Barryroloff
Barryroloff

Why is a joke that touches on real issues offensive to some but the same person can post what ever they want on some clowns blog. I think you should keep your head in the sand and just hope thing get better or keep believing they are fine.

Johngessner
Johngessner

I'm glad this got some attention. I love the place and the pizza but was appalled to see this, or perhaps an earlier version of it, at the entrance. Political hack commentary, OK. It's his joint. But with all the Somalis in the Twin Cities, I guess Red has put them on notice he doesn't want their business or their money, even though it's green. What a despicable jerk. Anyone up for a boycott or a letter-writing campaign?

Jen
Jen

I say if you're offended, don't go there. That means when I do go, not only do I a shorter wait time, I don't have to listen to assholes like you. You're probably of the same majority who won't allow prayer in school. Won't allow the reciting of the Star Spangled Banner. Won't allow "holidays" in school. All because it "might" offend someone. Did you ever think that the spew that comes out of your flapping lips is offensive to others?

joey joe joe
joey joe joe

I hereby claim this pizza place in the name of the confederacy! I dont avoid this place because of the stupid attempts at humor they put on a back door, i avoid it because I dont like the food or the service. I seem to remember that when it was Galooneys, it was much better.

singe_101
singe_101

This is like .1% of the right-wing nuttery at the Gopher Bar, also on 7th.

I thought it would a college/alum sports bar, but it's just 40-somethings with country music, Miller Lite, and one little TV.

Whitey
Whitey

Sounds like Red is my kinda guy!

Horatio Rincewind
Horatio Rincewind

I don't go to Red's because of the political values of the owner. I go because I like the food. I go because I like experiencing the miserable service once in a while. I go because in its dingy corners I can see my neighbors, the dumb rednecks among us (including the owner), the parents bringing their kids in for a treat.

There are bigots and rednecks among us-- everyone is a little bit racist-- the high dudgeon in these comments just go to show how wound up the best intentioned among us can get about something that doesn't really matter much.

Jjburke71
Jjburke71

don't eat there, more pizza for me.

mattdaddy
mattdaddy

Typical grade school-esque reply. What you dont like that - I could do something much worse!How bout you dont put any crappy jokes on your wall and concentrate on not actively offending potential customers? Red, you are an ignoramus.

Sickofwhiners
Sickofwhiners

Love the humor. If the few people that get offended by it don't come back GREAT.

vitajex
vitajex

That place IS a joke.

I went there with a buddy and ordered the Dago sandwich and was served two pieces of white bread with a chunk of sausage in the middle covered with unimpressive red sauce and cafeteria-grade mozzarella. And this was a $7 sandwich.

Then, when they effed up the pizza and put mushrooms on when my friend specifically and clearly requested they be held, the dim-bulb server tried to tell us we would have to pay for that pizza and then, when we came back (WHY THE F&*$ WOULD WE COME BACK?!?!), we would have to mention our name and our phone number to get a future free pizza.

In short, F that place.

erin
erin

>"I could put some worse ones up there," he said, and went on to describe some commentary he'd seen on the internet about racism towards white people that he'd decided not to post. "That's too far out," he said.

This is what gets me. Because a dog mauling people because of who they vote for, their religion, ethnicity and fluency in English (which most white folks are hardly fluent in, btw) is well within bounds. What the... ?? Really, guy? Really??

T_Bone_steak_in_yer_pocket
T_Bone_steak_in_yer_pocket

This write up is fucking stupid. It doesn't say anywhere in the joke that they were mauled because of race, religion, or creed. They all probably had steaks in their pockets, you over sensitive wiener.

rvm4
rvm4

Uh, "Mauled 3 Muslims..." There's religion. "...customer service people speaking broken English." There's creed. "Somalian taxi driver." There's race. Did you read the same piece as the rest of us?

