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City admits it can't make Bastards change its name
WRITTEN BY :   Eric Pierce

The new Bastards sports bar downtown has prompted complaints to City Hall about the appropriateness of the restaurant’s name.

This newspaper has published several letters on the subject and this week we even received a petition signed by more than 20 local residents in opposition to the Bastards name.

Yesterday afternoon, the city issued an official response to the controversial name. The full statement appears below:

The City has recently received several complaints from concerned residents regarding the name of an upcoming restaurant in Downtown Downey. The City is definitely sensitive to the fact that the new name may be offensive to some – it is not a word usually used in polite conversation.

City officials are hoping that the military story behind the name will help make residents more comfortable with it. In a statement made by “Bastards” business owner, Nick Velez, the name comes from “Magnificent Bastards,” a nickname for the 2nd battalion 4th Marines infantry unit and serves to pay respect and honor those who served in the unit.

The City can regulate the size and placement of a business sign and can meet with business owners to encourage that they choose a business name that is appropriate for the community and will help them to succeed in Downey.

However, the Supreme Court has already said the City is not allowed to regulate what the sign actually says – it is a matter of free speech.

Published: Friday, May 4, 2012, WEB ONLY
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