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Kavasutra Kava Bar serves its libations with a side of sexism and transphobia, followers have complained

Dan Sweeney
Contact ReporterSouth Florida Sun Sentinel

Kavasutra Kava Bar is going viral in the worst of ways. On its Instagram page, the kava bar announced a ladies night special for Monday night, writing “#slams tonight for chicks only. Chicks means born with a vagina. You must have ovaries. Woman get $1 #shells for 1 minute tonight at 1am at #kavasutra #kavabar all locations.”

The chain, with five South Florida locations as well as spots in New York City and Denver, serves kava in coconut shells. The muddy-brown drink is made from the crushed roots of the kava plant and produces a mild sedative effect.

The effect of the Instagram announcement produced quite the opposite.

Outraged Instagrammers accused Kavasutra of transphobia, to which the bar’s social media account noted, “The point of ladies night is to get ladies in the door so the men can bang them. If there’s no vagina then they don’t qualify because they don’t benefit the business and the plan.”

That did not help matters, as accusations of sexism swiftly followed.

Both the original post and the reply have since been deleted. However, a post jokingly claiming the account was hacked is still up, and among the replies in that post, the Kavasutra Kava Bar uses a slur for transgender people.

Joy Reid, a liberal commentator on MSNBC, claimed an old blog, the Reid Report, had been hacked when anti-gay posts surfaced online earlier this year.

Since Kavasutra Kava Bar published the Instagram message Monday morning, its rating on Facebook has dropped to one star, and two and a half stars on Yelp.

The backlash represents the latest — and most local — case of consumers lashing out over a business’s cultural or political views.

The Red Hen — the Lexington, Va., restaurant that asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave — has been similarly slammed with one-star reviews on Yelp from people who have not actually frequented the establishment.

Do the views of a business owner affect whether you patronize an establishment? Would Kavasutra’s social media messages make you more or less likely to visit the place? Are there other instances in which the cultural or political views of a business owner or employees have caused you to spend your money elsewhere?

Let us know by emailing dsweeney@SunSentinel.com, tweeting @Daniel_Sweeney or commenting below. Your response could be used in a future story.

dsweeney@SunSentinel.com, 954-356-4605 or Twitter @Daniel_Sweeney

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