HURRICANE – A new sign at Barista’s Restaurant, located at 460 W. State St. in Hurricane, featuring a bull’s extra-large male anatomy, is sparking outrage within the community.
The sign, placed Saturday across the street from Hurricane High School, is prompting fierce backlash from angry residents who are calling the sign offensive and inappropriate, saying the depiction of the bull’s genitalia is blatantly overdone.
“It looks terrible,” Hurricane City resident Denise Mackelprang said. “I could see the bull, but not the details of the sex. It’s R-rated to me, especially with young school kids seeing it and talking about it.”
There’s no bull about it
Several residents said they think the bull would look good if it were anatomically correct and the dimensions and proportions were appropriate throughout – more bull and less genitalia.
“The giant bull is awesome,” Hurricane City resident Angel Janell said. “The giant, weird testicles and penis are not even anatomically correct … that is my issue.”
Lindsay Knapp expressed her outrage about the sign on a community Facebook discussion about the sign:
Holy cow!! Sure kids will see bulls on ranches, but not suspended from 25 feet in the air to make everything that much more visible and noticeable that otherwise wouldn’t really be seen! Don’t know about you, but my kids don’t lie down beneath bulls or any other animals to have that kind of vantage point that this particular piece of “art” gives when looking at it from below.
Barista’s Restaurant owner Stephen Ward said the real issue Hurricane City residents are having is with him and not the sign.
“If I put Pinocchio up there, its nose would be too big,” Ward said. “It’s me. It’s me. It’s not the bull. It’s not the restaurant. They don’t like me. But you know what, where does it say in the world, in the Constitution, that they can prevent me having the right to do legal commerce in the United States? That is my God-given right.”
Ward said he went through all the proper steps to have the sign approved by Hurricane City before having the sign installed.
Hurricane City Planning Director Toni Foran confirmed the sign was approved by the city before it went up.
“We saw a depiction on a piece of paper probably about 3 inches tall that, you know, may not have had exactly the same proportions,” Foran said.
A petition was initiated last week urging the Hurricane City Council to refuse Barista’s Restaurant’s business license renewal. As of Wednesday, the petition had gathered more than 500 signatures.
“The business is licensed as a restaurant with what’s called the ‘limited liquor’ through the state of Utah,” Foran said. “The license was just renewed in January and I have not heard anybody that is intending to do anything else about it.”
Many Hurricane residents are planning to attend the Hurricane City Council meeting Thursday evening to express their concerns about the sign.
Foran said Wednesday that the City Council and the city attorney are looking into whether there is anything that can be done about the sign.
“They’ve picked a fight with the wrong guy ‘cause I’ve had it with their freakin’ abuse and violating my amendment rights,” Ward said.
This is a developing story. Check back for more on this issue as the story unfolds.
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