Jesse Quackenbush, an attorney and owner of “Big Beaners” restaurant, stated that the inspiration for the name came from the fact that the restaurant would be selling Mexican food, coffee, and beans.
“And there’s no intention of racism behind that sign, the sign was merely was trying to connect the brand with the product,” he said.
Abel Bosquez, president of the local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, had a different opinion about the restaurant’s name.
“It was a word that was used like you beaners, you wetback, you dirty Mexicans,” he said.
Quackenbush responded: “If anyone took the time to read the menu and look at the logo and understand it’s a kidney bean not an Abel Bosquez or some Mexican that’s bored at some committee. There’s no racist intention, I’m not a racist, we don’t cater to racists, we don’t have anything to do with racists, so Abel Bosquez is simply wrong.”
“Why is it a brown bean with a Mexican hat, a big mustache and pointy boots—that is offensive to Mexicanos,” Bosquez stated.
When questioned by ABC7 News about why he didn’t opt for terms like “big bean,” “big frijoles,” or similar alternatives, Quackenbush explained, “We chose ‘big beaners’ because we found the name appealing. It’s akin to ‘Big Texan,’ where the term ‘big’ carries significance. We aimed to incorporate elements of Hispanic and Latin culture into our restaurant’s mascot and logo.”
He added that the majority of Hispanics were not offended by the name or sign.
“A lot of the people that are responding saying ‘I’m alright with that’—they probably haven’t experienced the racism part,” Bosquez stated.
When questioned about the possibility of issuing an apology for the sign, Quackenbush firmly stated, “No, I will not apologize. I do not extend apologies in connection to my business. I believe this is a fabricated scheme and a deceitful ploy orchestrated by a few former local restaurants that have recently closed down. Their outrage stems from the fact that a Caucasian individual is launching a Mexican restaurant—that’s the situation here.”
However, Bosquez refuted this, and stated that even if the owner was of Mexican descent, the meaning would remain the same.
“Racism is racism regardless of who does it. I can be a racist against my own people,” he said.
The Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce released the following statement:
“The Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has not reached out to Mr. Jesse Quackenbush regarding his choice of the name “Big Beaners” for his new restaurant. The remarks made on his social media post concerning the Hispanic chamber are inaccurate. We have received numerous complaints and inquiries regarding the restaurant’s name. We acknowledge these concerns and comprehend them. It’s essential to clarify that the AHCC is a business-focused organization, not a civil rights advocacy group.”