Restaurant's sign draws criticism

By Courtney Gilmore - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - A local restaurant came under fire after their sign drew sharp criticism.

Roots Bistro, a restaurant known for its local green cuisine, is located on the 500 block of Westheimer. The sign outside on their marquee read, "Beer should be like violence... Domestic."

A viewer snapped a picture of the sign and sent it to the KPRC Local 2 Facebook page.

"After we put it up, we got several calls about it and we immediately took it down," said Kenneth Choate, who is the manager of Roots Bistro. "We didn't see anything offensive about it, initially, but we see now how it could have been taken that way. The quote was meant to draw attention to our restaurant." said Choate.

The manager went on to say that they grabbed the quote from an online website. "Its listed as one of the top ten signs on the internet so that's where we pulled it from," said Choate.

"Wow, that is grossly inappropriate, I don't even have words for how inappropriate that is," said Tiffany Tyler who lives in the area with her children. "I've seen the restaurant, but that's not something that will draw people in," said Tyler.

"I don't think I would want to go to a place that had that kind of humor, but I think it's well within their rights to do it," said father Matt Cohen. "We have freedom of speech in this country."

Katy Pando, from the Houston Area Woman's Center, feels domestic violence is nothing to joke about. Every year her center receives more than 40 thousand calls regarding domestic violence, and last year in Harris County, more than 20 women lost their lives because of domestic abuse.

"There is a culture that finds this kind of comment amusing and its not," said Pando. "Domestic violence affects thousands of families in Houston and the surrounding area. We want people to know that we take the issue seriously and there are places out there for people to get help," Pando said.

According to the manager of the restaurant, he apologized to everyone who called in to voice their concern regarding the sign.

"It wasn't something that was thought through, but it wasn't mean to hurt anyone or condone any type of violence," said Choate.

If you would like to know more information about domestic violence, or feel that someone you know may be in danger head to this website, or call The Houston Area Women's Center's 24 Hour Hotline at 713-528-2121.

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