COVENTRY — The name of a new restaurant in Coventry has sparked controversy among residents in the “The Coventry CT Citizen’s Open Forum” Facebook group, prompting articles to be written in major news outlets such as The Washington Post and The Guardian.
The restaurant in discussion is Woke Breakfast & Coffee, located at 1201 Main Street in Coventry. Generally, people in the open forum Facebook group were upset with the word woke appearing in the restaurant’s name, as it is used as slang meaning to be aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues in society.
However, the restaurant’s owner Carmen Quiroga said that she did not intend to be political when choosing a name for the eatery.
“You wake up and have breakfast,” she said regarding the naming of the restaurant.
Quiroga added that she picked the name of the restaurant because Woke is a short word, which is easy to remember.
She said she was surprised the name of her restaurant caused controversy.
“I’m not sure why people think that,” Quiroga said regarding people’s reactions to the name.
Though some members of the Coventry community have criticized the restaurant’s name, many have stood in support of the new eatery.
“There has been an overwhelming outpouring of support for Carmen and Woke restaurant from our community,” said Coventry Town Council Chair Lisa Thomas. “The restaurant is filled every day by people embracing and welcoming her.”
Thomas is thrilled to see a small business like Woke Breakfast & Coffee succeed, as many have struggled due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as rising inflation and supply chain issues.
“This type of small business is a critical asset for our community,” Thomas said. “It also creates a vital space for social interactions. That can, in turn, help us attract additional investments to Coventry. This is especially important as our rural towns continue to move forward from the fiscal and social impacts of the COVID pandemic.”
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