MANASSAS, Va. (WUSA) - Eight plainclothes police officers carrying guns were asked to leave the Buffalo Wild Wings in Manassas because of its "no guns" policy.
Now, the restaurant chain has issued an apology and more. Regional Manager Philip Rossi says the company has a good relationship with the community and welcomes all law enforcement officers, with or without guns.
Rossi says the manager knew they were officers when he asked them to leave. The officers were all wearing identification. The problem, Rossi says, is that the manager didn't realize the company's "no guns" policy excluded police officers, even plain clothes officers.
The restaurant has put up blue and white balloons in support of police and has pledged to donate 10 percent of today's sales to the non-profit Law Enforcement United which helps the children of fallen officers.
Prince William County Officer Jarad Phelps came to the Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch today, but also to thank them for the donations and their apology.
Phelps, speaking as an individual says about the mishap, "Thought it was a mistake, that's all. It's one of those unfortunate things that happens."
Customers we talked to feel the same way and appreciate the restaurant's pledge of support to Law Enforcement United.
"That's fantastic. I mean that makes sense. That's the way a good company responds. They knew there was something wrong and they wanted to make an effort and I think that makes sense."
It used to be illegal for non-law enforcement to carry a gun into a restaurant in Virginia. In 2010, lawmakers reversed that, requiring that people carrying guns don't drink alcohol in the establishments. However, restaurants can have their own "no guns" policy, like Buffalo Wild Wings does.
Joy Diaz says she likes the no guns policy and wishes more restaurants would have it. She says it makes her uncomfortable seeing someone carrying a gun because there's been a lot of crime around and, "you never know."
However, she's fine if she knows it's a police officer with a gun and now, so is Buffalo Wild Wings.
The company is based in Minneapolis and has about 900 restaurants across the country.