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.

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