Canton restaurant targeted by hate crime against LGBTQ people

BALTIMORE – The owners of a restaurant in Baltimore's Canton neighborhood are speaking out after a series of hate incidents occurred there this week during the restaurant's Pride Month celebrations.

Just outside Love and Regredo in Canton, a symbol of kindness.

“Our slogan is: Be careful and be a kid,” said Leigh Philipkosky, co-owner of Love and Regret.

It's the same message that restaurant owners Leigh Philipkowsy and Ellie Skinner spread in their business year-round.

“We always want to convey a positive message, empathy and love and kindness,” says Ellie Skinner, co-owner of Love and Regret.

On June 1, the owners decorated to celebrate their 13th anniversary, coinciding with Pride Month.

“We decorated the restaurant really elegantly and fun and hung Pride flags,” Skinner explained.

But last week, her friendly message came under fire.

It started with a homophobic insult on the restaurant's Facebook page and then escalated into vandalism.

Earlier this week, owners said someone ripped the gay pride flags out of their flower boxes right outside their store and wrote a racist comment on their sidewalk in chalk.

Skinner posted a video condemning the hateful actions, saying, “Take your hate and throw it in the trash. It's not welcome here.”

The Canton Community Association has also commented.

“This is ridiculous. There is no room for this here or anywhere else in this city or anywhere else in the world,” said Amanda Bourgeois, president of the Canton Community Association.

The owners will continue to spread their message.

A portion of the proceeds from several items on their menu goes to the Trevor Project, which raises awareness of suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ teens.

Philipkowsy continued commenting, adding, “I just want to say, lead with kindness. People come from different backgrounds, different nationalities, different sexual orientations. And be open-minded when meeting someone new.”

The restaurant has supported the Trevor Project for four years. Pride celebrations continue at Love and Regret throughout the month.