Conservatives slam Connecticut cafe named “Woke”

Wake up and smell the controversy.

A co-owner of Breakfast in Connecticut dubbed her new restaurant “Woke” after it focused on morning food — but it soon drew a hefty dose of complaints from conservative locals who didn’t like the name’s left-leaning connotation, Insider reported.

Carmen Quiroga opened the doors of Woke Breakfast & Coffee on Main Street in Coventry on January 19 – and immediately realized that the name didn’t come across easily.

“When we were thinking about an idea [for the name]we obviously wanted a word that had something to do with tomorrow,” she told Insider.

Quiroga chose “woke up,” she explained, as an interpretation of the phrase “wake up and have some coffee.” She also liked that the word included the letter “o,” represented by an egg yolk in the cafe’s logo.

Quiroga was unaware that the word was often used by conservatives to refer to liberal ideology.

“I’m Mexican,” she told CT Insider.

Woke Breakfast & Coffee opened in Coventry on 19th January.
Woke Breakfast & Coffee opened in Coventry on 19th January.
Google Maps

“I don’t know what ‘awakened’ means to some people.”

However, Woke’s early days in business were quickly overshadowed by conservative local residents who disagreed with the name.

According to insiders, a debate over the title on The Coventry CT Citizen’s Open Forum, a private Facebook group, became so heated that moderator Tonya Landrie Ohlund threatened to remove the “ridiculous comments”.

“If you’re so narrow-minded you can’t understand that the name indicates it’s a breakfast place and nothing more, then just keep that to yourself and move on,” Ohlund scolded the placards.

“It’s disgusting to read that residents will refuse to support a business trying to grow in our great little city because they don’t like the name, without even knowing anything about how they chose that name. Just stop.”

Republican City Councilman John French told Insider that political divisions are common in the area.

Woke Café's logo, which features an O represented by a yellow egg white.
The logo shows an egg yolk instead of an “O”.
Woke up

“It’s a very purple city,” he explained.

A Hartford Courant poll shows that just over fifty-one percent of Coventry residents voted for President Biden in the 2020 election. Four years earlier, the city had narrowly sided with Donald Trump.

Despite the murmurs online, Quiroga told the outlet that no one said anything unsupportive to her face.

“We are very, very busy. We had to close an hour later because people were waiting to try our food… Everyone said the food is excellent. So we feel like we have good support from the city,” she said. Conservatives slam Connecticut cafe named “Woke”


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