A Queensland restaurant has rebranded itself after coming under fire for trading under a name that angered some members of the Vietnamese community.
Uncle Bia Hoi, based in the Brisbane suburb of Newfarm, previously traded under the name “Uncle Ho”, which was a reference to former Vietnamese communist leader Ho Chi Minh.
The name “Uncle Ho” sparked anger among some members of the local Vietnamese community, with a peaceful protest held over the weekend.
One person who took part in the protest, Phoung Nguyen, told the ABC the restaurant’s name reminded people of the communist takeover of Saigon and was offensive to people whose relatives were tortured and had to flee their homes.
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“For Vietnamese, especially from the south who risked their lives and ran away from their country by boat in 70s and 80s, we hate that name,” Nguyen said.
“We settled in Australia [to] live in peace and enjoy the freedom, democracy and hard work in a country which opened its arms to use. We are incensed.”
Yesterday, restaurant owner Anna Demirbek took to Instagram to defend her business, claiming she had received death threats over the controversial name.
“We are not a communist money laundering operation set up by Vietnamese accountants, as one agitator has suggested,” Demirbek wrote.
“We have no position on the political or historical landscape of Vietnam. We do, however, celebrate the Bia Hoi [Vietnamese beer] which emanated from the north of Vietnam.”
However, the restaurant’s name has since been changed to Uncle Bia Hoi, with the business’s Instagram and Facebook accounts now reflecting this.
SmartCompany contacted Uncle Bia Ho for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.