DANA POINT (CBSLA.com) — Outside Hennessey’s Tavern in Dana Point locals were surprised to hear about the Cinco de Mayo promotion turned controversy.
On Friday the bar put up an inflatable border wall and those who scaled it received a green card for a free drink.
But on social media the backlash was scathing. Comments blasted the promotion as insensitive, racist and catering to stereotypes. Comments also demanded patrons to boycott the bar.
Sunday evening the tavern’s owner Paul Hennessey responded on Facebook saying it was a misunderstanding
“I would like to thank everyone for your comments about our climbing wall. Our intentions were to create a dialogue and show how ridiculous it is to spend tens of millions of dollars to build a wall…and even infer that Mexico foot some or the entire bill and have their citizens build it.”
One customer said that it sounded like a good idea to bring some extra money in for the bar but “was in poor taste.”
One employee who asked not to be identified questioned the statement saying some customers even chanted “build the wall.”
The promotion does have defenders online. Some comments called it funny and blasting critics as lacking a sense of humor.