In recent news, as previously covered in our Business Review of Tres Chiles Picosos, we shed some light on the recent controversy regarding Mike Lindell having taken his family to dine there. Lost Coast Populist was able to contact Michelle Hill, the owner of Tres Chiles Picosos, to get her comment on the unfolding backlash regarding the photo her employees shared online of them with Mike Lindell who had just finished his meal in their northern California restaurant.
Mike Lindell Eats Food at Californa Restaurant, Triggers Humboldt Outrage Mob
For those completely unfamiliar with this situation, the story unfolded as follows. Mike Lindell, famous CEO of MyPillow.com who has apparently become the new boogie man of the national leftist woke mob, chose to visit Humboldt California on vacation with his family. While in Humboldt, Mike Lindell took his family out to dinner at Tres Chiles Picosos.
Prior to leaving, the crew discovered who he was and asked him for a photo – completely unaware of the way some brainwashed locals felt about the man and his political affiliations. The employees posted the photo on Facebook, excited that a celebrity had visited Humboldt and ate at their restaurant, only to be bullied, canceled, boycotted, and made the target of an ongoing hate campaign.
Ever since this story has gone viral on the interwebs, the woke mob, displayed below, has been successfully out-commented on the Facebook Post above by positive folks applauding Tres Chiles Picosos for standing up against the woke mob and their hateful tactics. Luckily, We had the opportunity to get the owner’s take on the entire situation. Lost Cost Populist is honored to share the following transcript of our long-form interview with Michelle Hill, owner of Tres Chiles Picosos in Eureka, California. Before we get to that, here are just a few hateful Facebook posts.
Hateful Facebook Posts
Everyone is Welcome at Tres Chiles Picosos
Meanwhile, this Woman Owned Business which is LGBQT+ friendly, as shown on their business listings, is owned and operated by a super open-minded and down-to-earth lady who would never refuse service to someone because of their politics. In fact, she even serves local homeless who tell her other restaurants turn them away due to their appearance. Not Tres Chiles Picosos – everybody is welcome, they just ask that you be kind to the staff, act appropriately, and pay your bill at the end of the meal.
I was delighted to meet Michelle, a well-dressed lady in her mid-40s who clearly is not the type of lady to be pushed around. Michelle has sparkling green eyes, and blond hair, and is around 5’ 3” (if I had to guess), with a very photogenic smile. It’s a shame she is under this kind of pressure because I truly believe a photo of her smiling in front of the restaurant would really illustrate the human being that I experienced firsthand.
The same folks attacking her restaurant set themselves up on a false pedestal of purity, and behind the safety of their keyboard, they do everything they can to undermine the core values they claim as they foment hate at innocent victims. The more I learned about Michelle and Tres Chilles, the more my righteous indignation grew as I discovered yet another victim of this cancerous negativity. Yet another glaring example of Hypocrisy crystallized.
Interview: Michelle Hill – Tres Chiles Picosos regarding Mike Lindell’s visit
DC: How long has Tres Chiles Picosos been open in Humboldt?
MH: “We remodeled the building and opened it in 2016. It used to be a Marie Calendars prior to taking it over and making it Tres Chiles Picosos.”
DC: Do you have other locations? If so, where?
MH: “Yes, I am a restaurateur you could say. I’ve been in the business for 20 years, and currently own two other locations named Cicada Cantina. One is located in Redding and the other is located in Elk Grove.”
DC: Did you start with the Humboldt location and build to having three locations or did the other locations come first?
MH: “Our first location was in Redding, then we opened our second location in Eureka. Afterward, we expanded to Elk Grove.”
Covid-19 Pandemic Recovery for Small Biz, Struggle is Real
What an awesome American Dream story. I am a big fan of small businesses. I love hearing about other business owners and their success stories. They inspire me and I feel like there is always so much to learn.
As I am sure you are aware, due to the lockdown policy, California businesses took a beating during the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent masking and vaccine mandates, but this business has clearly survived.
DC: How has business been since life has returned to normal?
MH: “Wow, that is a good question. I’ll be frank, we definitely took a hit. I mean every small business took a hit, a lot didn’t survive and maybe they will never come back. Since Covid, Tres Chiles has just been trying to stay out of the red and take in a profit.
We have a dedicated staff now, but only a few were around during the pandemic, so I worked in the restaurant myself with minimal staff. In a lot of ways, things were better during the pandemic as far as business because people in Humboldt had money, the economy was doing good, gas prices were low, and the local Cannabis growers were doing great. If there wasn’t a virus I’d say it was kind of better then.
