54th Street Grill is responding to complaints after a picture was posted on Facebook of a plaque a customer considered offensive.
The plaque reads “Warning! Female trespassers will be violated”, and was part of decorations on a bar at the restaurant on East 38th Terrace South.
25-year-old Greenwood resident Ashley Smith was the customer who posted the picture on Facebook.
She says she was on a date with her husband on Sunday night when she noticed the plaque.
“I was not wanting to sit there. My husband thought it was offensive too,” she explained. “I took a picture of it. I said 'I can't believe I'm reading this.'"
Smith posted the picture to 54th Street’s Facebook page and as of Wednesday afternoon, the picture had around 100 comments and 200 shares.
Smith said after she posted the picture, a representative for 54th Street told her to contact them via private message.
“They basically said it was an old tongue-in-cheek joke from the 90s, when that stuff was acceptable,” said Smith. “I don't think rape jokes were funny in the 90s."
Smith is a mother of two young children and is expecting a third child early next year.
She said the plaque at 54th Street exemplifies the “rape culture” prevalent in today’s world.
“The more something is joked about like that, it makes it okay. And it's not okay.”
41 Action News reached out to KRM Restaurant Group, which oversees 54th Street Grill, for a response.
In a statement, a KRM Restaurant Group spokesperson said:
“We have received many negative responses in reference to a plaque that is inside our bar top. A third party company installed the artifacts inside the bar more than 20 years ago. We have not used this third party company for many years. It was not our intention to offend anyone; we are correcting the problem. We value the opinions of our guests and can understand why the plaque is offensive.”
The company said the plaque would be covered by another plaque.
As of Wednesday morning, the original plaque was still visible at the bar.
Tom Dempsey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.