‘Effin Bar’ Controversy in West Michigan

Posted at 5:59 PM, May 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-13 18:48:23-04

DALTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (May 13, 2014)– What’s in a name? For some residents around the Twin Lake area, a lot, and it all has to do with a new sign outside of a local bar.

The Effin’ Bar and Grill sits right off Holton Road in Dalton Township, but it has some in the community upset.

Owners David Nichols and Jillian Rork say the name comes from the brand Effen Vodka.

Nichols and Rork say it’s all in good fun and they’re trying to reinvent the bar to make it a destination to bring people into the community.

Effin BarThey say they bought the bar back in September 2013 and put the sign up about three weeks ago. Nichols and Rork say they have invested a lot into it already, like new tables, TVs and a new patio.

The bar was formerly known as The Alibi.

“At one time it was a very happening place years ago and it dwindled down and we’re making it better with the improvements we’ve done and with the improvements we’re going to do,” Nichols said.

Some people just don’t see it like that, during public comment at a Dalton Township Board of Trustees meeting Monday, some citizens showed up to voice their concerns while others filled the audience.

Some feel the sign is obscene and offensive, that it puts out a bad image of the community. Other opponents say they aren’t asking the owners to change the name but to just take it off the sign.

The township supervisor says they are taking the concerns from citizens seriously but despite a protest recently the owners say it’s all on how someone perceives it.

“It’s more of what an individual puts into it and the actual spelling of  the word and meaning. We’re here to run a business, grow a business, to bring people in this community. It’s a fun place, a good place, good food and good atmosphere and there are good things to come here.”

The supervisor says their attorney is looking into their sign ordinance but there is likely nothing they can do.

Nichols and Rork say they don’t plan on changing the bar’s name.