The owner of a restaurant in Houston says the establishment won’t back down to "cancel culture renegades" after receiving backlash for posting signs mocking President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"We are heading into Crawfish season and then peak patio weather and won’t be slowed down from the cancel culture renegades," the co-owner of Preslee’s Southern-style restaurant in Houston Heights told Fox Digital on Wednesday. "It's about pro freedom and our right to run our small business."
The restaurant has faced backlash in recent days after photos were posted to social media showing Preslee’s sign mocking Biden and Pelosi. The restaurant’s marquee sign has long been used to post memes, jokes and "funny quotes," according to the owner, who requested his name not be used while speaking to Fox Digital.
"No mask needed," one sign at Preslee's read. "Unless you look like Nancy Pelosi."
The sign was updated this month to also include "Let’s Go Brandon!" at the bottom of its jab at Pelosi, photos show.
People slammed them as misogynistic on social media, and others left voicemails for the owners saying they "hope their business loses all their employees" and they go bankrupt, the owner said.
"The backlash we received at first was a little overwhelming while dealing with a busy restaurant. Lots of voicemails and private messages," he said.
The owner added that most of the negative reviews are coming from people who had never dined at Preslee’s "but feel the need to jump on the bandwagon." The restaurant’s Instagram page was even banned on Wednesday with no reason given, according to the owner. Fox Digital reached out to Instagram on the matter.
But "in the last few days, we’ve received overwhelming support from local and also other cities."
"We have never been busier!" he said in comment addressing people who "slandered" the establishment.
Preslee’s opened in 2019 and weathered the coronavirus and subsequent shutdowns without laying "a single employee off." The owner pointed to the Biden administration and mandates surrounding the pandemic for posting the two signs.
"I think it's pretty safe to say our current government has failed us and other small business owners. More than 150,000 small businesses have shut down from mandates, but this is not about politics. It's about basic rights that some have seem to have forgotten. If we can make it through a pandemic and actually thrive we can surely handle this," he said.
"We’ll have more material posted soon, so stay tuned," he added.
Other restaurants have posted similar signs in recent months, including in Florida where Debary Diner told customers to dine elsewhere if they voted for Biden.
"If you voted for and continue to support and stand behind the worthless, inept and corrupt administration currently inhabiting the White House that is complicit in the death of our servicemen and women in Afghanistan, please take your business elsewhere," the sign read.