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

5 things to consider before starting a career in a new city
5 things to consider before starting a career in a new city

Sometimes climbing the corporate ladder means a change of venue. But before packing off to a brand-new city, it's important to do some research and check off a few essential tasks from your to-go list. According to Joyce H. Vasser, a retired government human resources manager, failing to prepare properly before a move can cost you personally and professionally...
5 ways you can stand out from the crowd at a career fair
5 ways you can stand out from the crowd at a career fair

Career fairs are held as a way to attract lots of applicants to help fill open positions, but they can often feel like a cattle call. Though it may seem like you're not getting enough meaningful time with potential employers to make a positive impression, there are ways to rise above the crowd. Don't just wander around asking recruiters what positions...
Austin’s Amplify Snack Brands being sold to Hershey for $1.6 billion
Austin’s Amplify Snack Brands being sold to Hershey for $1.6 billion

Amplify Snack Brands, an Austin company best known for its SkinnyPop popcorn, is being bought by The Hershey Co. in a $1.6 billion deal that the maker of chocolate Kisses and candy bars is billing as its largest acquisition ever as it launches a major push into the market for salty snacks. Shares of Amplify, which had been down about 21 percent for...
Up the Ladder

Finance Banker’s Toolbox has named Max Thoene chief operating officer. Government The Texas County & District Retirement System has named Casey Wolf chief investment officer. Health care The Austin Healthcare Council has named Mini Kahlon board chair and Charles Barnett board vice chair. Technology SecureLink has named Chip Pate chief financial...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

3M DEAL 3M to sell Austin unit to Corning in its latest local downsizing: Industrial and consumer products company 3M continues to reduce its Austin footprint, announcing plans to shed a unit based here that makes bandwidth and optical fiber devices for the telecommunications sector — six months after it reached a separate deal to sell its main...
More Stories