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Monday, March 01, 2010

Uno's Chicago Grill does not like Patriots?

The Merrillville, Indiana area includes Northwest Indiana just outside of Chicago and the NWI Patriots are a group of people from Lake and Porter County, Indiana. The official membership is about 290 folks. There are several other Tea Party and Patriot and 9/12 groups in the area and occasionally they come together for larger events. Undoubtably several thousand will be among the millions who gather in Washington, DC this coming September. The Tea Party movement is not understood by the Beltway types and National Party officials. We are the average Americans who see the government and deficit growing by leaps and bounds while our personal liberties are being eroded and politics as usual has become steadily dirtier. Thus similar groups are growing all over the country.

One of several local Patriot/Tea Party groups has been holding regular meetings at a Uno's Chicago Grill in Merrillville, Indiana. No troubles, not rowdy, just a bunch of people who love the Constitution and have been gathering together to talk things over in a congenial party way. It seemed to be good business for Uno's and there were no behavior problems noted. My wife and I had planned to attend the next meeting but today we discovered that Uno's does not want Patriots around...the following is right from the source:

"Your Event Host, Beth, sent the following message to some members of Northwest Indiana Patriots:

Hello Patriots,

Today we received an e-mail from the manager of Uno's Chicago Grill stating that due to one complaint to the Uno's corporate office Uno's will no longer allow our Liberty Straight Up Happy Hour to take place in their bar. The new owners will no longer allow freedom and liberty minded individuals to gather in their bar.

Beth and Jeff spent much of the day locating a new location so that our Happy Hour would still be able to take place on the 12th. You will be happy to know that the Hooters management has cheerfully welcomed us.

On Saturday, March 12th, the Liberty Straight Up Happy Hour will begin at 5:00 Pm at the Hooter's at 771 E. 81st Place, Merrillville. The map is found at the link below and will direct you just to the West side of I-65. Hooter's is located on the South side of Rt. 30. You will turn south at the light just west of I-65.,+Merrillville,+IN+46410-1575&ie=UTF8&om=1

Please plan to attend and bring your friends to our new welcoming location at Hooter's.

After we secured this new location I came home and searched for the Uno's corporate office contact information. I sent them the following e-mail and called and made the same complaint to their customer service number. If you are as outraged as we are by this treatment, we encourage you to make phone calls and send e-mails in your own words complaining about this discriminatory treatment.

Uno's Corporate Office in Boston, Massachusetts
Tel: (617)323-9200
1-866-600-UNOS (8667)

See you at Hooter's Friday, March 12th,
Ray and Beth


Subject: Patriots not welcome at Uno's Merrillville

Dear Uno's;

For the past 8 months our group, Liberty Straight Up, has held a Happy Hour event one Friday each month, in your Merrillville Indiana location. We are a non-partisan, freedom based social organization with between 30 and 100 liberty-minded individuals filling your bar area. The management has welcomed our group by offering free snacks and double deals to encourage our continued business, until today.

Today I received an e-mail from the manager at your Merrillville location with a last minute cancellation of our March 12th Happy Hour that has been reserved and advertised for several months. The e-mail claims that your corporate office received a single complaint from a customer unhappy that a semi private event was being held in a public dining establishment. I am appalled by this action. It makes no sense. What does make sense to me, is that this action is of a political nature and your corporation holds a socialist stance against freedom based groups. Our group members will be personally insulted by this decision.

As I inform our membership of the new location for our March 12th Happy Hour, I will have no choice but to explain your decision to them. Hundreds of liberty loving folks in the Merrillville area that have attended our Happy Hours over the last eight months will learn that they are not welcome at Uno's. I believe the repercussions of lost business from these patriots will be greater than the business you might gain from your single complainant that initiated the decision to cancel the Liberty Straight Up Happy Hour.

In Liberty,
Ray and Beth"

If I remember correctly the first Tea Party took place at Boston and such rapscallions as Paul Revere and William Dawes and Patrick Henry were among the first Tea Party Patriots. Other miscreants like George Washington and John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were willing to go to war to be free to worship, work, participate in free enterprise and own their own weapons without being unfairly taxed without representation. They helped create the United States of America. So now some corporate wonk in Boston doesn't want that kind of person in their establishments? We will try to help make sure that happens.

Fellow Tea Party Patriots of America, join me in boycotting Uno's restaurants for cause. I suspect Hooters will appreciate the business!

