New Amarillo Restaurant Big Beaners Draws Controversy for Name
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New Amarillo Restaurant Big Beaners Draws Controversy for Name

A new restaurant in Amarillo has stirred controversy even before its planned July opening date. Jesse Quakenbush, a local attorney, stands behind his establishment named Big Beaners. The term “beaner” has been used historically as a derogatory term for Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and people of Mexican descent. It stems from the use of a variety of beans in traditional cuisine. The logo chosen by Quakenbush is of a bean featuring a handlebar mustache, wearing a yellow sombrero-style hat and cowboy boots with pointed toes.

New Amarillo Restaurant Big Beaners Draws Controversy for Name

Photo: envato elements

Residents of Amarillo, and around Texas, are divided on the matter. Some are not bothered by the use of the term “beaner,” while others are deeply offended by what they consider racist slang. Still, there are others in the area who are not even aware a dispute has arisen. The matter has been covered by local media as well as national forums. When interviewed by Texas Monthly, Quakenbush said “Is my intent to send a racist message? Absolutely not,” he continued. “I would never do anything purposely to try to offend someone because of their heritage, their culture. … I love Hispanic culture. I have a house in Costa Rica.”

New Amarillo Restaurant Big Beaners Draws Controversy for Name

Photo: envato elements

The Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as of May 29th, noted they will remain neutral on the issue, as they are a business organization, not a civil one. President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Amarillo, Abel Bosquez, spoke with Quakenbush in an effort to change the restaurant’s name. The NAACP – Amarillo branch has addressed a letter to Quakenbush requesting a name change due to its historical use, and a change.org petition is posted which has obtained more than 10,300 signatures with the same goal in mind. As of writing, the attorney has indicated that despite the controversy, the moniker will stay as is and the restaurant will move forward with opening.

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  1. Guess we will have to change the name of all crackers on the store shelf’s next. Whole wheat crackers are my fav but guess they will be called brown snack cookies with salt from now on. PC is BS

  2. If you don’t like the name, then don’t give them your business. This is still America and all of this political correctness is about to drive most people crazy.

  3. Enough already. I like beans! There is a chain of Mexican restaurants called GRINGO’S. So sensitive that it sickening. That’s the problem.

  4. I have been a small business owner in Texas. The first thing you do is research if the company name you want to use is already in existence. If it is not, then go with the name of your choosing. If a person feels offended, then do not patronize that establishment. It’s like… if you do not like the tv show you are watching, change the channel. It is your choice. Because, you do not like the show, it is not going to be taken off the air. The old adage is “You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.” Freedom of speech is a right, not a demand just because you have an opinion. Thank you.

  5. Children throw temper tantrums when things don’t suit them. Until we corral the cancel culture of virtue signalizing, no one will be free to succeed. If folks want to be offended by this, don’t patronize the restaurant and leave everyone else alone. Big Beaner today, Taco Bueno tomorrow. Get over yourselves.

  6. Pearland Texas is home to a texmex restaurant named Gringos. Which is a derogatory term for white Americans or outsider. Mostly following another derogatory term pinche. The restaurant opened in 1993 and the owner of Hispanic heritage but no one has raised and eyebrow. I am sure the owner is laughing all the way to the bank.

  7. I DON’T LIVE IN TEXAS, BUT ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE NAME, ‘BIG BEANERS’, BET YOU HAVE GREAT FOOD AND THAT’S ALL THAT REALLY MATTERS.
    SENDING GOD’S BLESSINGS. 🌮🍻🌯👩‍🦳✌❤

  8. I never heard the term. Has anyone asked them why they chose the name? Far too many people are seeing symbols of racism where it doesn’t exist. We’ve become like Hitler’s Brown Shirts: only the official line is acceptable, only the NAZI books can be read, religions are verboten, etc., etc.

    • Harry, I was born in 1951 in the Imperial Valley in California, 10 miles north of Mexicalli, Mexico. I have heard the term “beaner”since I was a little kid. It is not a word that can be used in a “good” way. It was always meant as an insult. The people that named their place “Beaners” just proved they actually don’t know anything about the Mexican race or culture. I’ve had more Mexican friends in my life than I can put a number on and I would never have called any of them “beaner”, unless I wanted to start a fight and end the friendship.

  9. People need to grow up and stop being offended about everything, I am tired of hearing some are offended so we must remove the statues or plagues what about those that are offended by the removal why is it only one sided. People grow up, find real reasons to get upset stop taking everything so personal, start trying to enjoy life instead of starting stupid stuff that causes friction with all

  10. Say why not bring back the restaurant named SAMBO’S ? Was that not funny, cute or catchy?
    It really is offensive.

