St. Paul Bar Faces Backlash Over Thanksgiving Ad

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

— An attempt to get in the Thanksgiving spirit backfired on a Twin Cities sports bar.

Station 280 Sports Bar in St. Paul advertised their weekend drink specials with a poster that many found offensive. The advertisement was also found on Facebook and Twitter.

“Out-dated, offensive, racist, and uncalled for,” said Kristina Standingcloud.

Those are words that come to mind when she looks at the advertisement. She woke up Wednesday morning and saw the ad on one of Station 280’s Facebook pages.

The ad shows a scantily clad woman dressed in a Pocahontas costume and cartoon images next to her of a Native American and a cowboy sitting drunk on a floor.

Above it all, it reads, “Drink Like an Indian, Party Like a Pilgrim.”

“I don’t know who this is good advertising for. You wouldn’t say ‘come party like a black man.’ It’s frustrating that, specifically, Native Americans get it,” said Standingcloud, whose husband is Native American.

Standingcloud is not alone in her feelings. The ad circulated around Facebook and people spoke out on Station 280’s Facebook page, calling the poster distasteful and racist.

“There are a lot of bars in the city. I can give my money to someone else. It’s not some place I’m planning on going to,” said Bridget Bryngelson.

Jessica Nordin, a manager at Station 280, said the sports bar was trying to be edgy.

“We sincerely didn’t think this many people would get offended,” said Nordin.

She said the bar received more than 75 angry phone calls on Wednesday, so they pulled the ad.

“We definitely apologize over and over and over to everyone that was offended. That was not our intention at all. I just want to make sure that’s very clear. That was not our intent,” said Nordin.

The owner of the bar was the one who ultimately signed off on the advertisement before it went out.

Nordin said he will be making a donation to a Native American alcohol abuse foundation.

The bar changed ownership in August.

More from John Lauritsen
  • Jackie and Kirk

    How can they justify perpetuating the ugly stereotype of the drunken Indian and sexualize our women like that and not think anything about it when creating and placing this ad out there? Where are peoples minds at in thinking this was okay? Are people really that ignorant? Really?
    Many of us have lost loved one(s) to alcohol related deaths. How can they continue to perpetuate this racist behavior that most of us natives work so hard at healing from and ending? Why does my son and daughter have to take this racist slap in their faces?

  • Setira Dawson

    Really? You didn’t expect so many people to be offended? You can not seriously think that a comment like that would count as an apology? Would it have been ok if you only offended a few? HOW IGNORANT CAN YOU BE??? You have not only insulted our intelligence but you have made yourself and your employers look like fools, uneducated fools. And not only did you do it on TV for your local area you, you are now once again plastered all over facebook!!!!

  • Jeff Blohm

    Didn’t intend to offend anyone- Drink like an Indian- then when he gets complaints, makes a donation to Native American alcohol abuse foundation- HUH?

  • Natagegabo Spears stands against this ignorant ad and will advise all people to boycott this bar and this radio station, we will protest against this racist act and start a class action law-suit

  • Brad

    Yeah, it’s hilarious how so many native americans turned to alcoholism after Europeans colonized their homeland. A real knee-slapper. The ad doesn’t anger me though. There’s a big difference between ignorance and intolerance.

    • shandiin

      “its hilarious” RU KIDDING ME!!! I’m from New Mexico…where we have a huge native population and we aren’t laughing a bit!! I think you are in the IGNORANCE section there Brad….get a clue… racist comments are never tolerable! WE are leaders, lawyers, educator, producers, community activists, etc!!! what colonization?!? we speak our language have our land and still WE LIVE!!

      • Ann

        @ shandiin ~ Now who is ignorant? I didn’t think Brad’s sarcasm was hard to understand. Did you stop reading after “it’s hilarious”?

  • Cities Girl

    LOL. By the comments posted I see a lot of sue happy people. If anything it was very poor taste and judgment to place such an add. However, I don’t think it was meant in malice. If any of the posters on this forum are so perfect, never once had a lapse of judgment or made fun of any one and your life is so pristine you could spot a speck of dirt a mile away, then I guess you are not human and don’t make mistakes. Unfortunately the party in question blew a whole lot of cash on a blunder of an advertising campaign. No doubt this will effect business.

