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Once sailor, forever sailor

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Backlash prompts name change for Brisbane's Uncle Ho Vietnamese restaurant - AMY MITCHELL-WHITTINGTON

Owner Anna Demirbek outside Uncle Ho. Photo: Robert Shakespeare

The director of a Brisbane restaurant has agreed to change the business name after facing sharp criticism from the Vietnamese community over the weekend.
Uncle Ho, named after the communist dictator Ho Chi Minh, closed its doors on Sunday after more than 100 members of Brisbane's Vietnamese community protested outside the Fortitude Valley establishment.
The restaurant, located on East Street just off Ann Street, had been open for 17 days.
During the Sunday protest, restaurant director Anna Demirbek posted to the restaurant's Instagram page that management and staff had received death threats and threats of damage to the business.
"Over the past 24 hours management have received death threats and threats of burning down the building our business is housed in," a post on the account reads.
"This is unacceptable, bullying behaviour.
"Our business will be closed today (Sunday) to ensure the safety and security of our team and our customers."
Member of the local Vietnamese community Jade Pham told Fairfax Media she was "outraged" by the lack of respect.
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"The caucasian owners have named it after a dictator whose communist regime is what Australia fought against during the Vietnam War ," she said.
"I am outraged by the lack of respect for history and the people it affects in Australia to this day."
Demirbek released a statement to Channel 7 on Sunday which announced a name change for the controversial establishment.
"We have registered the name Uncle Bia Hoi and have commenced proceedings to change our trading name in the coming weeks," she stated.
Fairfax Media approached the restaurant owners for comment.
- with Nathanael Cooper

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