Despite some controversial remarks that have taken Don Cherry off the Hockey Night in Canada roster, Grapes is still being celebrated at the namesake restaurant chain.
Don Cherry’s Sports Grill in Vernon hasn’t seen backlash following Cherry’s comments, which some deemed as racist, and which Sportsnet fired him over.
“We haven’t had any issues or complaints from our patrons,” said Amy Nunn, with Prestige Corporate, which leases the space for the local pub in the Prestige Vernon Lodge.
In fact, a majority of Okanagan residents don’t agree with Sportsnet’s decision to fire Cherry, according to an online Black Press poll.
Out of 1,822 votes, 69.76 per cent responded “No,” 29.2 responded “Yes,” and one per cent voted “Other.”
Don Cherry’s Sports Grill celebrates Grapes, not only as an icon in the NHL, but as a patriotic citizen, and it’s plastered all over the menu.
“I think I’m a good Canadian, but I’m not the greatest Canadian,” Cherry is quoted on the restaurant’s menu.
The menu continues: “Mr. Cherry, not only do we think you’re good, we think you are irreplaceable. You truly embody the word ‘Canada,’ you have inspired generations of Canadians to be better Canadians. You make us all proud to be Canadian. You are Canadian. You are a Legend.”
The 85-year-old Cherry’s controversial comments were made during Coach’s Corner on Nov. 9, where he said he is seeing fewer people wearing the Remembrance Day poppies to honour war veterans and singled out Toronto immigrants in particular.
“You people, you come here… and you love… our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you could pay a couple of bucks for a poppy or something like that… These guys pay for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price,” he said during the segment.
Sportsnet said in a statement that “following further discussions with Don Cherry after Saturday night’s broadcast, it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down. During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for.”
Don Cherry’s Sports Grill has 19 Canadian locations, including Salmon Arm and Cranbrook.
– with files from The Canadian Press and Penticton Western News