SPOKANE, Wash.—Several Spokane businesses were getting involved in the fight against the Daiquiri Factory in early February.
They said they were terminating their sponsorships on the radio station 104.5 JAMZ because it is owned by the same man as the Daiquiri Factory.
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The bar has come under heavy fire in recent weeks for selling a drink called “Date Grape Kool-Aid.”
Protesters have picketed outside the Daiquiri Factory since its Grand Opening February 1, saying the name is offensive and an inappropriate play on words.
At least four local Spokane County companies cut ties with the bar’s owner, including Findlay Hyundai-Mazda-Nissan, Buffalo Wild Wings, Smoov Cuts barber shop and Spokane Graphics and Glass.
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Business owners and managers told KREM 2 News the decision to cut ties with the Daiquiri Factory was simply because they did not want any association with sexual violence.
“It's ridiculous to us, we don't support it, we don't think lightly of it, and we advocate against it,” said Lee Lewis with Smoov Cuts.
Managers at the barber shop in the Spokane Valley said they pulled their advertisements immediately when they learned 104.5 JAMZ shared the same owner as the Daiquiri Factory.
They said they did not want customers to get the wrong impression.
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“A barber is someone who supports the community,” said Lewis. “And rape culture does not support our community.”
Buffalo Wild Wings employees also said it would “remove any affiliation or support of the radio station and the bar.”
Scott Kusel heads up a Facebook group that is spreading the word about “Date Grape” to 104.5’s radio sponsors.
He told KREM 2 News he just wants the Daiquiri Factory owner to realize how insensitive the drink’s name is to rape and sexual assault victims.
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"The goal is to have him listen and address and understand, why we have the concerns that we do,” said Kusel.
Protestors said they will continue their picketing outside the bar each weekend until the name is changed.
They said they are also fighting for an apology from the Daiquiri Factory owner.
"If he said, ‘I'm sorry I offended you and that you were hurt.’ But instead he started attacking and lashing out,” said Kusel.
Findlay Hyundai-Mazda-Nissan in Post Falls cut ties with 104.5 on Saturday.
"There is nothing funny about making jokes about rape. And we don't want any part of it,” said the dealership’s marketing representative Lacey Williams. "If the community is protesting it and the community doesn't want it, we need to support that."
A post on the bar’s Facebook page Saturday said, “Knock Knock.... Who's There.... Date Grape... Date Grape Who??? Date Grape Gonna Be Sold By The Truck Load Tonight...”
And on Sunday another post said, “We are seeing a Extremely Grape revenue stream! Can't wait to Grape even more people tonight!”
Despite multiple interview requests, the Daiquiri Factory’s owner has declined to comment to KREM 2 News.
Kraft Foods, which owns the Kool-Aid brand, also said it intends to take action against the Daiquiri Factory on the unauthorized use of its Kool-Aid trademark.