Aretha Franklin denied a seat at Ontario Johnny Rockets - The Buffalo News
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Aretha Franklin denied a seat at Ontario Johnny Rockets

The Queen of Soul claims she got no R-E-S-P-E-C-T from a Niagara Falls, Ont., franchise following a packed Artpark concert in Lewiston on Tuesday.

Aretha Franklin said she was denied seating at the Johnny Rockets in the food court area of Fallsview Casino Resort after ordering takeout food.

“You can’t sit here because you ordered for takeout,” said the Johnny Rockets server, according to a statement the singer sent to The News through her agent, David Brokaw. “You can only stand in the perimeter.”

“The woman was very rude, unprofessional and nasty – certainly not the appropriate face for Johnny Rockets,” Franklin said in the statement. “No one should be addressed this way, whether a celebrity or not. I told her she can eat and pay for my meal, and left.”

A company spokeswoman said the franchise owner was sorry for the actions of “a new and very young employee.” She said the owner spoke with the employee and clarified the takeout policies.

But Franklin felt the apology should have gone to her, and not the media, Brokaw said.

However, the 72-year-old singer, who has had 43 Top 40 hits, won 18 Grammy Awards and was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said it won’t deter her from entering Johnny Rockets in the future.

“Over the years I have always enjoyed a burger and cherry Coke and the choreographed dance by waiters and waitresses at Johnny Rockets,” Franklin said.

“This experience in Niagara Falls will not stop my enjoyment of burgers and cherry Cokes, and talking to the classy and friendly people at Johnny Rockets.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. email:

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