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Rainbow Bistro attempts to guilt and shame “Community” into becoming customers…

Back in May, Louis filed a quick restaurant review about Rainbow Bistro – a new sandwich shop located in the fabled “Gayborhood” near 39th and Penn.

Specializing in something called the (irony alert) “Hot Mess,” it looked decent enough. Since I’m both a fan of sandwiches and only live a half-mile away, I placed it on my mental log of new places to try someday.

Sadly, like most things on my mental log, Rainbow Bistro fell off my radar and I still haven’t checked it out. Apparently, I’m not the only one. 

Earlier this week, the owner of the eatery posted a now-deleted Facebook post chastising the local LGBTQ community – especially those who only buy $3 cookies – for not supporting the new restaurant.

He claimed that if sales don’t improve soon he’ll be forced to close the restaurant's doors, leaving a gaping hole in the metro's LGBTQ-themed sandwich shop scene. 

Check this out:

Yikes! With a positive go-getter attitude like that, I can’t believe the restaurant isn’t making it! We should introduce him to the dude in Tulsa who doesn’t like auto-gratuities. I’m sure they’d become fast friends, and then write something dumb on Facebook about it. 

Seriously, though, what an interesting and innovative way to drum up business for a restaurant!

Most struggling places will run social media ads, publicize food and drink specials, or call out Gordon Ramsey to turn things around, but this marketing wizard is trying to guilt and shame people in the LGBTQ community into becoming customers instead. I’m sure that will work out well. 

As expected, the post generated a mixed bag of responses.

Apparently, people who don’t like being chastised for not supporting a restaurant took exception to the post, left angry comments, and started leaving negative reviews about the place. The owner then took down the post and let everyone know they're closed on Tuesdays.

You know, in case you're from the "Community" and wanted to support this business:

For what it’s worth, I’m not surprised that Rainbow Bistro is struggling. It has more than an indifferent LGBTQ community working against it. 

First of all, outside of the homeless population who live and congregate in the area, the Gayborhood is a ghost town during the day, which – according to my own personal market research – is when delis and sandwich shops are usually at their busiest. 

Second, with all due respect to the now-defunct Stars Pizza (RIP) – one of my old go-to's for cheap late-night stoned out-of-mind pizza – the area has never really had an established restaurant scene. Well, unless you count Braum’s. Either way, I doubt there are a bunch of dudes who want to scarf down a muffuletta sandwich or Hot Mess before a night of dancing at Angles or hooking up in the bathroom at Phoenix Rising.

Actually, I take back the Hot Mess part. I’m sure there are some who’d be into that. 

Plus, let’s be honest, the restaurant industry in Oklahoma City is already pretty inclusive and LGBTQ-friendly. I mean, has the owner of Rainbow Bistro ever been to The Rose Room for Happy Hour? You can’t get much more LGBTQ-friendly than that place! 

Also, has he ever met Rachel Cope from Empire, stopped by any restaurant in Paseo, or grabbed a coffee at Elemental? As Eater documented, there are lots and lots of LGBTQ-owned eateries around town that are very inclusive and welcoming that people from the “community” can visit. They’re not restricted to the gay club area. I’d suggest he consider relocating to an area with foot traffic and actual customers, and then write a post shaming people into visiting it instead.

But, as I often say, what do I know? We wish the Rainbow Bistro the best of luck keeping its doors open and hope they sell enough bottles of Unicorn Sauce to make the Oklahoma legislature add it to the dangerous and banned substances list. 

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised. 

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