Cracker Barrel apologizes for a noose-like cord found hanging in a Connecticut restaurant

Posted November 14, 2020 4:57 p.m. EST

— The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain is apologizing after guests saw a decoration that looked like a noose hanging from the ceiling of a Connecticut location.

It was spotted on November 7 among the antique tools, boxes, utensils and other decorations at a restaurant in East Windsor, Connecticut, and customers posted photos and videos on social media.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store media relations told CNN that it was the cord of an old electric soldering iron that had been in the restaurant for years.

"The décor item -- an antique soldering iron with an original wrapped cord -- in our East Windsor store should have been noticed and corrected before ever being displayed, and it has since been removed," the company said in an email.

The company said it apologized to the guest who pointed it out and thanked them for doing so.

"We are grateful to our guest who pointed it out to us so we could correct this mistake," the email said.

"We work hard to create a culture of hospitality that's welcoming, respectful and inclusive to everyone who walks through our doors," the company said.

Cracker Barrel also apologized on Twitter in response to a post showing photos of the object.

Tamra Hawkins went to the East Windsor Cracker Barrel on November 8 and posted a video of the store's decorations on Facebook because she didn't believe the reports on social media.

She told CNN she's eaten at that Cracker Barrel, which is about 15 miles north of Hartford, at least four or five times a month for the last five years.

Hawkins didn't see the cord while she was shooting the video but was outraged when commenters pointed out that it was there.

She told CNN she didn't believe the company's explanation and did not accept the apology.

"I would respect it more if they took ownership with poor taste in judgment in the prop being on display," Hawkins said.

Cracker Barrel was Hawkins' favorite restaurant, but she said she'd never go there again.

Cracker Barrel said in its email, "While we have removed the item from this particular store, we are working with our teams to determine whether this item or others like it exist in any of our other stores, and, if so, removed."

The Tennessee-based chain has more than 660 restaurants in 45 states, according to its website.

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