A San Luis Obispo County restaurant owner has shared an apology video after a clip of him saying “F--- the locals” sparked outcry among residents.
“Wow, everybody,” Roger Sharp says in the video posted to his TikTok account, @restaurantmillionaire, on Friday. “I just want to clarify something. There’s a video out there of myself, Roger Sharp, disrespecting locals that has been spreading around. ...
“I’m here to apologize. I have always taken care of anybody that I can in this community. I grew up in Paso Robles. I’m here. I’ve always been here. I’ve been in this game a long time. So if I offended anybody, I apologize right here, right now.”
Sharp owns a portfolio of tourist-oriented restaurants in SLO County, including Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ, Nate’s Nashville Hot Chicken and Tortilla Town in Paso Robles; Big Rock Sweet Shop, Blue Sky Bistro on the Bay and Kicker’s in Morro Bay; Slappy’s Chowder House in Oceano; a second Tortilla Town in San Luis Obispo; and — most recently — Tito’s Red Tacos in Pismo Beach.
Sharp ruffled feathers when a video posted to his TikTok account seemed to show him badmouthing local residents, saying his restaurants were not meant for them and they were “not the ones that make us money.”
“F--- the locals,” Sharp appeared to say at the start of the bleeped-out video. “That’s the way I feel in my heart.”
The video has since been removed from his account, but a copy spread on Nextdoor after a user shared it in late August. That prompted several people to call for a boycott of Sharp’s restaurants.
In a series of emoji-laden text messages when reached for comment by The Tribune last week regarding the video, Sharp said it was “a clip of a much bigger conversation” and asserted that he “love(s) the locals.”
When asked, he did not elaborate on the context of the conversation.
In the apology video, Sharp once again said the clip was a part of a “much larger conversation than what you saw on social media,” saying he was asked a question and “just popped off that answer.”
“It didn’t really have to do with locals,” he says in the apology video. “I mean, everybody thinks it’s about the local people. It was about the issues we are having. And I was saying, we should treat everybody the same way. Locals, tourist, whoever.”
On his website, Sharp advertises his services for consulting or developing business models and giving hopeful entrepreneurs “expert advice they need to take their business to the next level.”
The “F--- the locals” video seemed to be a part of an ongoing series posted to Sharp’s account that shows him sitting at a restaurant table speaking to a group of people whose faces are not shown, but who are presumably employees.
In the videos, Sharp talks on a range of topics, from scheduling and hiring woes to the California Mid-State Fair.
In his apology, Sharp notes that he and his family identify as locals and that he regrets what he said.
“I will continue to try to keep doing great work: bringing great things to the community that I always have, being creative, always trying to take the high road,” he says at the end of the video. “And for those out there trying to take it super personal, it had nothing to do with you. Again, I apologize, and there you have it.”