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New Bar’s Racy Name Stirs Controversy In Downey

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Juan_Fernandez_08062010 Juan Fernandez
Juan Fernandez joined CBS 2 News as a general assignment reporter in...
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DOWNEY (CBS) — A new sports bar is creating a stir in the family-friendly city of Downey.

The residents don’t have a problem with the actual bar or location, but rather its name – “Bastards Sports Bar and Grill.”

Former Marine and owner Nick Velez says there is a sentimental reason behind the controversial name.

“It’s a name that derives from the 2nd Battalion 4thMarines in honor of all our brothers and service members who never got to come back and enjoy a beer and have a good time with their friends,” he said.

The Americana-themed bar on Downey Avenue near Firestone Boulevard is painted in military colors with prisoner of war and American flags decorating the walls.

The beer is even sold in ammunition ice buckets because Velez wanted customers to get an authentic experience.

He says he intentionally opened on Memorial Day because of the bar’s patriotic style.

“The day explains itself. The reason why I’m here, the reason why we’re all here is because of the guys who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Velez said.

Although some Downey residents are excited about the new bar, many have complained about its name because they find it offensive and demeaning; however, the city released a statement saying the bar can keep its name due to freedom of speech.

Velez says that instead of focusing on the negative, he is focusing on what his bar has to offer the city and hopes the name won’t keep people from visiting.

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