Pennsylvania Restaurant Faces Backlash, Protest Over 'Offensive' Sign

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Fred's Breakfast Club of New Hope, Pennsylvania is facing backlash after putting up a racist sign.

The restaurant is popular among locals for its members-only option, which gives regulars the right to jump the line for only $20. More so, it is more famous for its singing dogs. These dogs howl the "Happy Birthday" song to customers of the restaurant. The first one was named Fred.

The owners, Chris and Denise Bollenbacher, beautify this breakfast spot by putting up dog-themed memorabilia, some members give this to them while joining. However, it isn't easy to read all in one sitting due to its numbers, but one of the signs has generated attention for portraying a racist joke.

A customer noticed this sign; Stacey Masters as she took a photo of it and uploaded it to a Facebook community page. The next day, the president of the Bucks County NAACP, Karen Downer, shared the photo. Residents and some anti-racism groups expressed their displeasure and have offered support since then.

The message on the sign reads, "This morning I went to sign my dogs up for welfare. At first, the lady said, 'Dogs aren't eligible to draw welfare'. Then I explained to her that my dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, can't speak English, and have no clue who their Daddies are. They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing, medical care, and feel guilty because they are dogs. So she looked in her policy book to see what it takes to qualify. My Dogs get their first checks Friday. Damn this is a great country!"

Downer also expressed anger that Bollenbacher thought so little of his customers and found the sign funny.

A longtime customer of Fred's contacted the restaurant through Facebook messenger to confirm the authenticity. According to her, they confirmed its realness and stated that it had been there for a decade.

The customer, who has chosen to remain anonymous, said she told them that she would be putting her key in the trash, due to their lack of concern for customer and staff feelings. She said they failed to apologize and instead called her the racist one and told her to order some pancakes.

The restaurant took down its Facebook page and have failed to comment on the event.

Kevin Leven, a resident of New Hope who leads the Bucks County Anti-Racism Coalition, organized a protest to make the Bollenbachers issue an apology and do better.

More people participated in a protest in front of Fred's and were met by Caitlyn Fleming, an employee of the restaurant and family member of the Bollenbachers. She thanked Leven for the peaceful action but failed to issue an apology on Fred's behalf.

It is unclear if the sign has been removed, but the restaurant has deleted its Facebook page.

Sources: Today

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