WARSAW — While Hacienda ads have been known to cause controversy, enough backlash from an ad has caused Hacienda to request restaurants to replace one particular billboard.
Located on State Road 15 in Warsaw, Hacienda has a billboard with the phrase, “Best Mexican food this side of the wall” seemingly referencing comments made by Republican Party nominee, Donald Trump. This billboard is only one of the 40 signs that were originally placed throughout Indiana.
Jeff Leslie, executive vice president of Hacienda restaurants, explains the reason Hacienda has asked restaurants to take the signs down is due to complaints received from two Hispanic communities. Leslie said the signs are to be removed at their request.
Eric Jacko, a manager at the Warsaw Hacienda, mentioned they have not received criticism about the sign as other Haciendas in cities such as Elkhart and South Bend have. However, Jacko mentioned one individual in Texas did call the store and offer his opinion of the sign.
“I’m not speaking for the whole Hispanic community, but I like it,” said the individual from Texas.
Signs have been removed in Goshen, South Bend and Elkhart, but Warsaw’s billboard still remains as of Aug. 30, despite the fact that a statement from Hacienda referencing the issue with the signs said the billboards were to be down by Aug. 19.
Leslie said, “We’ve instructed the outdoor companies to replace this ad. Most are down already and any remaining should be down shortly.”
In an email, Leslie explains the restaurant’s reasoning behind removing the signs, “We understand they [Hispanics] attach a meaning to any mention of ‘the wall’ which was different than our intention.”
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