Bar backs down after backlash to ban on “Make America Great Again” Trump hats

Posted at 2:52 PM, Jul 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-01 16:52:47-04

An arcade bar in Chicago faced a wave of online backlash after announcing a ban on "Make America Great Again" Trump campaign hats and a new dress code meant to "keep it classy," CBS Chicago reports.

Replay Lincoln Park announced the new "strictly enforced dress code" via Facebook. The message accompanied a photo of a "MAGA" hat and a face tattoo, which the bar is also banning.

"After much consternation and consideration and to maintain a ‘classy environment,’ Replay Lincoln Park has implemented a new and strictly enforced dress code. No face tattoos, no specific hats, please see below. Let’s keep it classy Chicago. Sincerely, management," the post read.

Both supporters and opponents of the ban flooded the post with comments, and appears the "MAGA" hat and face tattoo photos were later deleted. However, some people took screenshots of the post, and someone even created a fake Replay Lincoln Park Facebook page, sharing a similar message about banning "MAGA" hats.

In another post on the matter, which appears to be deleted or hidden from the Replay Lincoln Park page, the bar’s owners also asked the owners of The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, "how are y’all handling it? (And are you interested in any cross-promotion opportunities?" 

The post referred to the decision by the Red Hen’s owner to ask White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to leave when she visited the Virginia restaurant. Replay Lincoln Park’s post also included the anti-Trump hashtag #resist, CBS Chicago reports.

The bar posted a follow-up to the two posts on Tuesday, seemingly backing down after getting both positive and negative attention.

"We are sorry for our recent actions and realize now that our posts were inappropriate. We meant to be funny and we took it too far. Everyone is welcome at Replay Lincoln Park," the post read. "Our world is filled with a lot of differences, and Replay Lincoln Park has always been a respite from that; a nostalgic, carefree arcade bar where people have fun and escape the outside world."

The Red Hen incident also spurred debate about whether or not people should be kicked out of restaurants for their political affiliations. Sanders tweeted about getting kicked out, saying the owner’s actions "say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so."

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