I mean, right now, even though it is obviously a good thing the virus has all but gone away, with inflation, gas and diesel prices, and other supply chain issues related to the economy, Humboldt is really struggling and we feel it at the restaurant. All businesses feel it.
People come in now and they see the price of a burrito has gone up, all of a sudden there are simply fewer folks around with the extra money to enjoy a night out to eat. It takes trucks running on diesel to deliver the things we need in Humboldt and the more it costs the drivers to bring it, the more it drives up the costs of doing business, and unfortunately at some point, something has to give. It’s really hard.”
Humboldt Economy, Cannabis Industry Included, is in the dumps
Absolutely, Michelle. Case in point, just a day or so ago an article titled, “The Cannabis Conversation: Farewell Humboldt,” by Jesse Duncan has published on Lost Coast Outpost which essentially covered the sad situation with the local cannabis industry from that author’s unique perspective. The situation locally is brutal, and even though I dislike the Outpost in general as a publication, he did an excellent job writing this piece. I give credit where credit is due.
At this point, I pulled up the article on my phone and read her the following quote which sums up the Cannabis situation quite eloquently:
-Jesse Duncan, “The Cannabis Conversation: Farewell Humboldt,” –LINK
“While my heart will always be with my brethren in Humboldt and the Triangle more broadly, not much will be left of the industry there soon. Farms are laying off employees, lowering wages, getting further behind on bills, and cutting corners with cultivation practices to control costs. Unfortunately, growing can become a downward spiral. Without sufficient labor or high-end inputs, quality suffers, offer prices drop, sales stagnate and things spiral out of control – quickly.”
DC: Michelle, with everything we just discussed, were you surprised to see the reaction of some when they discovered the photo your employees posted standing with Mike Lindell, the MyPillow Guy?
MH: “Yes, I was absolutely shocked by what some people were saying. Some of it was absolutely appalling. Someone posted a comment on one of our business accounts claiming they went into the bathroom after Mike Lindell left and found cocaine in the stall. When I read that I was puzzled because I didn’t understand how people could relate an innocent photo of a man and my staff with cocaine.
So, I grabbed my phone and Googled “Mike Lindell” and that is when I realized they were saying these things about a recovered addict who has been clean for years. I couldn’t believe how terrible these people were, allowing themselves to be hateful just because we served Mike Lindell and were excited someone famous came to Humboldt and chose to eat at Tres Chiles Picosos.”
Lost Coast Populist, Defender of Woke Mob Targets
This is precisely why I wanted to interview Michelle. 99% of the time whenever the Woke Mob goes into full attack mode, there is typically a lot of collateral damage of which they could care less. The goal is to exact real-world damage on their targets – and they do not care what damage they inflict in the wake of their crusade. The entire practice is blood sport politics gone rogue, and Lost Coast Populist has vowed to stand against it.
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DC: In the photo online the two employees are beaming with happiness. They got the opportunity to get the photo. Are they big Mike Lindell fans or something?
Michelle bursts into genuine laughter then calm herself, and replies with a humorous tone to her answer, “Yes, Donnie, they are huge fans of the MyPillow Guy, but there is a funny backstory to this if you’d like to hear.”
“Of course,” I said and she began to tell me how the entire situation unfolded, and this is where the story gets very interesting. It turns out Michelle is a pilot. She started her story by saying, “Donnie, I don’t believe in coincidences,” and I agreed with her saying, “Truth be told, neither do I, Michelle.” As it turns out, when Michelle flies out from the Arcata Airport, upon her return, she typically gets to park her Cirrus SR22 in her “favorite spot.”
Michelle explained that due to her frequent traveling by plane she has developed a playful banter with a few of the local airport crew in regard to her “favorite spot.” On the rare occasions when she’s returned, and some other plane is parked in her spot, she, or one of the crew, will make a remark to one another about the other plane bogarting her spot.
I enjoyed this story a lot as she reminded me of my older sister who I could see doing the same thing if she became a pilot. I was beginning to realize Michelle is the type of person with a magnetic personality that draws in others because of the positivity she radiates, and my sister is the same way. She went on to tell me how she flew into Arcata Airport early last week only to discover her favorite parking spot was taken, as well as another spot, directly next to it, by a very large plane she’d never experienced at the airport before.
She was only in town shortly and flew back out, only to return again and find the same plane “bogarting” her parking spot! Upon walking into the terminal, she asked the crew who “stole” her parking spot and they told her it was, “That MyPillow Guy,” and she said, “Well tell him to give you guys some pillows on his way out of here,” joking about the fact Mike Lindell stole her favorite spot.
