Are the food and service any good at the Backstreets Pub and Deli in Clemson, South Carolina? I don't know. But I do know this: The bar's owner has big brass ones and no qualms about tussling with Second Amendment nuts.
At some point on St. Patrick's Day, one of the bar's clientele snapped a photo of the printed sign above in its window, and it subsequently went viral among offended gun-lovers. Here's the full version:
Before this morning, Backstreets had three Yelp reviews that averaged three out of five stars. Today, it got nearly 300 reviews from pro-gun nuts who either ventured cross-country to try the wings in Clemson, vomited, found the place unsafe and were driven to comment on Yelp for the very first time... or simply made some shit up to justify driving the joint's rating down to one star.
"Food sucks, over priced. Owners a blatant liberal idiot that uses the eatablishment as a cover for his meth lab in the back," one classy guy who apparently trekked all the way from Oregon writes. "I hope this business fails and the owner commits suicide."
Backstreets appears to have recently disabled its Facebook page amid the uproar, but a cached version shows a spirited (if grammatically challenged) back-and-forth between the pub's proprietor and gun-lovin' freedom mongers.
"Sorry, but I'm not sorry," the presumed owner posted today. "If you feel the need to bring a gun into a college bar you are a douche bag. And if you're drinking than you are violating the law." He later added that he himself is a gun owner fed up with "irrational...gun nuts" and said the sign was temporary—well, "temporally":
Beyond the single bar in a college town, a major confrontation of this sort was made inevitable last month, when South Carolina passed a law letting licensed pistol-packers carry their concealed weapons into drinking establishments—a degree of lassitude that's not even legal in states with Dodge City reputations like Florida (emphasis added):
The new law, signed by Gov. Nikki Haley a week after a man was fatally shot in a South Carolina bar parking lot, allows people holding concealed-weapon permits to carry firearms in places that serve food or alcohol, as long as they don't drink while inside. The law has a significant exemption: Establishments may enact their own weapon bans, provided they post a large sign in their window warning customers of their policy.
That bar and restaurant owners are now forced into the unpleasant position of potentially alienating some portion of their clientele by either posting a sign — or not posting a sign — is a win for gun groups that for decades have pursued local strategies for rolling back gun laws in states.
The law seems to have had the intended effect. Regardless of whether its food is edible or not, Second Amendment Men and Women are working hard on their virtual boycott of Backstreets, even if they have to lie about ever having darkened its doors.