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UPDATE: General Beauregard's to reopen, after photo of racist menu item surfaces online

  • Updated
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Downtown Athens

General Beauregard's downtown will reopen on Monday, reported the Athens Banner-Herald, after closing last week following the circulation of photos on social media of the bar's drink menu containing a racial slur.

Original story:

A picture of what is allegedly a menu at the downtown Athens bar General Beauregard's has circulated on social media, showing a drink option with a censored racial slur.

The "N*****ita," which according to the picture has tequila and watermelon flavoring, is featured in photos posted on Facebook and Twitter.

The owner of the bar, Daniel Simmons, denied knowledge of the menu item in an email to The Red & Black.

"We had absolutely no knowledge of, and would never condone, this image that is claimed to be our drink menu," he said in the email. "However, to be absolutely clear, we do not provide our customers with a drink menu."

Simmons said the only exception is drink specials that are displayed on chalkboards.

"The circled drink included in the picture is not something we have ever served to customers or advertised and would never be approved by ownership," Simmons said.

He also said he and his staff are investigating where the photo came from and are planning to resolve the matter.

The Facebook and Twitter pages for the bar were both taken down.

Students have spoken out against the bar since the picture began circulating.

"I've never been to General's, but from what I've seen from the outside, it seems like a place that is frequented by students, which means that this is something all students should know and care about," said Adam Veale, a sophomore political science major from Augusta. "If we want to foster a culture of diversity and acceptance at this university, I see no place for this type of business."

However, this is not the first time General Beauregard's, named after the Civil War general and decorated with Confederate paraphernalia, has fallen under scrutiny. The bar flew the Confederate flag until summer of 2015. That summer, the shooting at a church in Charleston sparked a national debate over the symbol.

In a Red & Black article from 2003, Simmons said that the bar's theme was not meant to be offensive.

"We're not trying to be racist," he said in the article.

Students and Athenians alike do not see it this way. The organization Athens for Everyone released a statement Thursday about the alleged menu item.

"We urge the owners of General Beauregard's to do the right thing and shut their doors for good," according to the Athens for Everyone Facebook page. "We also urge the community and our local leaders to examine how we can create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all people in Athens."

Veale said he agrees with Denson.

"The picture that was spread around seems to only be a symptom of a larger problem of racism," Veale said. "Even if it was just used behind the bar, the fact that that kind of word was thought to be acceptable is a sign of a bigger issue."

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