Restaurant News

Barrio Cafe, Jamburritos, Rocco's in Tucson, and Other Arizona Restaurants Take Stance on Controversial Anti-Gay Bill

Chances are, over the weekend, you saw a photo from Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria pop up in your Facebook news feed, along with more than one deprecating article or Jon Stewart video. Arizona's House Bill 2153 and Senate Bill 1062 have been causing a stir since its passage last week with petitions being formed left and right for Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bills. That's when Rocco's weighed in on the issue with a simple, funny, and poignant sign to get its message across.

See Also: Arizona's Anti-Gay Law Similar to Russian Law, Yale Professors Say

Rocco's posted a sign in response to the bill saying that it "reserves the right to refuse service to Arizona legislators." Most restaurants and food-service companies tend not to take political stances in relation to operating their businesses (not counting Barilla pasta, of course), but the new bill pushed Arizona businesses to comment on their new "right to discriminate."

The pizzeria said on Twitter that "as a longtime employer and feeder of the gay community, Rocco's reserves the right to eject any state Senators we see fit to kick out." Rocco's then followed up that statement by saying "all we are saying is give pizza a chance" in a subsequent post. The business also changed their marquee street sign to say "live free or die hungry."

However, Phoenix-area businesses have been weighing in on the issue too. Barrio Café posted on its Facebook that they "serve equality for all."

Crescent Ballroom has posted links to the petition, as well as saying, "We at the Crescent Ballroom believe that music and art are for all people to experience and no one should ever be discriminated against regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation" on Facebook last week.

Local First, a community coalition of many area local businesses including restaurants and retail spots, even posted a flyer for businesses to share that says they are "Open to Business for Everyone," which features the state's flag as a backdrop and was created by ONE Community. Several restaurants reposted this flyer, including Jamburritos Cajun food truck, in opposition to the bill.

Are you a local restaurant or cafe owner in Phoenix? How do you feel about the recently passed bill?

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch