The owners of a University of Arizona-area restaurant announced Friday they will no longer show broadcasts of NFL games.
The announcement came at the end of a lengthy, politically charged Facebook post from Cup It Up American Grill, 760 N. Tyndall Ave., that the owners defined as their “statement.”
The post listed what the restaurant’s owners believe in — “OUR President Donald J. Trump,” “Always standing for the National Anthem” — and what they do not believe in — “Kneeling for the National Anthem,” “Political correctness.”
The post, drafted by owners Christopher Smith and Jay Warren, was apparently in response to the ongoing debate about NFL players kneeling for the national anthem to protest racial inequality. President Trump recently joined the public discourse, calling for players to be fired and fans to boycott.
Cup It Up’s post went up just before the lunch rush and immediately attracted attention, most of it negative, including from diners who vowed they would never eat in the restaurant again. It was taken down three hours later after nearly 60 people had shared it and more than 30 had commented.
Neither Smith nor Warren could be reached to comment.
Their partner, chef/co-owner Julian Alarcon, said he was unaware his partners were making a political statement on the company’s Facebook page until a friend called him about an hour after it was posted. He also got calls from customers who said they would never dine again at Cup It Up American Grill.
Alarcon said his partners did not consult him before they posted the statement, which also expressed support for drug screening of welfare recipients and repealing Obamacare and rejected global warming and “those that DON’T respect our President, Armed Forces and First Responders.” Alarcon wouldn’t comment further, saying he needed to speak to his partners.
Cup it Up was the brainchild of Smith and Warren, who brought Alarcon in to create the menu of multilayered meals served in a 32-ounce cup. The trio launched the concept in early 2016 at 1101 N. Wilmot Road near East Speedway. That location was recently closed and will be used as a catering operation, employees said.
In April, they opened in the North Tyndall Avenue space, in the shadow of the University of Arizona.