Downey has been trying to uplift its image through a positive new campaign called "Character Counts," which appeals to residents to embrace and honor their civic pride. This presents a big problem now that a former Marine is ready to open a new pub called "Bastards" as an upgrade to the city's once down-and-out Downtown BBQ Co. Nick Velez's new bar and restaurant is named "Bastards," not in some kind of winking Pinche's Tacos way, but as an honorific to the 2/4, the owners' old infantry battalion, legendarily nick-named the "Magnificent Bastards."
When signage recently went up at the place, a firestorm quickly erupted that now finds Velez's permits and business license stuck in a quagmire of distressed seniors and hand-wringing administrators. Now battle lines are forming, with talk of an on-site protest if the business opens as planned.
One one side you have a veteran-staffed bar with a military theme, on the other, a city trying to overcome its past with a more uplifting attitude. We'd love to know what you think. Is a restaurant named Bastards simply just a curse for the city? Or is this a commemoration of something important from a man who fought to say whatever he wishes to, that should merit some civic pride? We'd love to know our readers' thoughts about the debate in our comments.
Former Marine's pub name brews trouble [Marine Corps Times]