Newly opened Rickshaw Bar in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond has scrubbed its social media pages of posts after being widely criticised for its Vietnam War theme.
The bar is owned by Humulus Holdings, which also owns nearby Kekou, a contemporary Asian craft beer bar. In announcing its new concept on social media, the bar owners said they wanted to go for “something a little more radical”.
A number of the since deleted posts on Rickshaw Bar’s Instagram page were of drinks from their menu, some of which featured bullets either in or around the glasses. Many commenters noted that the posts were “tone deaf” and “hurtful and insensitive”, while others drew a connection between the bar’s orange colour scheme and the chemical weapon Agent Orange, which was widely used during the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam War came to an end in 1975. The suburb of Richmond, where Rickshaw Bar is located, has a large Vietnamese migrant population, some of whom may have fled the war the bar was exploiting, or who had lost family members to the conflict.
At the time of writing, the only post left on the Rickshaw Bar Instagram page is an apology note that reads:
“We have taken down our content and apologise to anyone that was offended or found the content inappropriate. We have revised our tone and are working hard to make this right. Sorry for any distress caused – it was never our intent.”
The bar is currently closed while the owners re-think the concept.
Image source: Instagram / Rickshaw Bar