Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill Location Bans Guns, Stirs Up Major Controversy
Toby Keith is known for being opinionated in his music and in interviews, and it would seem that non-apologetic approach to standing up for what he believes in has carried over to the singer's I Love This Bar & Grill restaurants.
The newest location in Woodbridge, Va. -- a state that allows residents to openly carry guns -- has a sign that reads "No Guns Permitted" on their door. But more than a few especially vocal patrons who were angered to be greeted by those words have vowed to never step foot into the establishment again.
A Facebook page for the restaurant has been inundated with comments, both good and bad, about the policy. "That sign on the door means that I will never try your restaurant. It is a cultural thing among we Americans … It is the fact that you seek to restrict a Constitutional Right that bothers the public," one reads. "This is what will cost you.”
Management of the restaurant responded to the outrage via the social media site, explaining:
"While we understand and respect every person's right to own and bear arms, we at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, with guidance from the State of Virginia and based on insurance regulations, have adopted a no weapons policy. It is our desire to provided a safe, enjoyable and entertaining experience for our patrons and staff."
Country fans will remember that just over a month ago, outlaw singer Wayne Mills was shot dead at a bar in Nashville after an altercation with the bar owner. When asked about the I Love This Bar & Grill gun banning, some individuals are leaning toward safety, saying it's a smart idea not to mix alcohol and guns.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Jayne Marconi, a traveler from Ohio, told the local Fox 5 news station. “Anywhere there’s an establishment that serves alcohol, I’m going to tell you right now, alcohol can make you do funny things. So that absolutely makes me feel more comfortable.”
Keith has two more I Love This Bar & Grill restaurants opening in Oxnard, Calif. and Houston, Texas in the near future, bringing the total to 17 restaurants.