The owner of a Houston restaurant says the establishment won’t back down to "cancel culture renegades" after getting backlash for posting signs mocking President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"We are heading into Crawfish season and then peak patio weather and won’t be slowed down from the cancel culture renegades," the co-owner of Preslee’s Southern-style restaurant in Houston Heights said Wednesday. "It's about pro-freedom and our right to run our small business."
The restaurant has been met with backlash since photos were posted to social media showing Preslee’s sign mocking Biden and Pelosi. The restaurant’s sign has a history of being used to post memes, jokes, and "funny quotes," according to the owner, who requested his name not be used.
"No mask needed," one sign at Preslee's read. "Unless you look like Nancy Pelosi."
The sign was updated this month to also include "Let’s Go Brandon!”
People called them misogynistic on social media, and others left voicemails for the owners saying they "hope their business loses all their employees" and they go bankrupt, the owner said.
"The backlash we received at first was a little overwhelming while dealing with a busy restaurant. Lots of voicemails and private messages," he said.
The owner said most of the negative reviews are coming from people who had never dined at Preslee’s "but feel the need to jump on the bandwagon." The restaurant’s Instagram page was even banned on Wednesday with no reason given, according to the owner.
But "in the last few days, we’ve received overwhelming support from local and also other cities."
"We have never been busier!" he said in a comment addressing people who "slandered" the establishment.
Preslee’s opened in 2019 and made it through the coronavirus and subsequent shutdowns without laying "a single employee off." The owner pointed to the Biden administration and mandates associated with the pandemic for posting the two signs.
"I think it's pretty safe to say our current government has failed us and other small business owners. More than 150,000 small businesses have shut down from mandates, but this is not about politics. It's about basic rights that some have seem to have forgotten. If we can make it through a pandemic and actually thrive we can surely handle this," he said.
"We’ll have more material posted soon, so stay tuned," he added.
Other restaurants have posted similar signs, including in Florida where Debary Diner told customers to dine elsewhere if they voted for Biden.
"If you voted for and continue to support and stand behind the worthless, inept, and corrupt administration currently inhabiting the White House that is complicit in the death of our servicemen and women in Afghanistan, please take your business elsewhere," the sign read.