A brief, but still weird, story has come to a close up yonder in Amarillo. It might have an actual final conclusion, but for now the story appears to have gone dormant.
The story involves a restaurant opened by a flamboyant and flashy Amarillo personal injury lawyer, Jesse Quackenbush. It used to serve Mexican food, until the city closed it for reasons I do not yet know.
The joint got off to a rocky start, owing to the weird — and blatantly scurrilous — name that Quackenbush attached to it. He called it Big Beaners, which a number of folks in Amarillo interpreted as an anti-Latino slur.
And … it is. The term “beaner” is meant as a slur against people of Latino heritage. Quackenbush, of course, defended the name, even though in some circles the name “beaner” is nearly equal to using the n-word when referring to African-Americans or any assortment of epithets hurled at Asian-Americans.
Big Beaners is no longer open, which is just as well.
The universe is full of quirky, catchy, market-friendly names that do not hurl an ethnic slur.