At 6 p.m. Saturday 16 animal rights activists protested Game's use of foie gras. Holding signs reading, "stop selling cruel foie gras," "force fed to death," and "tortured ducks and geese, the group, who appeared to range in age from 20s to early 30s, stood silently across Lexington Road from the restaurant.
Inside, Game was packed; opening at 5 p.m., it quickly had a 45-minute to an hour wait for a table. While the month-old restaurant has been drawing crowds, Saturday night it got an extra boost: about a dozen hunters dressed in camouflage were there, in response to a call for support Game's executive chef's father made on the League of Kentucky Sportsmen's Facebook group (how has it not migrated from a group to a fan page yet?).
Sportsmen wandering out to Game's parking lot to take photos on their mobile phones of the protestors was the extent of the interaction between the two groups. One of the camouflage-clad diner/photographers had a sidearm holstered to his belt. At least one other patron, that'd be this editor, was uneasy, sitting with his family, with a guy openly packing heat two tables away. It was unclear what frightened the man so much that he felt compelled to carry a firearm.
By 7 p.m., the protestors had swelled from 16 to 17. Diners leaving Game and crossing the street to their cars were politely offered a brochure titled "Foie Gras: Cruel to Ducks and Geese."
Repeatedly on the unseasonably warm evening, geese in pairs flew overhead and squawked. They didn't seem to notice the protesters. The protesters didn't seem to notice the geese. And inside Game, people ate their burgers. And maybe had some foie gras.
[Photo: Whitney Harrod Morris]