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Double Comfort First Sanctuary Restaurant in Ohio

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Double Comfort First Sanctuary Restaurant in OhioPhoto by Mollie Lyman.
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While everyone is arguing about the legality and ethics of Sanctuary Cities, local social enterprise Double Comfort has wasted no time bringing the concept of Sanctuary Restaurants to Ohio.

A step up from its sister term, a Sanctuary Restaurant is a business providing a safe and welcoming environment to refugees and immigrants, “but it also invites people of all races, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, nationalities and religions to the table,” said owner Mary Lyski.

Double Comfort is the only registered Sanctuary Restaurant in Ohio. Like many progressive folks, Lyski’s action no doubt stems from a desire to do something in response President Donald Trump’s executive orders that have relegated the nation’s refugees and immigrants to the fixed role of criminal.

Refugees and immigrants aren’t alone. Policy is changing to work against other marginalized groups as well, including the Pastors Protection Act currently in the Ohio house. Sponsored by Representative Nino Vitale (R-Urbana), the bill “permits a religious entity to refuse to solemnize a marriage,” a right that already exists within the First Amendment. Pastors can already choose not to perform any marriage, for any reason.

“People are really anxious right now. We’re seeing it in customers’ attitudes. Everyone’s a little more frustrated,” Lyski said. “A lot of people are saying that they feel they’re allowed to say the rude things they might think in their head.”

Lyski’s faced a share of online trolls and customer hissy fits. Employing individuals of various backgrounds, gender identities, abilities and religion, she’s had to ask some patrons to tone it down or leave. Her storefront, adorned with a sign marking Double Comfort a Sanctuary Restaurant, calls other local entrepreneurs to join in.

“Here’s how it’s going to work in here: everyone is going to treat everyone with a level of respect,” Lyski said. “I don’t know that every employer wants to say that, but we want our guests to know, too, that this is a welcoming place.”

For more information, visit www.doublecomfortrestaurant.com.

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  • Chas Chandler

    Lauren, great reporting. Do you have the address of this restaurant because ICE and INS should pay a visit to this business and if they are hiring or serving ILLEGAL ALIENS, they hopefully will arrest and deport them. Once again Lauren, good job and thanks for the heads up.

    • jukied

      The website is in the article, seems like you could just have clicked that.

      • tlb919

        Nah, thats too much effort for someone who is just trolling articles and believes that ALL CAPS adds importance and legitimacy to their post.

        Personally, I find this news exciting and important in a pretty turbulent time in history. Inclusion and diversity have created great things. Double Comfort is setting a great example by doing this. Makes me proud.

        • Chas Chandler

          Not trolling at all. I just happen to think the rule of law is important. It doesn’t matter to me if you’re nice, good looking or hard working. If you break laws, there must be consequences.

          • Fun fact: Sanctuary cities are not illegal. Cities are not obligated to spend local resources enforcing federal immigration law. That being said, sanctuary restaurants like Double Comfort have even less to worry about.

          • Tim

            So not trolling, just TRASH?

          • If you are like most Americans, you break the law several times per day, including a felony or 3. Outrage over illegal immigration is selective and, IMHO says a lot about the individuals who make that a priority above all else in the “rule of law” delusion.

    • DC

      Serving illegal aliens? I remember when I ran a hotdog stand at a local ballpark as a college student… I always checked the immigration status of anybody who ordered something, even if it was just a Pepsi or a bag of chips! lol

  • traviscols

    I love Double Comfort…
    It’s great they’re doing this!
    I will definitely make sure I spend more of my time and money there.
    Places like this are what make Columbus such a great city to be a part of!

  • Friendoffacts

    The virtue signaling and self congratulatory theme here is a bit annoying.

  • Josh Winkler

    I have no problem with them serving illegal immigrants. I’m sure there is no law against it. However promoting illegal immigration as a progressive and good cause is really messed up. We are not the worlds foster parent for everyone. We must enforce our laws for the good of America. If people don’t like that then they should work to change the law, not break it. Also forcing someone to perform a marriage that is against their religious beliefs is absolutely terrible. I aim to treat all people with respect but that doesn’t mean I must be forced to agree and promote their beliefs by law. There are many progressive liberal pastors who would be more than happy to perform a wedding.

    • “We are not the worlds foster parent for everyone.”

      This lady disagrees with you:


      • Josh Winkler

        what I meant when I said that is that being an American is not a world right. It is a privilege and one I am thankful for every day. Often I see signs that say “Being a person isn’t illegal” but in reality if you’re here illegally then you really are illegal. The statue of Liberty isn’t about being a door mat for illegal immigrants, but rather The Statue of Liberty’s intent is to inspire people to shine the light of freedom to the world.

        • Josh Winkler

          i am however for immigration for those who want to be American’s and want to be here legally.

        • Sambossa

          Inscription on the Statue of Liberty

          Give me your tired, your poor,
          Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
          The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
          Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
          I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

          • Josh Winkler

            That poem was written by a socialist years after the statue was built, twisting the purpose of what it was built for.

