Bar that kicked out customers after Bud Light controversy makes desperate plea to win back business
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After telling any potentially vocal patrons who disagree with Bud Light making a trans woman one of its spokespeople to get lost, an Indiana bar released yet another statement backtracking its swift dismissal of its patrons.
The latest statement is one of three that The Fairfax Bar & Grill in Bloomington, Indiana has posted in the past couple weeks, indicating that they are desperate to find the right messaging on the subject since they’ve been bleeding clientele.
Where the first public statement denounced those participating in the backlash, the subsequent messages opted for an increasingly softer stance, with the last one admitting the establishment values patrons of all viewpoints and will draw the line at uncivil behavior in the restaurant.
Another message from the restaurant involved an admission that it had lost clientele and needed some back.
Earlier this month, the restaurant took a stand for trans woman Dylan Mulvaney and her new partnership with Bud Light as a conservative boycott raged against the beer brand over the move.
Consumers, outraged that Bud Light would seemingly abandon its brand identity by using woke figures to promote its beer, lashed out in an impactful boycott that sent Anheuser-Busch’s market value plummeting as well as its sales.
The Fairfax Bar & Grill’s initial weigh-in on the cultural issue stated, “We are tired of all of the hate. We are very open to debate and discussion and it’s truly a shame that we can’t have open conversations about this important political and cultural topic. Bars, in our opinion, exist as public spaces where ideas should be exchanged.”
It then discouraged boycotters to stay out, adding, “Unfortunately due to all of the bigotry and hatred that has surfaced around the Bud Light controversy any patron wanting to voice their concerns about the issue will be immediately asked to pay their bill and leave our establishment.”
Hundreds of people commented on the statement, which was posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page, claiming that it was promoting intolerance.
Restaurant owner McKinley Minniefield justified the declaration, claiming, “We were just dealing with a lot of hate speech, and people being uncomfortable. My bartenders were aggravated and we had customers that were leaving.”
However, this past Wednesday, the restaurant indicated in a since-deleted statement it was hurting financially after warding off uncooperative customers and needed new ones.
Though it initially blasted social media users for flooding the initial statement with “blatantly transphobic, homophobic and racist comments” and claimed it was committed to not allowing “hate” at the establishment, the restaurant admitted, “With the departure of some of our regulars, we have needed new clientele, and you have answered. I’m not gonna lie, we still need more of you right now.”
On Thursday night, the bar posted yet another, more conciliatory message that seemed to be welcoming people with different viewpoints on the Bud Light issue, provided they were civil.
The post, which is still up on the bar’s Facebook page, read, “A lot has been said – some correct, and some incorrect – and I want to clarify my stance. What I really want to convey is this: just be respectful. Different opinions are welcome here as long as they are delivered respectfully. We’d no more want ugly, aggressive or rude interactions about which sports team someone thinks is better, than about societal issues.”
The substantial post added, “We do not and will not censor opinions, but we do require civility in this establishment. So if you can’t play nice, then get out of the sandbox. That goes for everyone! Let’s remember why we even gather at a bar – to enjoy each other’s company – and raise a glass to civility.”