Kuma’s Corner, the popular mini-chain of burger bars known for loud rock music and naming food after heavy metal and punk bands, caught criticism over the weekend from a musician who disagrees with how the restaurant offers meal discounts to police officers. The criticism came from a member of Weekend Nachos after Kuma’s had named a plate of cheese-covered tortilla chips after the hardcore band.
“Weekend Nachos — Now Available exclusively at our OG Belmont Location!” read a now-deleted post made from the Kuma’s account Saturday afternoon. Kuma’s has locations in Avondale, on Fulton Market (home of dining domes), in the suburbs, as well as Indianapolis and Denver. The restaurant’s menu features burgers named after bands including Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Slayer.
That same day, the frontman for Weekend Nachos, John Hoffman, swiftly responded to Kuma’s via his own Instagram post with a screenshot of Kuma’s post. He writes that the band wasn’t consulted.
“I am not normally used to boycotting small business. However, Weekend Nachos does not support Kuma’s Corner anymore for various reasons that have come to light in the last year, including the owner’s public support of local law enforcement,” Hoffman writes in his post.
Hoffman adds that he hopes “to see no further connection with the restaurant in the very immediate future.”
The restaurant has previously named burgers after the band, but circumstances have changed for Hoffman whose criticism stems from this summer when Kuma’s workers posted on Instagram about the restaurant’s toxic culture. The posts came after Black Lives Matters protests which motivated workers to come forward with their tales of mistreatment. Nationally, as stories of police brutality against Black people emerged, Kuma’s workers took aim at the restaurant’s policy of offering discounted food to local police. Workers say the restaurant offers 30 percent off to officers. The posts also alleged racist treatment by management and created such a buzz that Kuma’s issued an apology.
Kuma’s owner Ron Cain did not respond to a request for comment left Monday. Hoffman tells Eater Chicago he doesn’t have any additional comments, feeling that he addressed the situation accordingly with his Instagram post. Weekend Nachos was established 16 years ago in DeKalb. The band has toured globally and has since retired.
After the police killing of George Floyd, restaurants across the country have been under the spotlight in when it comes to its relationships with law enforcement officers. In August, a worker at Happy Camper, a pizza bar in Wrigleyville, was fired after telling a police officer to quit his job. A friend of the officer made a social media post about the incident that went viral.