Bar owner slammed over 9/11-themed bar but he’s fine to ‘lose a few customers’

A restaurant owner has been slammed for his "distasteful" 9/11-themed bar, but says he is happy to "lose a few customers" over it.

Brent Thompson, who runs Bar 9Eleven in Fort Worth, Texas, named after the devastating terrorist attack.

It sparked outrage on Twitter after someone took a photo of the pub's exterior and shared it on social media.

Jesse Tyler posted the image, along with several others, saying: "Drove by this bar and thought: 'Huh I wonder what that's about.'

"Turns out it's about exactly what you think."

Mr Thompson told the New York Post he "gets" that "it's a sensitive subject" – but insists that he never intended to offend anyone.

He said: "I may lose a few customers on this. If you don't have all the facts, you're probably going to have a negative reaction."

Mr Thompson said the naming of the restaurant is not a publicity stunt but claimed it is a meaningful title for him.

He said he had been preparing for the opening of his first restaurant the day of 9/11 in 2001, which took the lives of nearly 3,000 people in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks.

His first-day nerves quickly turned to fear as he waited to hear from his daughter, who had been on a flight that morning, and his brother-in-law, an American Airlines pilot.

He decided to rename the bar from its previous name 'Charlie's Bar' after learning that a "high percentage" of Americans didn't know that the anniversary of the shocking event was approaching.

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As well as the name, the bar also features a timeline of the tragic day's events.

Mr Thompson said: "I don’t want anyone who comes into my restaurant to forget that day."

The bar owner was met with criticism online.

Mr Tyler, who posted the original pictures, later added: "Blown away by this work of creative nonfiction depicting the owner of a Tex Mex restaurant in north Texas as the main character of our nation's darkest day."

One user replied: "Holy s*** that's… well, not bad, but tone deaf?"

Another said: "This is one of most bizarre things I’ve seen in a while."

But Mr Thompson said business is booming thanks to his loyal customers, claiming that "80% of our business comes from 20% of our customers".

This September marks the 20th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in history.

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