Popular Santa Barbara Restaurant Formerly Called Sambo’s Has Changed Its Name Amid Protests

The restaurant that was once called Sambo's is rebranding itself in an effort to be sensitive to others.

Tables fill a restaurant.
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The restaurant that was once called Sambo's is rebranding itself in an effort to be sensitive to others.

A popular restaurant located in Santa Barbara, California has made the decision to change its name in an effort to show sensitivity to others amid protests regarding racial injustice. The restaurant is the very last standing among a former chain of restaurants called Sambo’s. Because the term “sambo” has been used as a derogatory term toward black Americans, the owner felt it was time for a change, according to Today.

This particular restaurant was once one of 1,117 and was founded in 1957. The original intention behind the restaurant’s name was not racially charged but was simply a combination of the two owner’s names, Sam Battistone Sr. and Newell Bohnett. However, the fact that its name could be interpreted in other ways was not lost on this location’s current owner.

Chad Stevens is the owner of this particular location and he is the grandson of Battistone Sr. He emphasized that while the name of the restaurant had always been an issue, current events led him to officially make the change. Thus, the sign that once spelled out Sambo’s has been changed to a peace sign, an ampersand and the word “love.”

The restaurant explained its reasoning behind the rebranding decision in a recent Instagram post that showed the new, modified sign.

“We are changing the name of our restaurant, what the future name will be is still uncertain, however it will not be Sambo’s. Our family has looked into our hearts and realize that we must be sensitive when others whom we respect make a strong appeal. So today we stand in solidarity with those seeking change and doing our part as best we can. We will block out our sign with a message of peace and love as soon as possible and we are looking to work with the community to determine how we go forward.”

Stevens hopes that this name change will show respect to all people, regardless of race or gender. He noted that this change alone will not be enough to rebrand the restaurant but that it is hopefully a step in the right direction. He also believes that peace and love are what the United States needs the most right now.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, the topic of racial injustice has been brought to the forefront in recent weeks. This is a result of the unjust death of an African American man named George Floyd, who died while in custody of Minneapolis police. Four former police officers have since been charged in connection with his death.