SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Drivers along north Tamiami Trail in Sarasota will likely see a unique sign on the marquee in front of Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Restaurant.
CONCEALED CARRY OK
NOT A DEPLORABLE
The restaurant’s owner, Bill Davis, placed the sign up this week in response to Hillary Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’ comment in reference to Trump supporters. “I’m not deplorable, although I think she is, I wouldn’t express that view in public,” said Davis.
“I usually sit on the fence being in the public business but I just got to a point I couldn’t do it, I had to make a statement,” he added.
Despite his proud support of Donald Trump, Davis admits he was a little hesitant when placing the sign up.
“It was a big gamble,” he admits.
And it’s certainly gotten a lot of attention. Davis has heard from thousands of people both here and around the country, including lawmakers.
“I got a thousand emails yesterday,” Davis said.
Some longtime customers have refused to return. They’ve called and left emails. One email read: ‘We will no longer support someone who’s so very, very far to the right and we will never be back.’
Another wrote, “I’m anti-gun, anti-Trump as are many in the area. Don’t want to get political but the sign must come down or we can’t go anymore.”
Frequent customer and Clinton supporter Gregory Pech said, “I think it’s insulting, I think it shows the mentality that we’re dealing with here.”
Many people are angry at him, others have sent death threats. But Davis is not bothered by it.
“I’m an NRA member, I’ll protect myself,” he joked.
Davis says some of his staff members were concerned about what this would do to business. But in the past couple of days since he installed the sign, business has gone up. Many first time customers stopped by after hearing about the sign.
“I thought let’s go to lunch tomorrow to support this guy,” said Bruce Younker.
“I’m proud of him. More people should take a stand,” said Linda Thomas.
“People around me get offended all the time because I say what I want to say,” Davis said.
He wants people to respect his views.
“I welcome anybody, and they don’t have to think the way I do, I respect everybody’s opinion. Everybody has an opinion and they’re welcome to it. But they should also let me voice mine.”
But he’s being careful. Davis ordered extra letters for his marquee just in case people try to remove the message