        • RedStorm45

          Ah yes…the ol’ “I’m lucky to have been born on this side of an imaginary line” argument. Fantastic.

          • Josh Winkler

            It is true that I am very blessed to be an American just as I am blessed to be in the family I was born into. I didn’t earn it but I still get the rights, privileges. The line might be invisible but it is definately not immaginary.

          • RedStorm45

            So simply because you happened to be born on one side of a line means you should get more rights, privileges, opportunities, than someone on the other side of said line?

          • Josh Winkler

            I should be given the rights my country affords me under our laws and constitution, that is correct. Being American is not a world right, it is an American one. This line you speak of is called a border and its a big deal.

          • RedStorm45

            I didn’t say you shouldn’t have your rights…but you honestly think you deserve more/better rights, opportunities, etc. simply because you were born on one side of a border? That’s messed up.

          • Josh Winkler

            I don’t like using the word deserve because I would mean I earned these rights by doing something which is not true. I am incredibly blessed to be given these rights by those who fought to protect them. Those who live in their country should not be given American rights unless they legally become a citizen. It’s pretty simple really. If I’m born into a poor family I shouldn’t demand privileges that are given to a rich kid unless his family gives them or adopts me. If I go about it any other way then I am stealing from that family. Illegal immigrants are essentially stealing from our country since they are not apart of it.

    • DC

      Did I miss something in the article that promotes “illegal immigration?” I see where it mentions “refugees and immigrants.”

      • Josh Winkler

        its pretty obvious that sanctuary cities are all about harboring illegal aliens

        • DC

          You seem to be a reasonable person based on your comments and your replies, but your statement is incorrect. The purpose of creating a sanctuary city is to maintain the integrity of the community and the role of law enforcement as it relates to said community. Immigration is a matter of federal/civil law, and is not the job of local law enforcement, period.

          When local LE agencies become entangled with immigration matters, you create an entire class of people who do not report crimes, serve as witnesses to crimes, or otherwise ask for help in an emergency. Even if someone is a US citizen, but has an uncle or random family member who is undocumented, they are far less likely to come forward if they think that they or a family member could be detained in the process (and handed over to the Feds).

          Think of it as something (loosely) akin to the new Ohio law that shields people who are trying to help overdose victims, people who might also be using drugs and who may otherwise be arrested by asking for help:


          If someone is dying, and people in the community refuse to come forward, whether it be because they are intoxicated on drugs or because they have overstayed their visa, this is a lose-lose for the community.

          There, I hope this helps with your understanding of the concept. There is a lot of misconception around the issue, but you seem like someone who might benefit from a clear explanation.

    • Marcie Hallan

      First of all, the word “illegal” does not appear in the article at all. Secondly, No one is disputing or trying to revoke the protection for religious leaders to decline to perform weddings (aka the First Amendment). The “Pastors Protection Act” is dangerous because pastors can also be elected or appointed officials, business & property owners, etc. This law could grant them the “right to legally disciminate very broadly”, according to the ACLU. Think about it.

      • Josh Winkler

        the purpose of sanctuary cities is all about harboring illegal immigrants

        • RedStorm45

          The purpose of sanctuary cities is to not do the work of ICE for ICE.

  • Cort

    I give it 6 months at the most and when the novelty wears off we will see a “for lease” sign in the window and a quick closing announcement via Facebook. And it will be replaced by a hipster home brew/craft cocktail lounge with rough hewn wood walls and Edison bulb lighting. Remember, kids, politics is cyclical.

    • traviscols

      It’s already been there well over a year, sooo….

    • Yes, politics is [sic] cyclical. But compassion and human decency should not be.

      • MDWST

        Being a decent human is now a partisan issue. What a time to be alive.

    • failureofleadership

      Ding ding dong we have a winner. Cort with the call.

  • Steven Weaver

    Is there a list of restaurants that ARE discriminating against refugees and immigrants? Because that would be worth writing an article about…

    • MDWST

      I’m sure you wouldn’t claim it to be fake news if they did.

  • Roy Batty

    Marketing ploys are awesome.

  • Roy Batty

    Can a mutherfkr just get a goddamned sandwich without all the bull$h!t?

  • Roy Batty

    Sanctuary Restaurant… Ok, So, how does that work? Are so-called illegals allowed to live at the restaurant and the restaurant provides heath care, etc? No? hum… Oh I see, they feed illegals and refugees for free, wow that is great! Oh, not that either… so this is really just a cynical press release stunt to drum up business based on the outrage du jour and not intended to really help anyone.
    I’ll have another plateful of empty from the Sanctimonious Cafe, please.

    • traviscols

      O, good… You saved your appetite!
      They’re open until 10pm tonight.
      & Tell Chef Dan I said hello!

    • Katie King

      You got that straight. She is a real biatch. It’s all about her.

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