Controversy sparks TABC investigation of Unbarlievable bar on Rainey Street
KVUE — Rainey Street bar Unbarlievable is being investigated by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission after a customer reported an incident involving concerning imagery and language.
TABC officials said they received an email June 18 that referred to an incident that occurred in March. While the TABC did not specify what happened during the incident, social media has been buzzing about the owner of the bar, identified as Brandon Cash, and other representatives allegedly making racist comments and disregarding anti-Semitic actions at the establishment.
In a Facebook review for the bar, Rebecca Quintrell writes, "First and last time going: BEER SWASTIKA. Table next to us ordered a lot of beers and the worker brought the beers out, then put them in a shape of a SWASTIKA. Totally uncalled for and disrespectful. Told the owner and he did not care at all — horrible."
The Unbarlievable account responds to Quintrell by writing, "If you have feelings all complaints should be directed to our HR department. You can reach them at email@example.com." No photos of the alleged incident have surfaced.
Cash, who also owns The Goodnight and Rooftop on Sixth Street, released a statement on the evening of June 28.
"It is with profound humility that I issue this heartfelt apology. To those whom I have hurt and offended, I am deeply sorry. My words and actions were wrong, inappropriate, and inexcusable. They certainly don't exemplify the values of a community that I love and care deeply about, and my insensitive actions do not represent the views of my loyal and dedicated employees.
"Austin has been my home for over 30 years and I have worked hard to create hospitality experiences that reflect our unique, fun-loving Austin culture and attract patrons and guests who appreciate it. Unfortunately, my own intolerable actions have contributed to a negative environment that has detracted from that culture and vision. I fully realize that forgiveness may not come easily, but I am asking for it and I pledge to earn it. I am going to work diligently to earn back the trust of my customers, my employees, and this community."
The Goodnight also issued a statement that evening, distancing themselves from Cash. "We are very well aware of the recent public relations conflict that a bar on Rainey Street is going through. We have reached an agreement to purchase the remaining ownership of the individual that has a very limited, non-operating interest in The Goodnight as of 4 pm today."
A press conference and protest against Cash and his businesses are scheduled for Friday, June 30; the press conference begins at 1 pm and the protest will take place at 7 pm.
To read the full story and see the video, visit KVUE.