  11. I have never heard the term “beaner”, and I grew up in Texas. However if a name gives a bad connotation, then you’d better not name your restaurant that name because a part of the population won’t come to your restaurant. If you want the restaurant to succeed, then you should choose an inspiring name. Already, a company named Beaner’s Coffee has changed it’s name because they want to be a company of inclusion. It seems like a smart business decision. Name it Quackenbush’s. The ducks won’t mind and neither will the bush.

  12. It’s way past time that people stop being so sensitive to everything. Not everything has a double meaning. I don’t have a problem with the name. GET OVER YOURSELVES.

  13. Come on people! Quit being so touchy! The Left has made everything so controversial. No matter what one does, it is wrong if they didn’t think of it .
    If this was a persons last name, would they have to change it because someone thought it was offensive ? Big Beaners sounds like a great place to eat. If the food is good, one is going to go there regardless of the name.
    Think of all the nick names people are given through life. They out grow them in most cases.
    This is not a communist country, lighten up!

  14. NO! That word needs saying more from birth up. Not in a bad way. But, to let people know that there is such a word.
    The way Big Beaners is used in the context of the story it should not offensive to anyone. UNLESS, they want it to and there are so many words that could do the same. When does the bullying, and that is what it has gotten to, end.
    I say now.

  15. So tired of all the whiners looking for racism where it doesn’t exist, and assigning “evil intent” to others when really the evil intent is in their own tiny racist minds. Get over yourselves, you whiners. If you don’t like the name, avoid the good food within. Cheat yourself out of a good time. Just let everyone else enjoy the delicious food and you go back to mommy’s basement and cry a river.

  16. Whatever happened to freedom/free enterprise? Time to grow up and stop trying to see something offensive where no offense was intended! If you don’t like the name, don’t spend your money there….it’s that simple!

  17. Are we going to be forced to give up our freedom of speech? I think they should be able to name it
    whatever they want to. I never knew it had a derogatory meaning! People are just looking for ways to stir up trouble! Should I be offended that some people constantly carry a “chip on their shoulder?”

  18. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the restaurants name it is ridiculous to change it. Now they want to take guns away from more classic cartoons which I find really ridiculous but they have them in all TV shows and video games.

  19. Texas has a long and negative history as it comes to it’s Hispanic heritage. Let’s talk about how many Legal Mexican Americans were rounded up and “Repatriated” to Mexico during the 1930’s. Approximately 400,000 to 2 Million Hispanics were rounded up and deported to Mexico. This happened mainly in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, which was responsible for half of the “Repatriations”. Fully 60 percent of them were born in America. How can you be repatriated to a foreign country? Subsequently their lands, businesses and wealth were redistributed to the white population. Let’s also remember that Texas used to Be a part of Mexico. I’ll bet lots of Texans would be just fine with a restaurant called “Wetbacks BBQ.” No, Beaners is not an acceptable name for a restaurant unless you’re just fine with business names that are derogatory to your race. Like “White Cracker Cafe, Trailer Trash Laundrymat, or Clothes for Honkies. Yeah, didn’t think so. Wake up.

    • Wetbacks BBQ would be derogatory. I have lived in S. TX for 70 years and never have I heard this phrase, “Beaners”. This has nothing to do with “repartriations” as you brought up. The restaurant is not “ICE”. It’s a BBQ Restaurant that probably sells Pinto Beans. It’s not calling any individual names. If people are offended, they don’t have to spend their money there. But I bet you, if they have good BBQ it really doesn’t matter what the name of the restaurant is, people will come. Bringing up old wounds only divides and entices violence. It doesn’t bring people together. Only people that are racist are so consumed with every detail being offensive and racist. Just looking for ways to cause division. The change needed will come from the heart of people, regardless of the color of their skin or their culture. Violence only entices more violence. Hate only feeds hate.

    • On the contrary,There are plenty of places with “derogatory” names pertaining to Whites. We have a restaurant called Gringos near my house. great food. I think the real situation is that Anglos seem to be the only ones with a sense of humor about all this silliness, though it is usually just other whites obsessed with virtue signalling that get really upset about such things. My Hispanic friends always get a real laugh out of this sort a thing and enjoy poking a bit of fun at ethnic eccentricities be they White or Hispanic. We all just need to lighten up and enjoy our differences and quirks, regardless of the Immigration policies of 1930.

    • Actually my favorite taco at Torchys is called the trashy trailer park and I am white and live in a trailer park and have no.issue with the name so….your point is moot.

  20. Too funny. A Hispanic can name his restaurant with the racist pejorative Gringos, but a white guy can’t call his Big Beaners. I guess it would be fine if it were owned by a Hispanic too? Such pathetic crybaby hypocrisy. It’s only white people who are held accountable for being PC. Everybody else can be as racist as they want. Even more so. I guess that’s a white peoples fault too.

