Claim:   A franchise owner has been granted permission to open a whites-only Arby’s restaurant in Florida.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, May 2014]

This was off of Facebook about a whites-only Arby’s in Florida. Is it true?


Origins:   On 21 May 2014, the Spring Hill Courier published an article positing that a Florida franchise owner had been granted permission to open a whites-only outlet of the Arby’s chain of roast beef sandwich restaurants:

A new fast food franchise’s contentious plan to construct a restaurant to serve only white customers has found a legal loophole and as a result was granted unanimous approval at a meeting of the Hernando County Bureau of Business Planning’s executive committee.

Kilgore Dohnner, an Austrian-born entrepreneur, first proposed the plan to build an Arby’s franchise near the intersection of Spring Hill Drive and Linden Drive four months ago. The committee at first shot down the plan, but after Dohnner retooled his pitch to present the restaurant as a private club and show state law allows it to then discriminate against customers, the board had to approve the plan or face a costly lawsuit it was not likely to win.

By the following day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered the item mistaking it for a genuine news article. However, the article was just a spoof from the Spring Hill Courier, a web site that publishes fictional stories set in the Florida town of Spring Hill, such as “Spring Hill Podiatrist Charged with Performing Abortions for Underage Girls,” “Tiger Woods Spotted Shopping for Wedding Ring at Kohl’s on Spring Hill Drive,” and “Spring Hill Man Claims Security Guard Impersonator Pulled Him Over, Sexually Assaulted Him on Roadside Three Days in a Row.”

The Spring Hill Courier‘s “About Us” page notes that the site is a satirical publication:

The Spring Hill Courier is a satirical publication that uses invented names with the lone exception being the public figures being satirized. Any other use of real names is coincidental.

Last updated:   25 May 2014