A “No Colors Allowed” sign that is posted outside of Beer Belly’s, a Taylor, Mich., bar, has reportedly got folks near and far up in arms. The sign has been interpreted by many to mean no Black patrons are allowed at the establishment, but according to the bar’s owner, the sign’s wording is far from racist, reports USA Today.
Beer Belly’s has been deluged with bad press, phone calls, and threats, after someone created a video of the sign and posted it on their Facebook page. An unidentified man’s voice is overheard narrating the footage stating, “Look at that there, no colored people allowed. They’re going to lynch your ass if you’re darker than me.”
Aaron Stevens, who co-owns the bar with his dad, maintains that the sign is actually addressing bikers and how they are not allowed to wear their club colors on the premises.
According to Stevens, people keep calling the bar asking, “Do you guys not allow colored people in the bar or do you not allow Black people in the bar?” In response, Stevens has had to keep explaining what the sign supposedly means, with calls reportedly coming from as far away as Washington, D.C., and even California. As far as having an establishment that locks out Blacks, Stevens thinks people’s interpretation of his sign is silly particularly since the surrounding area is racially mixed and many of his patrons are African American, “We’re really the furthest thing from a racist bar,” he said. “We have a mixed crowd. We have a lot of regulars that are African American.”
Meanwhile, Stevens is contemplating reaching out to the man who got the ball rolling with his video that ignited the controversy, telling USA Today, “It puts a bad image on us, and I hope it doesn’t hurt our business.”