It was later that same evening, although she was not at the restaurant, that Mike Lindell chose to eat at Tres Chiles Picosos.
MH: “My girls called me all excited and told me how they were not sure who he was in the beginning but they knew in their gut Mike Lindell was someone famous that looked familiar on TV.The entire time he was eating with his family the crew was burning with curiosity about who he was because they knew they recognized him. Shortly before Mike was poised to leave, one of the crew said they thought he was, “that Pillow guy from TV,” and after he paid the server asked Mike Lindell if was ‘the famous pillow guy from TV.’
That is when the two in the photo both realized they had purchased pillows and other products from him years ago and thought it would be cool to get a photo with him since he was indeed the famous pillow guy.”
Tres Chiles First Celebrity Patron, Chased off by Humboldt Woke Mob
DC: Wow, so they had no idea about the controversy surrounding his political beliefs. They just so happened to purchase his pillows in the past and put two and two together. Makes sense, it’s not like you have a ton of time to do internet research about a guy the few moments before you go ask him for a photo.
Is it common for Tres Chiles Picosos to draw in celebrity patrons?
MH: “No sir. To my knowledge, Mike Lindell is the only celebrity that has taken their family out to dinner at Tres Chiles Picosos, though obviously, we’d love for celebrities, or frankly, anyone who is hungry, to come and eat here. We have a handful of homeless folks who come in and eat here who’ve told us they are refused service elsewhere due to their appearance. Let me add, these homeless are polite, and quiet, and pay for their meal.
We do not judge our customers at the door. We are a woman-owned business that is LGBQT+ friendly. The only thing we want to do is provide good food, good drinks, and good vibes at Tres Chiles Picosos.”
What an honorable disposition Michelle embodies. It’s also incredibly disheartening to hear there are local restaurants that turn away paying customers because of their appearance. But here we are doing this interview while a mob of angry woke leftists is literally acting like the best course of action Tres Chiles could have taken would have been to turn away Mike Lindell at the door … how “progressive.”
I frankly do not want to live in a county that plays that way. It’s not 1933, and this is California for crying out loud. It blows my mind how the script has been completely flipped by these woke folks.
Lost Coast Populist News has vowed to defend locals, and their businesses, who come under attack for political reasons, especially when the entity is completely innocent. When we saw the backlash to such an innocent show of appreciation unfolding, especially with the local media jumping on the bandwagon with the rest of the woke mob, we felt compelled to not only check out the food, service, and atmosphere for ourselves but to also get ownership’s perspective of the backlash. Michelle was very clear and direct in her comments on Facebook regarding her perspective on this entire situation.
Interview Interrupted for a Full-Blown Spanish Conversation
At this point in the interview, we were interrupted by a crew member asking Michelle something in Spanish. Michelle excuses herself with me and then has a full-blown conversation in Spanish with her employee, who clearly appreciated the respect she shows by literally speaking to him in his language.
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DC: Can you give us any updates regarding the hardships this backlash has caused your business, the employees in the photos, or you personally?
MH: “Well we have received multiple threatening and bullying phone calls since all of the backlashes on social media. In the span of a few days, we received more negative reviews than we typically see, and the people leaving the reviews are the exact same folks who are saying terrible things about us on Facebook. We can not moderate these reviews, unfortunately, so it’s just adding insult to injury.
The worst part, the employees are the ones who suffer the most. My employees are worried sick that business will suffer and their income, which their families depend on, will decline as a result of this.”
DC: This is exactly what we stand against at Lost Coast Populist. Sadly, your employees are the collateral damage they could care less about just so long as they can lob their insults and accusations at you, and by proxy, Mike Lindell who is the real object of their hatred. Unfortunately, the two ladies who innocently took a photo with the one celebrity you know of to visit your establishment are also collateral damage.
The folks treating you guys this way don’t realize how their actions will prevent others from coming to Humboldt. Who wants to come to the Land of Intolerance and Hatred?
So let me ask you this Michelle when you serve customers, do you ask them about their political views before you serve them food? Can you imagine a situation arising where you’d deny service to a paying customer simply due to knowledge of their political views or affiliation?
MH: “Absolutely not. This is a family restaurant, not a political organization. We are in the business of feeding hungry people, providing a wide variety of drinks to the thirsty, and a killer atmosphere to enjoy it all in. We are not interested in who you are or what you represent when you come to eat here. The mere idea of that sounds like such a burden, how could anyone ever do such a thing? But that is what these folks seem to expect. I don’t get it.”
