A California bar's drink promotion on Friday, which marked the Mexican celebration of Cinco de Mayo, caused a massive social media backlash from liberals who declared the restaurant "racist" and "insensitive."
Hennessey's Tavern in Dana Point, California, put up an inflatable climbing wall to represent the border wall, and patrons who climbed over the inflatable wall received a faux "green card," which entitled them to a free drink.
The promotion didn't sit well with many on social media, who accused the restaurant of being racist and insensitive.
THE ENVELOPE PLEASE: And the award for the most tasteless Cinco De Mayo party 2017 goes to Hennessey's Tavern in... https://t.co/Qau0ofnkUk
— Brian Harrod (@GetTheDailyDirt) May 8, 2017
Hennessey’s Tavern set up an inflatable wall & anyone who reached the top received a “green card” Distasteful @HennesseysDP1#GrabYourWalletpic.twitter.com/fahKwpp35F
— lizzie (@lizeraly) May 8, 2017
@cnn@puppymnkey Hennessey"s Tavern racist!! pic.twitter.com/HC9UuphZV6
— Chemeketa (@KiowaRivers) May 8, 2017
After patrons were urged to boycott the bar, owner Paul Hennessee seemed to backtrack on the intent of the promotion, writing on the company's Facebook page that he was actually trying to criticize the border wall proposal with the Cinco de Mayo promotion.
"Our intentions were to create a dialogue and show how ridiculous that it is to spend tens of millions of dollars to build a wall and even infer that Mexico foot some or the entire bill and have their citizens build it," Hennessee wrote. "This event obviously struck a chord with many of you out there and you and a number of you did not understand our intent. I encourage all of you to take the time that you have spent posting on social media to spend an equal or greater amount of time writing your congressman or the President himself to express your concerns just as I have."
An employee who spoke to KCBS said that the bar's handling of the promotion was in direct contradiction with Hennessee's statement, explaining that the bar even handed out fake mustaches while customers chanted "build that wall."
A request for comment from Hennessee's Tavern was not immediately returned.