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.

Written by Honky Tonk Foodie

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