EVERETT — He took “Nazi” off the sign, but he’s still serving up a side dish of controversy.
The Soup Nazi Kitchen was Andrew Ho’s original name for his new Hoyt Avenue restaurant, but he changed his mind after last week’s backlash from community leaders, vandals and the public.
The name was still on the website this week.
On Friday, Ho said he is renaming the eatery No Soup For You! after a cantankerous chef’s famous line in the 1995 “Soup Nazi” episode of “Seinfeld.”
Earlier in the week, Ho opened the front door for a few hours for people to have a look inside and to sell his $10 self-published book, “How to Cook Like a Racist.”
Nobody came — not even the protesters who showed up last week when the Nazi reference garnered media attention nationwide and in Israel.
Ho’s “The Soup Nazi Kitchen” sign drew graffiti and smashed windows last week the day it went up. After his neighbors expressed safety concerns, Ho painted over the word “Nazi” on the sign, but not the cartoon logo of a woman wearing a uniform reminiscent of an S.S. officer, holding a ladle and riding crop. He removed another graphic of a young woman, in skintight Nazi attire, from his website.
This week, Ho, a 46-year-old Chinese American, downplayed the reaction.
“I’m really not that edgy,” he said. “I’m probably less edgy than ‘South Park.’ A little more edgy than ‘The Simpsons.’”
The damage has been done, in many minds. Social media posts call for boycotts of the restaurant.
“I don’t plan to ever eat there,” said Olushola Bolonduro of Everett. “I don’t see it as a welcoming environment for me.”
Ho said he has invested over $100,000 in the restaurant he hopes to open in a few weeks when a remodel is done. Behind the boarded up, broken windows, a “The Soup Nazi Kitchen” T-shirt was on display this week. On the back, it says, “You. Will. Obey.” He had 200 shirts made.
“I might sell them someday as collector’s items,” Ho said.
Ho moved from the Seattle area for Everett’s downtown vibe six months ago with plans to reopen Alive Juice Bar, which he ran in Shoreline for about a decade until he closed it in October.
He was known for his abrasive behavior, list of rules and vulgarity at the juice bar. He said people called him the “Juice Nazi,” stemming from the “Seinfeld” episode.
“I decided to take the ‘Juice Nazi’ moniker to the soups,” he said.
A revamped Alive Juice Bar will occupy one side of the eatery. The logo is an alien, which has not drawn any objection.
Andrea Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.