Mexico Culture a Unique Feature of Tres Chiles Picosos Decore
DC: I so agree. Switching gears a little on you, when I was at the restaurant I noticed all of the amazing murals of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera painted on the walls. They are gorgeous. What compelled you to decorate the restaurant with that theme?
MH: “I love Mexican culture and wanted to adorn the walls with cultural icons of Mexican history, and, well the story of Frida Kahlo is so moving, it seemed the perfect match for the theme we were going with. The artist who painted these is famous for her mural work in the artist scene – Maren Conrad of Sacramento, California. She is an incredibly talented artist having famously painted a massive mural of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg amongst other murals.”
DC: Michelle, you seem like a reasonable person to me, I know you know humans get hungry and when they travel they need a good place to eat. Mike Lindell could have chosen to eat anywhere in Humboldt, but he clearly wanted some of your excellent Mexican cuisines.
Considering the backlash and all of the negativity you’ve faced, would you invite Mike and his family to come back and eat there again?
MH; “Absolutely! Mike Lindell is welcome back at Tres Chiles Picosos whenever he travels to Humboldt and he is welcome at my other restaurants, as well. We are really disappointed about the reaction, but that hasn’t changed our gratitude for the fact Mike Lindell chose to bring his family to Tres Chiles Picosos over all of the other options locally. The crew said he was very kind, that his family was as well, and they said Mike tipped very generously. To reiterate, everyone is welcome at our restaurants.”
Mike Lindell and Supporters Should Be Treated Like Trash?
Historically, African Americans for decades could not eat at certain establishments or even drink out of the same drinking fountains as their Caucasian counterparts. Much of new-aged liberalism seems to hyper-focus on the appreciation of diversity, being inclusive to everyone regardless of their values, beliefs, or what have you, with the goal of a higher amount of equity for all. It seems to Lost Coast Populist that your crew simply applied this also to Mike Lindell.
From my perspective, the folks who are currently losing their collective poo over TCP serving Mike Lindell would rather see him and folks who support him treated like the poor African Americans from the darkest decades of our history.
As you know, Mike Lindell is not just about politics. He is a human being with a history and a future. Mike Lindell feels emotions, has a family that loves him, and has employees who rely on him. Human beings are more than their politics – Mike Lindell and Tres Chiles Picosos included.
That being said, I am obviously not a restaurateur but I do have a lot of business experience and I can not seem to find a resolution in terms of what TCP could have done otherwise that could appease these folks expressing their dissatisfaction on Facebook.
Tres Chiles Picosos WILL NOT Kowtow to the Woke Mob
DC: With that being said, are you changing any policies or rules due to this Mike Lindell situation?
MH: “Absolutely not. We will not change policy due to a handful of loud negative people. You know, I was asked by numerous people on social media to take down the post of Mike Lindell with my employees and I respectfully declined. I will not kowtow to a bunch of angry, negative people when we did nothing wrong. We will go forward unchanged, with our chins held high despite the bullying and negativity. They are trying to ‘cancel’ us by bullying, but it won’t work because we did nothing wrong. So no, we won’t be changing a thing.
“But you know the worst part of this, Donnie, is that Humboldt, in general, will suffer the most from this. This type of treatment sends a message that Humboldt is not a safe place for tourism. It also sends a message to local businesses that if they don’t possess a crystal ball to know in advance what random innocent thing they might do and find themselves at the target end of mob negativity. But no one has this crystal ball, you know.
Meanwhile, small businesses will suffer in Humboldt lacking the extra traffic they’d be getting if Humboldt had a positive environment for tourism. As far as Tres Chiles Picosos goes, we’ve been slow ever since the post on Facebook, but with the economy, who knows if that is a direct correlation.”
Well, Michelle, I hope the good people of Humboldt County who stand beside me and reject what’s happened to you, your employees, and Tres Chiles Picosos, and who read this interview with you, will discover the same humanity behind the story I have. I hope they are equally compelled as I am to make an extra effort to eat at Tres Chiles Picosos to counter the woke left boycott with a much-deserved BUYCOTT!
DO YOUR PART – Dine at Tres Chiles Picosos, Tell Them We Sent You!
You can read all about Tres Chiles Picosos’ culinary experience in our article titled, “Biz Review – Tres Chiles Picosos – w/ Mike Lindell” by clicking the title!
We hope you enjoyed this dive behind the scenes with us and will make a point to visit Tres Chiles Picosos and vote with your money – your taste buds and tummy will thank you!!
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