    If this guy sells a coffee mug, I’m buying one.

  21. EVERYBODY needs to quit being so offended. Life’s too short to worry about things that don’t really matter. “You won’t get anywhere if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks at you”. W. Churchill

  22. I have lived and visited all over Texas my entire 62 years of life. I lived in San Antonio and I never in my life heard this phrase. Maybe it was a Yankee term, since it appears most of the racial tension takes place up there.

  23. I don’t live in Texas anymore but wish I did!!! I miss it and all that goes with it…. However, I think that most Texans couldn’t care less if the owners of some restaurants have named their Restaurants ” Big Beaners” or not. and I really don’t think that anyone in Texas would not go to a restaurant just because of that name either. If the food is good then they will be a success, if not then they will fail… That is the bottom line!!!

  24. What’s wrong with it? You can make anything dirty or racist or whatever If you think about it long enough. Quit making a big deal out of nothing. Jeez.

  25. I don’t have an opinion one way or the other, but it would be interesting to see individuals with Hispanic surnames (specifically Mexican) joining the conversation.

  26. Absolutely ridiculous to waste time on this by creating a false issue. I’m white and have zero concern with the restaurant named Cracker Barrel. See how silly you’re being . . . honestly.

  27. Well, I clicked on the “LOL” emoji for lack of no better choice. Honestly, I don’t give a frak about it. But I see two sides here. The one I lean to most is that we have gotten way too over sensitive to just about everything. The political correctness which is currently en vogue is just too much for most people I know. Its bullshit. However, “Beaner” is derogatory and yes it does inflame some people of Mexican or Hispanic descent. I eat alot of beans too but Im a white guy. Still, as a white guy, I don’t get all worked up on the term “cracker” or even “honky”. But still I would look at it this way, if you were of Mexican descent, would you like to be called “Beaner” or would you eat at a place called “Big Beaner”? If the intent of creating the name was meant to label people or degrade them, then the name should be changed. If not, then I respect the local authorities decision to be neutral which is their way of saying “we don’t give a frak”.

  28. I’m 75 and was not aware that people of Mexican heritage were called Beaners. If it was used as a racist slur I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been racist

  29. Seriously…could not figure out how beans are racist.
    Growing up beans and cornbread were a staple in our house.

  30. If the name of the business offends you, do not go to it. If it is soo offensive to the general public it will fail & be gone.

  31. I am a Mexican American, Texan to boot, and I don’t give two figs about what this man wants to name his restaurant. I just hope the food is good.
    I don’t use that term to refer to Mexicans, nor do I use Cracker, Peckerw**d, Nword, etc for anyone else. History will always be there, you cannot magically wish it away. I don’t think this man means harm and no offense is taken by me.

    • I love it!!!! I have never heard your comment about the two figs… lol but in our party of the Texas FIGS are gold… lol 🙂 Love me some fig wine 🙂 Nice to meet you Texas Girl somewhere in Texas 🙂

  32. But the cotton patch cafe, and gringos are ok? Chill out folks all the Mexican restaurants have little Mexican guys with mustaches and sombreros just because this owner is not full on Hispanic he is racist ?! Welcome to America land of the free but only if you follow our rules and keep your mouth shut oh and don’t offend anyone also make sure you apologize to all the crybabies who have no sense of humor….

  33. Get a life. It’s a Free Country the last time I checked. Let the Man call whatever he wants. People are stuck at home and have lost their jobs. Our Nation is in fire.
    All lives matter!
    Go America

  34. Ya dont like it, Dont eat there. If enough people are offended it will close. If most people dont care, it will stay open. Problem solved. PC is absolutely BS. Vote with your dollars and shut up.

  35. Isn’t it time for people to stop being “OFFENDED” at every turn? For crying out loud!!! Grow up and stop the PC whining!!!

  36. From the number of laughs, it’s obvious what we think of the “politically correct” jesture party in this county! Too damned funny!!!

  37. I am a mixed breed – German and Mexican along with a lot of other different blood… this craziness has to stop… taking down history because of crazy people… changing names because someone will get offended… LEAVE the name, good luck sir, if I am ever your way we will stop in.

  38. I love refried beans and I’m not Hispanic. What’s wrong with Beaners? It’s about the food they serve. Get a life, you sensitive people.

  39. I guess it’s like “Cracker Kitchen” or “Honky Hot Dogs”. I’m thinking it’s not the best idea for a name. It is disrespectful, it’s a slur.

  40. There is a restaurant in Austin named ” Gueros ” which refers to a light skinned person . I have been psychologically damaged by this and can no longer enjoy my white privilege , I demand reparations.

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Written by Honky Tonk Foodie

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