HEBER, Utah — Owners at a Utah restaurant have tried to lighten the dark mood caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which had its origins in China.
A recent banner at The Junction Pizzeria & Grill in Heber City had mixed reviews when it was unveiled, KSL reported.
“This is the longest anything from China has ever lasted," the banner outside the restaurant said.
The restaurant, which began curbside and delivery service March 19, had praise and criticism on its Facebook page.
“That sign is almost as good as your food,” one poster wrote. “I thought it was spot-on hilarious.”
“I think the sign is great; almost as good as your food. Hilarious and truthful too," one poster wrote. "Thank you for the lightheartedness during these uncertain times.”
Another poster was more critical.
“Disgusting! I will never eat here and am telling everyone I know to never eat here,” he wrote.
“I’ll take my dining dollars elsewhere now,” another poster wrote.
A spokesman for The Junction, who asked not to be identified, told Cox Media Group the restaurant wanted to share its sign “with everyone.”
"Some people don’t find the humor in it and have decided to take offense to it, the spokesman said via a Facebook message. “Unfortunately we can’t please everyone but during this time of national struggles and trials, we would hope everyone could just have a laugh and enjoy some good food.”
Some businesses in the community agreed.
“I don’t think it was meant to offend anyone, and there’s no reason for anyone to take offense,” Hendershot, owner of Aspen Grove Rustics, told KSL. “It’s a little humor -- trying to lighten things up; we all need more of that.”
Owners of the restaurant called authorities Friday when they said someone threatened an employee over the sign, the television station reported. The spokesman for the restaurant said the sign was taken down after the threat.
“Somebody went in this local restaurant and apparently made a threat. We took a police report,” Heber City police Lt. Jeremy Nelson said.
Nelson said the pandemic has put many people on edge.
“We’re going to get through this as a nation, but we need to help each other -- by helping neighbors and helping strangers,” Nelson told KSL. “We still need to be civil and try to take care of each other.”