Announced via email to a group of us this afternoon and posted on the company’s blog, Pete Turner states that he is not changing the name of restaurant.
In reading his lengthy response, I’m particularly offended by the ways this letter completely disregards the meaningful dialogue we engaged in last month. This is not a name that “celebrates individuality and relaxed human connection.”
Below is the response I sent back to Mr. Turner today. If you are in Tucson and interested in helping as the next restaurant prepares to open there, please get in touch.
Thank you for your letter. I am disappointed in your decision.
In hearing your detailed, humane choices as a business owner, I am surprised to hear that the ways your name affects entire communities within Colorado (and in future locations) is not a consideration for you.
I should add the quality of your business practices was never something I questioned; the mission of your restaurant has been clearly delineated both online and in our meeting last month. It is this point, in fact, that makes your letter such a disappointment: despite all of the fantastic business practices, you continue to ignore the very real and hurtful experiences that your restaurant’s name will cause.
I share with you the fact that I, too, lost my father several years ago to a form of leukemia. It is in his honor that I must continue to advocate for others to not patronize your business. His work as a member of a socially conscious teatro – performing throughout California and Mexico including to migrant farm-workers – instilled in me a need to advocate for and push on civil rights issues around me.
I had hoped that the community of Fort Collins could wholly reflect an inclusive environment and one in which my family and I would see our cultural history valued. Sadly, you have made this not the case.
Again, the positive aspects of your business were never in question – I did not need to read six pages to know the identity, the human capital, and the passion of your restaurant were important to you. It only took one paragraph to know that a large sector of your clientele are not. I had hoped your restaurant would be a space that is inclusive of the communities it will inhabit.
I look forward to continuing this dialogue as we continue to organize around your next location in Tucson.