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‘Lots of Condoms’ and ‘Drag Brunch’ Among Many Issues on Social Media Buzz Over Bethel’s Latest ‘Proof Bar & Cafe’ Viewpoint Regarding Gay Pride

Report by Paula Antolini, June 9, 2019, 10:58AM EDT

It seems that you will get some extras that are not on the new Bethel business “Proof Bar & Cafe” menu, which is, “lots of condoms,” according to Proof’s latest advertisement for their upcoming event “Pride & Pretzels at Proof! 18+” that is to occur on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 6pm to 12am. Proof is located at 1 Front Street in Bethel, Connecticut. Proof is also planning a “Drag Brunch” according to the event description.

The Proof Facebook event page reads, in part, “Food specials! Pretzel wrapped hot dogs (because wrap your meat, people), discounted pretzels and happy hour all the damn night. Let’s see what else… oh lots of condoms! Just everywhere. We’ll probably have more details and things as we get closer but feel free to comment and reach out if you have any ideas! And look out for more info as we are planning to introduce drag brunch, bingo, and more!”

On June 4th Proof posted on their Facebook page: “Our own spicy chicken deluxe, except instead of profits Chick-Fil-A makes on their sandwiches being donated to homophobic organizations who aim to take away the rights of our LGBTQ community, 15% of sales on this sandwich will go to The Trevor Project. Nothing tastes better than equality feels. Happy Pride ❤️????

Social media fury seemed to occur when a pride flag was hung outside of Proof to celebrate Pride Month recently, along with Proof naming one of their chicken dishes “Chick-fil-Gay,” possibly aiming to counteract the Chick-fil-A’s company anti-gay beliefs and anti-gay causes to which they seem to donate funds. A copy of a receipt with this dish name was posted on social media recently:

After owners John Schauster and his wife Sam Lupacchino opened Proof only a little over a month ago on April 26th, is this what Bethel officials or residents expected from the new restaurant-bar? It sort of crept in suddenly. Some of the latest social media comments about Proof include:

“Let’s shield our families from this pride of iniquities. Inappropriate behavior put out there for all to see.” (posted with a logo from Heterosexual pride month).

“Bethel. cT new P-Town. Ha ha.”

“This is what happens when base sexual impulses control your e tire way of thinking.”

“OK, so they are now out of the closet as Bethel’s gay bar. Whatever. Not my kind of place. And, the description and activities of their event are totally adolescent, which isn’t my age bracket.”

“Whatever floats their boats. I don’t understand why the condoms – maybe a focus on AIDS prevention. Fine with them being a gay/queer bar. Glad they came out of the closet, this way no one is blindsided thinking it’s a different environment.”

“Really!?? I have lived her for 15+ years and this is the shit that makes me want to move South asap.”

“It seems that the days of family friendly and inclusive are over.”

“Yay! Free condoms! If you cannot afford condoms, you cannot afford $8 french fries!!”

“Triangles II come to Bethel. Woo woo.”

“All the good stuff around here always falls on my custody nights…”

“Chick-fil-A is an American fast food restaurant chain headquartered in the city of College Park, Georgia, specializing in chicken sandwiches, founded in May 1946.  It operates more than 2,200 restaurants, primarily in the United States with locations in 47 states and plans for a location in Hawaii to be the 48th state.” Wikipedia. There are three Chick-fil-A locations in Connecticut, in Brookfield, Danbury and Norwalk.

“Many of the company’s values are influenced by the religious beliefs of its late founder, S. Truett Cathy, a devout Southern Baptist. All Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed for business on Sundays, as well as on Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 2012, COO Dan Cathy’s public statements in opposition to same-sex marriage became the subject of public controversy.” Wikipedia.

Proof seems to have also had other issues with uncooked and/or cold food and an incident with their bartender interacting improperly with a customer, as shown on social media when Proof asked for feedback about their restaurant. The bartender has since been fired. (These statements will be confirmed shortly by Proof owners.)

About a week ago Proof posted this message on their social media link on their website: “Love is love ❤️ Happy Pride Month! Look out for some exciting events coming up during the month of June ❤️???? . (and to those saying they can’t support our establishment because of our flag, go ?? some ?? where ?? else ?? ) .” 

On May 2nd the Bethel CT Pride Facebook page read: “We are grateful to Proof. bar & café for pledging to be Bethel CT Pride’s first-ever gold sponsor! ??❤️?” … “Proof is committed to fostering an environment that welcomes and accepts all walks of life. We wish to provide a comfortable place to bring people together under one roof to enjoy pretzels, beer, and cocktails no matter our differences.” – John Schauster, co-owner of Proof.

So which is it? “Welcomes and accepts all walks of life” or “To those saying they can’t support our establishment because of our flag, go ?? some ?? where ?? else ??” ?

We are currently waiting for a response from the owners of Proof about their recent viewpoints and actions, and we also asked First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker for his input too. We will update this article when more information is received.

Proof owners John Schauster and his wife Sam Lupacchino.

UPDATE June 10, 2019 7:36AM EDT:

We received a response from First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker as follows: “I do not care to comment on the business practices or marketing strategies of this or any other Bethel business. With regard to your other question, no, a permit is not required to display a flag. Have a nice day.”

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