A bar in Indiana recently told customers who vocally opposed Bud Light for its recent sponsorship with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney to no longer drink at their establishment. However, after facing significant backlash, the bar released a statement retracing its position to win back business.
The Fairfax Bar & Grill in Bloomington, Indiana, initially posted at the height of the Bud Light boycott that customers who expressed “bigotry and hatred” would be kicked out of the establishment. The post has since been deleted, but it said:
“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. 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.”
The restaurant and bar owner, McKinley Minniefield, explained the motivation behind the statement, “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, the bar has since indicated that they have lost many customers and need more business. This post has also been deleted since its posting, but it read, “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.”
The bar followed up with another post that implied it would backtrack from the original position and welcome differing but respectful viewpoints on the Bud Light boycott. It 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.”
It continued, “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.”
What Fairfax Bar and Grill found out the hard way is that making decisions that contradict the values of the customer base is not good for business. For whatever reason, multi-billion dollar corporations don’t seem to understand this. Bud Light and a handful of other companies who have enacted brand sponsorships with Dylan Mulvaney demonstrate this. Fox News’ recent ousting of its most popular host Tucker Carlson is also a great example. However, a small bar in Indiana won’t be able to weather a decline in revenue like these other giants. Go woke, go broke!
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