whole foods
A customer enters the Whole Foods Market in Superior, Colorado, July 26, 2017. Reuters/Rick Wilking

Whole Foods was slammed by social media users for partnering with a California restaurant named “Yellow Fever.” While the grocer does not own the eatery, it faced backlash for opening the pan-Asian restaurant in its newly opened store.

After Whole Foods announced the restaurant’s opening, several people took to social media calling the name of the eatery "offensive" and "racist." The chain of restaurants is owned by Kelly Kim, a Korean-American woman.

“I think it’s been silly, and I think it’s a bit funny that it’s all of a sudden a big deal,” Kim said in response to the criticism, to the New York Daily News. “There’s nothing offensive about our restaurants.”

Explaining the reason behind choosing the name, Kim told website Nextshark.com, last year, it was meant to shock people.

"When we finally came up with the concept, all the names we thought of just plain sucked. Buzzwords like 'traditional,' 'bamboo,' 'lotus,' and 'golden' weren't memorable," Kim told the website. "One night, we just said 'Yellow Fever!' and it worked. It's tongue-in-cheek, kind of shocking, and it's not exclusive — you can fit all Asian cultures under one roof with a name like this. We just decided to go for it."

However, not everyone was happy about the name. One social media user wrote Friday night: “This is not a joke. Nobody @WholeFoods or @amazon noticed the problem with calling an Asian restaurant ‘Yellow Fever.’ This was okayed all the way up the chain & actually got built.”

Another said: “Well, I guess Whole Foods is out of the closet with their racist Asian fetish.”

A third user wrote: "Setting aside any racially insensitive aspects to this particular naming choice, I mean, yeah I guess but you're still a food place that shares its name with a viral infection that causes among other things nausea, vomiting, bleeding, and wait for it ...*loss of appetite*."

Some people did not think the name was insulting. Martin Waltsak, who works mostly with Asian people, said: “Almost all the people I work with would probably think it was funny and wouldn’t really have a problem with it, yet I know some people might be sensitive to it and find it offensive.”

But, regardless of the social media outcry, several customers were seen visiting the Long Beach location of the restaurant.

“The first day, it exceeded all expectations,” Kim told CBS2 News. “We’ve been welcome with open arms.”