Austin community leaders held a press conference earlier today in response to vulgar comments made by Unbarlievable owner Brandon Cash. Among their demands is that he financially step away from the Rainey Street bar.
Until that happens, council member Sabino “Pio” Renteria called for a boycott of the bar. “Ask that every Austinite stay away from this bar in protest,” he said. “We have to withdraw all of our collective economic support for this bar until they break ties with Brandon Cash.” Travis County treasurer Dolores Ortega echoed his plea: “Please do not patronize this bar or any other bar that shows discrimination.”
Marcos Mancillas, the community activist who organized the conference, wanted to bring attention to Cash’s actions and hold him accountable. “Unbarlievable has no right to treat people by using racial slurs, offending females with profanity, and using social media as a tool to perform racist actions towards customers,” he said.
“Racism is against the law,” said Nelson Linder, the branch president of the NAACP's Austin chapter, pointing to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance. Christian Rodriguez, who is organizing the protest in front of the bar tonight at 7 p.m., said, “A liquor license is not a right, it is a privilege.” He continued, “We are laying down the line and saying, if you cross it, you do not deserve to have a liquor license, you will be investigated, and it will be taken away.” This alludes to the TABC investigation into Unbarlievable, which was reported by KVUE.
The group also wants Unbarlievable to work with the community to figure out how to respectfully move on from the controversy. They also met with him privately following the press conference.
The public became aware of Cash’s racist, misogynist, and crass comments in response to negative online reviews of the bar this week. Cash has since acknowledged what he did and issued two apology statements. Unbarlievable also put up a banner in front of the building that reads, “Dear Austin, We’re Sorry.”
Rainey Street bars, including Banger’s, Half Step, and Javelina, banded together behind the slogan, Bars Against Bigotry.
Tonight’s protest in front of Unbarlievable begins at 7 p.m.