  • Mark from MNtaxwaste


  • Michael Jacobi

    Total bone-head move by the new ownership, not a wise ad investment when trying to run a business in tough economic times. Time to cancel the tee-shirt order pal!

  • gregg witt

    what does LMAO mean?
    Oh yeah, pretty stupid ad too.
    Class action suit material? You must not have much else to do. Go read a book.

  • Running Bear

    Spelling is a good indicator of an individual’s intelligence. Bigot-boy “mike” above is Exhibit A.”

    • John Shannon

      Beat me to the punch, Running Bear…

  • shandiin

    Ok….try spell check before you sign on…at least I know that and its not my language…lol!

  • Papapark

    And your comments and conclusions are based on??????????????

    Would you like to talk about an apple, an orange, the issue or just have another tequilla shooter if that is what you are drinking?

  • John Shannon

    Not much into the whole PC thing, but yep, that was a little over the top…

  • don

    we all have advice designed to enlighten one…

  • CLA

    HMMMMM, not a Native American are you.

  • Jon_Saint Paul

    Not surprised by the people who do not think this is a ‘big deal’. Those same sentiments existed around the civil rights movement and women voting. You are either part of the problem or not. Clearly, ignoring and trying to minimize the offense that happened places you as part of the problem.

    We do have freedom in this country. Your freedom to turn and look away from the problem is your choice. Your freedom to not have any emotion by witnessing a race of people being attacked is your choice. Your freedom to stereotype and to develop prejudice thought is your choice.

    For those people who have chosen to act in support of such behavior, you have that freedom. You made your choice.

    Back in time there was a group against civil rights and women’s rights. Now there is a group against Native American rights. You made your choice.

    Your choice is obvious to all people.

  • Raphael

    Party like Pilgrims?????????? Is that like be celibate like rabbits? The Pilgrims were puritains. Who the heck partied in 1620???? Those folks don’t know European culture. What else would you expect Americans to say other than “get over it”??

  • tannis

    and then as an act of reconciliation-the idiot offers to make a “donation to a Native American alcohol abuse foundation” wouldnt the $$$ be better spent on the decolonization for dummies foundation

  • Len

    Just notice that the newspaper story said he “didn’t think that many people would be offended”

    Well if one “normal” person is offended than that is one too many.

    Here we are on Thanksgiving Day celebrating the destruction of native peoples heritage through colonialism, ethnic cleaning, war, etc.

    And this ad is funny?

  • Clarissa Johnston

    I am a fifty-year-old white woman who used to play cowboys and Indians when I was little, but gusee what, I grew up. And along the way I realized how much my race has belittled and used “others”. Thinking caps people! You must put on your thinking caps when you get out of bed.

  • Clarissa Johnston

    oops. “guess”

  • Patrick Rohlfsen

    Its a bar, in the city, what do you expect? Plus, it looks to me like the white man is the drunk one. The Native American just ate too much. I have a bigger problem with the blatantly unnecessary half dressed woman. But again…its a bar. In our culture I have come to expect trash. I think people who are on their war path for boycotting bars and such need to focus their attention to the problems where they come from. IE…the reservations with their entitlement attitude, greed, crime, and corruption. I wasn’t around for the maltreatment of the native Americans, I have nothing to apologize over. My point, get over it.

  • Peter

    @Sandy you’re as guilty as the people at Station 280. How did you turn this argument/opinion into a political one? What do Republican’s have to what the bar owner’s actions? I’m not a Republican, trust me, but you’re comments are ignorant. As far as Station 280 goes…I know the owner there, and trust me, their apology is empty and insincere.

  • Meredith May Morgan

    Really ?hahaha

  • Freedom of Speech

    Lighten up People! Have some thick skin. Whycan’t this bar exercise their freedom of speech? Or is Freedom of Speech only applied when you like what the author says? If any comment is what the majority wants then people are saying let them have the Freedom of Speech but if you don’t like it then we shouldn’t have the right….. Think about it?

    • David Chert

      Freedom of speech is different to action on speech. You are in a lot of trouble if you don’t know the difference.
      I can say “I want to kill you because you are a jerk” under freedom of speech but if I act then it is an offence. They acted on there action by printing the flyers.
      No matter what your viewpoint is this poster does not promote sensible drinking.
      It is childish and irresponsible in one of the worst states for drink driving offences.

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