Shutup
Shutup

You wrote an article on a piece of paper in someone's pizza shop. Just take the day off if you're gonna type this shit

Greg
Greg

I wouldn't want to eat at a place that thinks a "joke" like that is funny. Good thing Punch is worlds better anyway and John Soranno isn't a nut job.

MYNAMEIZSTAR
MYNAMEIZSTAR

Its only ok to be rasist when you hate EVERYONE

nasty
nasty

Do you miss the pizza the public schools served in the 5th grade? If so, go to this dump.

Mensch Maschine
Mensch Maschine

WTF are you talking about? While I can perfectly understand why this style of pizza wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea (or slice of pizza), comparing it to school lunch pizza is ludicrous.

Scoops
Scoops

I'd say that I wont eat there anymore if I actually liked the pizza. Talk about the most overrated pizza in the twin cities. Ive tried the pizza twice and have been very unimpressed both times. I'll take Cosseta's or even Pizza Luce over Red's any day!

PW
PW

Comparing Red's Savoy to Cossetta or Pizza Luce' is like comparing apples to some fruit no one has ever heard of. I like all three, but Savoy is nothing like the other two.

Al
Al

I agree with that. They are all very good in their own way

Footnotegirl
Footnotegirl

Well, there's a restaurant that I never have to bother going into.

Me
Me

I'll eat there even more because of this joke!

PW
PW

Why?!? Because of the owner's right to post racist crap like this or because you believe in racist crap like this?

bronson
bronson

I love Somali cab drivers. They get me home safely after I've been drinking too much at my rapping/flag-burning parties.

Paul
Paul

How cute, someone's asked their little crazed email friends to start spamming these comments with defending some ignorant idiot's right to post racist ramblings. Come on, can't you guys grow some ball and accept that most people find this crap offensive? You're big boys, aren't you?

John Madden
John Madden

Target giving money to Emmer didn't stop me from shopping there and this note won't stop me from eating at Red Savoy's pizza.

bronson
bronson

Does Target post hate speech near their entrances?

Rgbaxter999
Rgbaxter999

restaurant reviewers shouldnt pretend to be poltical pundints(yeah my spelling sucks)..and if you dont like the joke dont eat the pizza..MN is over run with crybabies and bleeding hearts..I get called fag( which I proudly am? everyday and I`d eat there ..You know why? cause their pizza rocks..Thats the only reason..

bronson
bronson

There's an underlying ideology of casual white supremacy in this publicly displayed "joke," and we're far past the time when these sorts of ideas should have died off. It has nothing to do with "crybabies" or "bleeding hearts." Also, I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that you're not actually gay and that you're affiliated with Red's, if not Red himself.

FridayNight SnackNight
FridayNight SnackNight

Don't eat at Red's Savoy Pizza!!! Don't give him your business. He doesn't care if his bigoted humor bothers you if you still go in and buy his pizza. Stop going there. I did a couple years ago when I encountered a similar tasteless posting at the back door. Walked right out and called to cancel my order. I regularly tell my friends and others too. Contact your elected officials who work near by and tell them that you think they should not associate themselves or their stomachs with Red Savoy's. Make sure to remind the editors of CityPages when the next Best Of issue comes out. Don't eat at Red's Savoy Pizza!!!

Jeffp
Jeffp

 can you say Nazi??  Pizza's for closers... you eat tofu

Al
Al

You need to lighten up. The pizza is some of the best in the Cities and everyone is entitled to their opinion. If you want to post something open up your own buisness and do so otherwise just don't eat at Red's. I am sure he does not care. Actually I don't either. With out you there just means omeone will be seated sooner for a great meal

Wow...
Wow...

Wow, I've always seen that place as I drive by and been curious, but that kind offensive crap turns me off. At least I now have a story to tell people about it whenever it comes up. They've earned that kind of publicity.

Fuck
Fuck

Seriously? Wow. I would do just about anything to regain the time I wasted reading this 'article.'

Wow...
Wow...

This reads like an employee, owner or friend of the two. Why don't people think harder before they type? It's easy to see though crap like this.

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