Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘Date Grape Koolaid’ at new Spokane bar sparks controversy

A new daiquiri-and-deejay nightclub in downtown Spokane sparked heated online discussion Friday surrounding the name of one of its cocktails.

The $6 “Date Grape Koolaid” is one of the alcoholic beverages on the menu at Daiquiri Factory, a hip-hop bar and dance club slated to open tonight. According to the “February Sneak Preview” menu posted on the nightclub’s Facebook page, the beverage is made of rum and “super-sweet” grape-flavored Kool-Aid – and it’s been drawing comments condemning its title.

“Date Grape Koolaid is not a clever or funny name. It is offensive and condones sexual assault,” Devin Rourke posted under the menu on the venue’s Facebook page, which has more than 2,000 “likes.”

“I am disgusted and mortified by your jest at sexual assault. I can only hope that you will wise up and change the name of your drink. It was wrong of you to name your drink ‘Date Grape Koolaid’ and the fact that you keep referring to it as a joke makes it even more degrading and offensive,” Sara Frase posted.

Jessica Randall called the name “totally lame”: “I would rethink that one before you lose a majority of your business before you even get started!”

Owner Jamie Pendleton couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. And one of the menu posts with many of the comments expressing concern over the drink name – as well as responses from the business – was taken down Friday afternoon.

“It’s A Daiquiri Bar, not a CANDY STORE! 21 & UP WELCOME!” was posted, then deleted, by the venue.

So was a post describing the drink as “yummy” – “especially when your not trying to take it out of context.. So funny how this gets more attention than Victoria’s Secret!”

The club, at 121 N. Wall St., advertises “Fun! Dancing! Drinks! Grub! Jamz!” on its website and Facebook page. A deejay booth sits just inside its double front doors, opening onto a dance floor and lounge area decorated in a red, black and white color scheme. A roll-up, glass, garage-like door leads to a patio space on Wall Street.

“Our concept is give Spokane what it hasn’t had,” said general manager Alex Dang, 38, adding, “We’re catering to women.”

The Urban Dictionary website defines the term “ date grape” as “when you and your loved one get drunk off of wine and end up hooking up.”

Daiquiri Factory is no wine bar. It serves 15 signature boozy beverages – some made with 90-proof Parrot Bay Rum or Everclear – and one virgin strawberry daiquiri referred to as “Victoria’s Secret.”

Other drink names include Spurricane River, Spokolada, South Hill and Eastern Washington Iced Tea.

Tonight’s preview party has specials like $1.45 Fireball shots and $1.45 Angry Orchard pints. The pricing refers to the 104.5 “JAMZ” local hip-hop radio station. Pendleton also owns Pendleton Broadcasting, which operates the station.

Initially, the club will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, beginning at 5 p.m., Dang said. Three house DJs are slated to spin hip-hop music, he said.

Some Facebook fans said they can’t wait for the opening, including a couple of commenters already encouraging a second location in Coeur d’Alene.

Others – like Luis Enrique Lopez – are taking Daiquiri Factory to task for removing comments from its Facebook page: “Don’t be sneaky by deleting the picture of the menu with the negative comments. You have to realize that making a cutesy joke about rape isn’t funny. At all.”

Wrote Kevin Kelly: “I can’t wait for the ‘Foot in Mouth Fruit Cooler.’ ”