Friday night, while you were watching the fairly brutal episode of FOX's Kitchen Nightmares about Hampden's Cafe Hon, did you stop and wonder, "I wonder what Denise Whiting is doing right now?"
If the unlikely event you guessed "Having a viewing party," you'd be right. On Friday night at 8 p.m., a packed house at Cafe Hon was watching a big screen TV brought in for the occasion, as onscreen staff members (many in attendance at the screening took their turns calling owner Denise Whiting "a rude bitch," among other things.
For her part, Denise flitted around the restaurant during the viewing—she had already seen it, along with most interested locals, earlier in the day, when it was posted on YouTube. The owner was heard telling some patrons that the depiction on the episode was "not really me," but otherwise seemed to take things in stride.
At Cafe Hon that night, as on the show, there were hugs all around at the end. The restaurant's loyal staff—despite some name-calling—largely came out as the heroes of the show, which Whiting seemed to acknowledge in a post on her Facebook page:
I want to thank the amazing cast of characters at Cafe Hon who I get the pleasure of working with everyday! Everyone did an amazing job this weekend, in spite of the fact that Chef Gregg, has left us to explore other ventures and a line cook became unexpectedly indisposed. Lisa Davis, who many of you know as a bartender, manager, and HONfest director, worked the garmage station, making beautiful salads, fried oysters, Wings and more all weekend! I am truly blessed. Thank you Lisa, Deb, Dottie, John, Ethan, Amanda, Lynn and the rest of the crew for a great weekend. And thank all of you who came this weekend to support us.
[Photo courtesy of Randal Gornowich (http://www.randallart.com), a professional photographer and the creator of the giant flamingo outside Cafe Hon.]