The owners of one-week-old Castro restaurant Bandidos have bent to criticism that their choice of name has ethnically offensive connotations. Today they announced that they're going with the name Hecho, which is Spanish for "to make."
The criticism came originally via some Facebook postings by neighborhood resident and queer comedian Marga Gomez, who insisted that the name caused offense to Mexican-Americans and that it should be changed. Subsequently, community groups and others got in on the action, and today Bandidos owners Jesse Woodward and Dana Gleim say they decided to make the change.
On Facebook, Woodward and Gleim write:
As small business owners, we have been saddened that unknowingly the name of the restaurant we recently opened has offended people. This was never our intention and we feel horribly about it, so we have decided to change the name. We hope that the focus of the restaurant can be on our creative food, delicious drinks and fun atmosphere where everyone feels welcome, and not what is written above our door. We have always wanted to celebrate Mexican culture, food and drinks, and never would want anyone to feel like they were being discriminated.
Gomez, for her part, now says, "I don't think they meant to offend. They didn't know. If they change the name, I think it's a teachable moment."
She adds, "I think the menu looks great, and if they change the name, I'll be glad to eat there."
The restaurant now known as Hecho (new signage to go up soon) will continue serving upscale Mexican cuisine (menu here) and the largest selection of tequila in the neighborhood.
And this shouldn't be confused with now closed, short-lived sushi-and-tequila spot downtown which was also called Hecho. No relation.