By the way, what if we were members of a Black Caucus or a Native American Council or a Hispanic Business Association? Do you think they would have the cojones to blackball us? Shame on Uno's Chicago Grill!


Chaos Engineer said...

That's weird, I'm a patriotic American and I've never gotten kicked out of an Uno's.

I feel like we're missing part of the story. I really wish they'd forwarded the original e-mail instead of paraphrasing it. Is there any chance you could get it from them?

I do find the change of venue interesting. Did they make any attempt to find another family-friendly restaurant, like TGI Friday's or Ruby Tuesday or Red Lobster or even Denny's? Or did they just decide to go straight for Hooters?

Oh, well. Keep us posted! It would be interesting to find out if it turns out that Hooters is also run by "socialists", and the patriots have no choice but to move their meetings to an out-and-out strip club.

radar said...

There are a lot of aspects of this situation I will be investigating. Why the couple who have been in charge of the events chose Hooters in particular I do not know. I've never been to a Hooters. But I do know the purpose of having the meetings at that particular part of the county, since it is the convergence of US 30 and I-65 so that it is easily accessible from all parts of this region.

Whether the corporate people who made the decision are socialists or not is a value judgement made by the couple and I suppose it was an angry response to an unjustified decision by the corporation. Since the meeting had been agreed to by Uno's they were technically violating a contract.

I believe it was both a bad business decision and a terrible PR move. As this begins to become common knowledge Uno's is going to wind up losing some business.

radar said...

Oh yes, I will make the attempt to find out about the email when I meet with them.

radar said...

The company has not responded to my question about the situation. I suppose I might take it personally. A lot of people in the lamestream media are portraying Tea Party Patriots as rebranded Nazis (Socialists, really?!) and/or racists or skinheads, etc. Now this large corporation has broken an agreement with just one small band of us...why?

I may have mentioned that I have never been to a Hooters. I figure a place that promotes staring at breasts is not the first place I go for dinner (and in this economy I am not going out much) but at least they don't mind good old normal Americans. So my wife and I are both going...

Anonymous said...

Absolutely ridiculous!! Try looking up Pizza for Patriots and see how patriotic UNO's really is!! I know I enjoyed the pizza I got on our Independence Day!

radar said...

Ridiculous is correct...I guess Uno's is under new ownership. Patriotism is no longer something they support?

creeper said...

The complaint is pretty darn vague to draw any conclusions. Maybe they just don't think Uno's is the place for a political gathering?

I know I wouldn't want to be in the middle of political speech-making and discussions while trying to have my dinner and engage in some idle chat with the wife - regardless of whether I happen to agree with the politics of the group involved or not.

As for this baiting of "what have they got against the constitution? what have they got against patriots?" - allow me to speculate that they have nothing against patriots, but that they've made the free-market decision that having the place taken over for political meetings on a regular basis isn't in their best interest, as at least in part it may not go down well with patriots with different political leanings.

Seeing as Uno's is a free enterprise in a free market capitalist system, that's their prerogative...

-- creeper

radar said...

Uno's actually sent me an email thanking me for my comments and something about taking them into consideration. Since Uno's is losing fifty to a hundred patrons in one fell swoop just on that one night is a bad business decision. They had to know the Tea Party Patriot people would pass the word about such a decision. So as a corporate decision is ranks right up there with Ford Motor Company's decision to make a brand new auto line called the Edsel.

creeper said...

"Uno's actually sent me an email thanking me for my comments and something about taking them into consideration."

Wow, you must be awfully flattered.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of reaction did you expect from them beyond absolutely standard boilerplate corporate communication?

"Since Uno's is losing fifty to a hundred patrons in one fell swoop just on that one night is a bad business decision."

What, nobody comes in there on a Monday night now?

And how exactly do you quantify the number of patrons who alternatively would have been turned off by Uno's being taken over as premises for political meetings?

"They had to know the Tea Party Patriot people would pass the word about such a decision. So as a corporate decision is ranks right up there with Ford Motor Company's decision to make a brand new auto line called the Edsel."

I'm surprised you people actually fit in the door of such an establishment with such big heads to carry around. Like the Edsel, huh? Wow, we're all terribly impressed.

On the flipside, do you have any insight into how many potential patrons would have been turned off by these meetings? If you don't, then you can't really make an informed criticism of Uno's business decision.

-- creeper