Some Rockets fans are not happy that Ayesha Curry is opening a globally-inspired barbecue restaurant in Houston. International Smoke, the restaurant Curry is opening in CityCentre with celebrity chef Michael Mina, doesn't open until July 5, but that hasn't stopped #RedNation from losing their collective minds.
Still stinging from their team's loss in the Western Conference Finals to the Golden State Warriors — a team led by Curry's husband Stephen Curry — Rockets fans have bombarded the restaurant's Yelp page with about 100 one-star reviews, as NBA writer Tomer Azarly first noted on Twitter. Warriors fans have responded with over 60 five-star reviews.
The reviews — again, for a restaurant that hasn't opened yet — contain the typical smack one would expect from a fanbase that hasn't won a championship in over 20 years. Consider the following from "Brenda A." with the [sic] in place throughout: "BBQ? Yeah no...Not sure why they didn't try to open a restaurant in a different state or at the very least, a different city? Can't say anyone I know would eat there. As for me, I'll be eating at Killians BBQ...or anything besides this place. #rednation #letsgorockets."
Or how about this from "Alanis O.," again, insert [sic] liberally throughout: "Really trying to understand why she would bring this business here..... lol GET OUT OF OUR CITY. Keep your nasty bay area food out of Texas. We don't want it. Any real rockets fans will NEVER step foot into this place. Disgusting."
Really? Have Rockets fans forgotten that the world "Texas" means friends? That we welcome strangers from around the world — especially when they want to sell us their food. Or that a bunch of talented Houstonians, led by executive chef E.J. Miller, will be preparing and serving the food created by Curry and Mina?
Maybe a team that aspires to win a NBA championship shouldn't go 0-for-27 from the three point line in game seven at home. Just a thought.
Presumably, Yelp will delete the reviews at some point to allow International Smoke to start with a clean slate [UPDATE: Yelp has placed the page on Active Cleanup Alert status; a Yelp spokesperson tells CultureMap that "Yelp reviews are required to describe a firsthand consumer experience, not what someone read in the news. Our user support team ultimately removes reviews that violate these guidelines."]. For the record, the restaurant's San Francisco location maintains a respectable three-and-a-half star rating.
CultureMap has contacted the restaurant to see whether it has an opinion about this nonsense. We'll update the story if they respond.