The embattled owner of the O’mei Chinese food restaurant reopened his business on Tuesday after a month-and-a-half closure, with plans to transfer its ownership.
Roger Grigsby, whose business has been a staple of Santa Cruz’s Westside for the past 38 years, became the focus of a public backlash for political contributions he made in 2016 and continues to stand behind.
Grigsby, who has been semiretired from running O’mei for about a decade, made donations totaling $500, according to publicly available databases, to the unsuccessful 2016 U.S. Senate campaign of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, of Louisiana.
Reached Friday, Grigsby, 68, said he is in the process of transferring ownership of O’mei to longtime head chef and manager Karl Cook, a 32-year employee that is “like a son, almost.”
Choosing Cook as his successor was a longtime plan, Grigsby said, brought to a head “since the shit birds have sort of cast a pallor over my name due to their third-hand information about David Duke.”