A few months ago I shared a FB page with my followers about a new bar opening up with a circus theme. It would have a stage for live music, circus-themed food and cool circus decor. I was super excited about the 196 oz moscow mules and couldn't wait to check it out.
Opening during SXSW, I went to attend an event (with a Platinum badge) and was told it was a private event and couldn’t come in. The next day I found out a friend with no badge was allowed in, less then an hour after i was there …and there was no private party, nor had there been. No biggie, it’s SX, I had moved on to the next party. Unbeknownst to me, I may have been 'the right kind of people" as I'm now seeing this - "Y'all are most likely the people we wouldn't want in the bar to begin with."
The aforementioned complaint is against Rainey Street bar, UnBARlievable and both the bar and owner Brandon Cash are the topic of social media backlash due to racist, sexist remarks posted in response to bad reviews on Google, Yelp and their FB pages. Comments via the bar’s page are unacceptable and rude to say the least. One such comments states “If you have feelings all complaints should be directed to our HR department. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org”.
I received a screenshot of said comment via FB message by a fellow industry member and could not believe it. I went to the owner's FB profile and the things he had posted were appalling. Granted, you can post what you want on your profile page, but goodness, this guy is an a-hole. I started following some of the comments people were making and not surprising, the next time I went back to his profile, it had been taken down/hidden. In addition, Unbarlievable’s page had turned off the ability to like the page or to post comments and/or reviews.
I actually came across this guy one night while out with a girlfriend and witnessed the way he spoke about hispanics, women and his employees. The idiot did it while wearing his The Goodnight bar shirt and cap. I decided then, I would never go to that place again. i would find out later that he was the owner of Unbarlievable, along with The Rooftop on 6th and Rooftop San Marcos. He is reportedly also working on new developments to open in the Austin area.
Needless to say, the media is all over this and has shed light on the issues; The Statesman, Austin Monthly, The Austin Chronicle, TWC News, CBS News and KVUE TV just to name a few. A “Unbarlievably Racist Rainey Street Bar” FB page has also been created where people can post or comment since the other posts on Google and Yelp have been deleted by the venue. A Google Docs list has also been created with information and updates and links to the screenshots. They are so horrible and unacceptable, that I can't even post them.
See: TABC Investigating Rainey Street bar “Unbarlievable”, What people are saying about allegations against Rainey Street’s Unbarlievable
• As of 4pm on June 28th, Brandon Cash was bought out of his share of The Goodnight. Statement of The Goodnight page.
• The Goodnight FB page has also turned off comments and the other owner has disabled his personal profile as well.
• Owner Brandon Cash issued a public apology. (Honestly, it sounds like a lame attempt at damage control. If it had happened only once, then maybe I’d believe him. But this much surfacing leads me to believe that this has been going on for years. Insert Pat Benatar lyrics - it’s a little too little, it’s a little too late)
• Rainey Street bars come together with Bars Against Bigotry #allarewelcome initiative.
On a personal note, yesterday I messaged my friend Chad Goldwasser with Pure Gold Realty, who was hosting their annual Rock ’n’ Restock at Unbarlievable, to see if he was considering moving the event scheduled for August. I am happy to say that they will be having it at The Belmont instead.
I'm sorry for all those people who have been the brunt of this person's crudeness and lude behavior. Austin is a great place and we don't need this kind of negativity in our community.
A press conference is taking place at 1pm in front of the bar and a protest is scheduled for Friday evening at 7pm.
What are your thoughts?