BBQ restaurant receives backlash over sign

By Jessica Berbey, Staff Writer

Bobo’s Barbecue restaurant in Champaign has received backlash from residents, as well as University students, for a political sign targeting Clinton supporters.

The sign read, “Hillary supporters are like Christmas lights. They all hang together. Half don’t work, and the other half aren’t that bright.”

“It was supposed to be satire, something funny. It just so happened that it was about Hillary,” said George Dries, owner of Bobo’s Barbecue. “I mean, it could have been about Trump.”

The restaurant has no political affiliation, and Dries is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, Dries said. The sign’s intention was simply for humor.

“I have a lot of friends who are Democrats, a lot of Democrats come in here,” Dries said. “We banter back and forth. It was just a joke.”

Some students, however, don’t see it as “just a joke.”

“As a Hillary supporter, I am personally offended by that remark, and I will definitely never go to Bobo’s Barbecue,” said John Van Patten, sophomore in Media.

Van Patten said that restaurants should stay away from such comments.

“It is not a good idea for a restaurant to say stuff like that because they can definitely lose customers,” Patten said.

Like Van Patten, other students don’t think it was wise for the restaurant to publicize their political views.

 

“The restaurant should worry more about food and less about politics,” said Justin Vozzo, sophomore in ACES.

“Politicizing your food can only hurt your business, and I would think that it is against this restaurant’s best interest to publicize their political views over barbecue,” said Vozzo.

Vozzo also said that since its the owner’s restaurant he is entitled to have his own opinions, and that if it really bothers people, they don’t have to eat there.

“People need to relax,” Vozzo said.

Dries said that he did not intend to offend anyone and that the joke was taken too seriously.

“It was just a joke that got blown out of proportion,” he said.

Dries also said that he is in the business to serve people and to produce good barbecue, and that everyone is welcome despite their political affiliations.

“We do not discriminate. We are not racist. We are not partisan to any political party,” he said.

Bobo’s Barbecue issued a public apology on their Facebook page stating that they aren’t associated with any political party.

“Bobo’s has no affiliation to either political party, nor should politics be involved with our business. We are sorry for any inconvenience.” they posted.

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