After accusations of racism, Unbarlievable’s sales plummet: state data


Alcohol sales at a Rainey Street bar accused of racism this summer have plummeted in recent months, state data show.

Unbarlievable, 76 Rainey St., opened in March, serving $353,561 worth of beer, wine and mixed drinks during its first month in operation, according to an American-Statesman analysis.

Sales peaked the next month, with April bar tabs reaching $401,468.

RELATED: See which Austin bars had the highest sales in August

But fast forward to August, the most recent state data available, and that number has dropped substantially. The bar reported estimated sales of $115,019 that month – down 71 percent from April’s peak.

Austin Redditors have been discussing the dip this week.

What caused such a drop? Well, Unbarlievable took quite a public relations hit in June after its owner, Brandon Cash, reportedly insulted several customers who had posted negative online reviews of the bar, which blends a circus theme with a sports bar vibe.

In a response to one patron who complained about poor service, a person identified as Cash replied, “since you had a towel on your head my bartender thought you were the new bus boy and handed you dirty dishes to wash.”

Another customer reported a server had arranged beers into the shape of a swastika.

Cash subsequently apologized in a June 30 social media posting that read, in part: “It is with profound humility that I issue this heartfelt apology. To those who I have hurt and offended, I am deeply sorry. My words and actions were wrong, inappropriate and inexcusable.”

By then, though, many, including some Austin elected officials, were calling for boycotts of the business. A protest was staged outside the bar June 29.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission even opened an investigation, but ultimately took no action.

Unbarlievable’s estimated bar sales, courtesy of the state:

  • March: $353,561
  • April: $401,468
  • May: $362,711
  • June: $294,322
  • July: $139,229
  • August: $115,019

To be fair, new bars usually see a big bump in business when they first open, so a bit of a decline in sales isn’t that unusual – but a 71 percent decrease is far from the norm.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Petitioners prevail in Austin Board of Realtors election
Petitioners prevail in Austin Board of Realtors election

The Austin Board of Realtors will begin 2018 with seven newly elected directors who all campaigned on a platform of greater transparency for the 13,000-member organization. The seven new directors, whose terms start Jan. 1, include Austin real estate agents Cord Shiflet and Brian Talley, who the board had ousted on Aug. 2. In published reports, board...
Central Texas home sales decline 4.3% in September
Central Texas home sales decline 4.3% in September

Single-family home sales declined across most areas of Central Texas in September, while the median price in the region overall rose more than 5 percent, to $291,464, the latest figures show. In its monthly report released Tuesday, the Austin Board of Realtors said there were 2,433 home sales in the Austin-Round Rock metro last month, down 4.3 percent...
LA Fitness plans new gym in Cedar Park
LA Fitness plans new gym in Cedar Park

LA Fitness is continuing its push into Central Texas, unveiling plans this week to build a new location in Cedar Park. The 34,000-square-foot gym will serve as anchor of Cedar Park Plaza, a strip center at the northeast corner of Whitestone Boulevard and Bagdad Road. “As LA Fitness continues to expand in North and Central Texas, this location...
Central Texas home sales decline in September
Central Texas home sales decline in September

Single-family home sales declined across most areas of Central Texas in September, while the median price in the region rose more than 5 percent, to $291,464, the latest figures show. In its monthly report, the Austin Board of Realtors said there were 2,433 home sales in the Austin-Round Rock metro area last month, down 4.3 percent from September 2016...
5 cheap purchases that cost you more in the long run
5 cheap purchases that cost you more in the long run

Saving money often involves finding a way to pay less for something that you want or need. But sometimes the old adage about being "penny wise, pound foolish" applies, as the cheaper way out can end up costing you. For certain purchases, spending more money up front can help you save in the long run. Trying to save a few dollars per lightbulb...
More Stories