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'Date Grape' Controversy Continues Amid Protests, Kraft Foods Weighing In

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The Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory has only been open for three days and it’s already making headlines across the country for a controversially named drink on the menu: “Date Grape Kool-Aid.” The Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory has only been open for three days and it’s already making headlines across the country for a controversially named drink on the menu: “Date Grape Kool-Aid.”
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SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory has only been open for three days and it’s already making headlines across the country for a controversially named drink on the menu: “Date Grape Kool-Aid.”

The bar opened Saturday night amid roughly 100 protesters – many of whom are rape survivors who call the name wildly offensive. Despite the showing, bar owners posted on Facebook saying the drink was selling out and that it was time to make more.

“They went on the offensive, they went on the attack to everybody,” Scott Kusel told KHQ’s Kelsey Watts, after creating pages on Facebook and Twitter to protest the bar and the name of the drink.

The owners of the Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory have remained largely silent about the outcry, but released an audio statement Tuesday that’s one part response and one part commercial:

“The Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory would like everyone to know there is simply no reason to be outraged by the ingredients in our signature daiquiris, there is no reason for the national outcry, nor is there reason for the protest. We just think everyone simply needs a little daiquiri therapy."

The audio statement goes on to list drink specials for the bar when it’s next open on Thursday saying, "This should quench the thirst of everyone and end the word play from all the haters. Now let's party."

The bar also posted on its Facebook page that the inspiration for the name came from the popular website “Urban Dictionary,” where “Date Grape” is defined as “when you and your loved one get drunk off of wine and end up hooking up.”

An explanation Kusel says isn’t any better.

“They're trying to extinguish a forest fire with a spray bottle,” he added. “It's a huge backlash and I think trying to address it with humor at this point - it's beyond that."

So beyond that, Kraft Foods is now weighing in because of the Kool-Aid brand infringement, releasing a statement to KHQ Tuesday saying:

“We at Kraft are appalled. Kool-Aid does not support or condone this drink, and finds its name to be highly insensitive to a serious issue. This blatant misuse of the Kool-Aid trademark is offensive to so many, including us, and we are making it our top priority to address the situation ASAP.”

KHQ was unsuccessful in reaching the owners of the Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory for additional comment Tuesday. The bar is set to open again Thursday and Kusel is planning more protests for this weekend.

“If it was a publicity stunt on Daiquiri Factory's part I have a feeling it's going to backfire on them horribly," he said.

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