Urban Bean reacts to national spotlight

Greg Martin (right) at Urban Bean in 2016. Photo by Michelle Bruch

Ever since Urban Bean posted in June that Donald Trump supporters should not follow the coffeehouse on social media or spend money in the stores, the phone has been ringing.

Fox News picked up the story, and the shop’s web page saw more than 20,000 hits in four days. The Facebook page continues to field angry posts and political commentary, and now tallies 1,600 one-star reviews.

Owner Greg Martin has answered a few of the phone calls.

“I have had decent conversations with some that disagree with me,” he said. “I still put cream in their coffee. … No one said you’re not allowed to come in.”

He said every business in the city has some sort of political opinion.

“I didn’t find what I was saying to be very controversial,” he said. “It’s not like I’m going out on a limb. The Speaker of the House is on record calling a Trump statement the ‘textbook definition of a racist comment.’”

In a press release following the backlash, Martin said coffee and community should trump hate.

“Creating this community together means, as always, Urban Bean will not discriminate or refuse service to anyone based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. The response from guests at the shop has been positive, and far outweighs the online backlash,” the release said.

Martin said the experience has made his resolve on the topic stronger.

“First Amendment is amazing until somebody says something you don’t like,” he said.