Reservations at a Toronto restaurant that garnered international headlines after its chef carved up a deer leg in front of angry vegan protesters, are up. Way up.
Though the animal activists might call it victory for bringing the world's attention to animal welfare, chef and restaurant co-owner Michael Hunter of Antler restaurant in Toronto can claim victory of his own, as supporters are filling up his dining room and creating wait lists.
Global news coverage has also given Antler Kitchen & Bar international publicity.
If you haven't read about it, here's the backstory: Throughout the winter, a group of vegans, led by Toronto activist Marni Ugar, protested outside Hunter's restaurant, which serves a variety of game meats like venison, wild boar and bison, some of which the chef hunts and kills himself.
After months of being called "murderer," Hunter responded to protesters by staging a show of his own: carving a deer leg in the window in full view of the vegans.
Video footage of the meat butchering became fodder for international news resulting in unexpected consequences for the vegans trying to bring attention to Antler in the first place: vocal support for the restaurant.
"Thank you. News of your protest has reached Detroit. Next time I'm in Toronto the Antler has my business," reads one Facebook post on the protest event page.
"Your 'cause' is just like a religion. Perhaps your vegan joints should be protested just like you're doing to the Antler."
Several other Facebook comments echo the same sentiment: "Just wanted to thank you for making me aware of this awesome restaurant. Never would have found it without you guys! Can't wait for some delicious venison!"
It's the kind of publicity money can't buy and has translated into wait lists for primetime dining slots over the next few days and weekends.
But momentum hasn't stopped on the animal activist front either. A new protest, this time hosted by Toronto Animal Rights, is scheduled for March 31.