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Is ‘Anti-Woke’ Bar in Florida Mocking Pulse Victims With 49-Cent Buds?

Is ‘Anti-Woke’ Bar in Florida Mocking Pulse Victims With 49-Cent Buds?

MoonCricket Grille

The owner wanted to “poke the woke,” according to screenshots allegedly taken of the bar's social media.

An establishment in Florida has come under fire after seemingly offering a promotion that celebrates the deaths of 49 people in the tragic Pulse Nightclub massacre in an attempt to make fun of liberals.

The bar, MoonCricket Grille in Winter Garden, posted a flier to its Facebook page advertising 49-cent Bud Light bottles, urging patrons to “take one for the team,” noting, “It’s okay if you want to buy a bottle and have it poured down the drain.”

The promotion was for May 31, the day before Pride Month.

People on Facebook discovered the advertisement and called out the bar for being insensitive.

“So I just went into Moon Cricket in downtown Winter Garden, FL, to verify if this ad that they had on their Facebook page was legit,” wrote Andy Wright. “I talked to the first person that I came in contact with and asked her about the legitimacy of the ad and what did it mean.”

He wrote that the woman he communicated with appeared nervous when he showed her his phone. “She responded that other people have made comments and also indicated that other people have questioned the number (in reference to the $.49 Bud Light price.),” he wrote.

He wrote that he asked if anybody else at the restaurant would have more information about the meaning behind the promotion but was told there was nobody.

"I am just bringing this to people’s attention to let them know that, based on this ad, this particular establishment supports homophobia, hate, and inequality, specifically within the LGBTQ+ community. I, for one, will never be giving them my business,” he concluded.

The post has since been removed from the establishment’s page, but screen grabs of comments reviewed by The Advocate indicate that the owner knew the uproar the promotion would cause.

“It’s been a while since I played Poke a Woke; I forgot how much fun it is. They are so easy,” somebody wrote from the restaurant’s Facebook account.

A mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, on June 12, 2016, left 49 people dead and 53 wounded. After a three-hour standoff, the gunman was shot and killed by Orlando police officers. At the time, it was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Brandon Wolf, who survived the Pulse shooting and lost friends that night, was disgusted by the bar owner’s promotion.

“This is the infuriating and inevitable outcome of the kind of climate that DeSantis and his right-wing allies have created in Florida,” Wolf tells The Advocate. “My best friends and the 47 other victims of Pulse are not a punchline. What I and so many others went through that night isn’t right-wing marketing fodder. This community -- our entire state -- deserves better than emboldened right-wing hysteria bait that desecrates the memories of people we loved and peddles our grief for clicks and giggles. Shame on him.”

Conservatives have been upset with Bud Light after the brewing giant went public with an Instagram influencer campaign featuring transgender actress Dylan Mulvaney.

The venue is no stranger to controversy. As a racial slur, "moon cricket" was used by enslavers to describe enslaved people who sang slave songs at night. The bar’s leadership claimed in a post in 2020 that the name references the fact that the place is “hoppin’” at night and that from time to time, “some privileged white person” complains about its name.

The Advocate contacted the MoonCricket Grille for comment but has not heard back.

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