The owner of a Bay View taco spot announced a re-brand on Wednesday, saying members of the community told him the restaurant's name was offensive.
In a note posted to Instagram, Owner and Chef Mitch Ciohon apologized for the name "Gypsy Taco," and said he accepted the blame for not knowing the term's derogatory origins.
Dear friends and customers.
I would like to announce that I will be working to rebrand my company effective immediately. It has come to my attention that the name around which I have created a brand is offensive to the people from which it stems. While not my intent, the name I chose to represent me as a chef was founded upon an innacurate definition that disregarded the long history and plight of the Romani people. The local community has spoken and I have made it my mission to listen. I apologize to those I have offended. It was not my intent. I have always stood behind my company and my product. To proudly continue doing so, I willingly accept the blame for my lack of education on the matter at hand, and absolutely wish to use that which I have learned to reimagine my company as one that is inclusive to all.
I ask only that all affected respect the time and capital necessary in the rebranding of a business. The process cannot be done overnight, but rest easy knowing it begins now with this.
Yours, Chef Mitch
Later on Facebook, he condemned people coming to his "support" using racist language on his behalf.
In the wake of the recent announcement I would like to remind people that defending me with derogatory / racist remarks is never ok. I am unabashedly confident in the active change and denounce those who wish to tarnish this decision by dragging others through the dirt. I cannot stress enough that “supporting” me with hateful speech is not support. If you cannot respect my choice, silence is my only request.
Though it has been a widely used slang term for many years, many members of the Roma or Romani community argue the term "gypsy" is a slur and should not be used.