After accusations of racism, Unbarlievable’s sales plummet: state data

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After accusations of racism, Unbarlievable’s sales plummet: state data

Alcohol sales at a Rainey Street bar accused of racism this summer have plummeted in recent months, state data show.

Unbarlievable, 76 Rainey St., opened in March, serving $353,561 worth of beer, wine and mixed drinks during its first month in operation, according to an American-Statesman analysis.

Sales peaked the next month, with April bar tabs reaching $401,468.

But fast forward to August, the most recent state data available, and that number has dropped substantially. The bar reported estimated sales of $115,019 that month – down 71 percent from April’s peak.

What caused such a drop? Well, Unbarlievable took quite a public relations hit in June after its owner, Brandon Cash, reportedly insulted several customers who had posted negative online reviews of the bar, which blends a circus theme with a sports bar vibe.

In a response to one patron who complained about poor service, a person identified as Cash replied, “since you had a towel on your head my bartender thought you were the new bus boy and handed you dirty dishes to wash.”

Another customer reported a server had arranged beers into the shape of a swastika.

Cash subsequently apologized in a June 30 social media posting that read, in part: “It is with profound humility that I issue this heartfelt apology. To those who I have hurt and offended, I am deeply sorry. My words and actions were wrong, inappropriate and inexcusable.”

By then, though, many, including some Austin elected officials, were calling for boycotts of the business. A protest was staged outside the bar June 29.

Unbarlievable’s estimated bar sales, courtesy of the state:

  • March: $353,561
  • April: $401,468
  • May: $362,711
  • June: $294,322
  • July: $139,229
  • August: $115,019

To be fair, new bars usually see a big bump in business when they first open, so a bit of a decline in sales isn’t that unusual – but a 71 percent decrease is far from the norm.

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