Bastards downtown sparks controversy

DOWNEY - A new downtown sports bar prompted lively discussion -- on the Patriot's Facebook page, online and in City Hall -- when it revealed its name to be Bastards. Bastards is located on 2nd Street and Downey Avenue and replaces Downtown BBQ Company. Newly installed signage reveals the new restaurant will serve "barbecue, sports and beer."

Co-owner Nick Velez, a veteran of the U.S. Marines who served in Iraq in 2006-07, could not be reached for comment, but at Tuesday's Rotary meeting he explained the name comes from "Magnificent Bastards," a nickname for the 2nd battalion 4th Marines infantry unit.

The restaruant name was not intended to be offensive, Velez said.

"I wake up every day proud to be a bastard, so we did not name our restaurant 'Bastard's' to offend anyone," he said. "It is named 'Bastard's"'in respect and honor of those who have served in the magnificent unit. They gave up everything in order to keep this country safe, and free! They are the greatest people I have known throughout my life, and I am honored to call them my friends and my brothers." Still, some residents have taken offense. This newspaper received two Letters to the Editor in opposition to the Bastards name (see page 5) and City Hall officials said they have fielded complaints as well.

No opening date has been set.

********** Published: April 19, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 01