home News BDSM launch ‘aesthetically vile’ t-shirt campaign for charity

BDSM launch ‘aesthetically vile’ t-shirt campaign for charity

The infamous Black Dog Saloon & Mezcaleria bar – known locally as BDSM – has been the centre of a new charity campaign in Cork over the past few days. Benny McCabe, the owner of the establishment, started the campaign to raise money for a local homeless charity.

The premises, which opened in 2013, is instantly recognizable due to its large black and white signage bearing the letters BDSM. It has been said that since its opening there have been plans to replace the sign.

Following numerous complaints from locals, the council’s planning department have ordered the sign to be taken down. One such letter written to the council vividly described the signage as being ‘aesthetically vile’. It is from this comment (which McCabe himself found hilarious), that the t-shirt campaign was created. However, whilst Mr. McCabe stated he has no issue with the council’s orders, he is hoping to use the power of social media to appeal the decision.

Speaking to Neil Prendeville of Red FM, McCabe explained that the initial issue was the size of the sign. He admitted that he had gotten the measurements wrong, and that he felt they were not treated unfairly’ by the council. After being accused by Prendeville of false advertising, the patron went on to explain that under the lettering it clearly says, ‘Black Dog Saloon & Mezcalaria’. Putting forward his case, McCabe pointed out that his premises was one of only two bars that stay open late on North Main Street. The contentious sign brightened up’ the bar and the staff could arrange humorous and topical messages for both passers-by and customers to enjoy.

After receiving requests from interested parties for merchandise, McCabe saw the opportunity for a campaign. The idea is to print t-shirts celebrating the bar, emblazoned with the comment ‘aesthetically vile since 2013’ and to sell them to the public. All proceeds from the sales will be donated to a homeless charity of Red FM’s choice (in the form of food hampers), which will be a significant help in the run up to Christmas. The first batch of t-shirts went on sale on Friday 29th of September, and throughout the following weekend the majority of sizes sold out. A second batch has been ordered, and the bar is now hoping to start shipping them worldwide. There are also talks of naming a drink after the comment, which is now being regarded as a badge of honour’.

McCabe emphasised that he has no quarrel’ with the council, and is merely trying to make the most of the situation. Instead of letting this affect his business, the bar owner is using the controversy to create some positive effects. It is no doubt that the families who will benefit from the hampers will be extremely grateful for the help, especially as Christmas time can be a stressful and financially difficult time for many. The current plan for the sign itself, if the council’s decision cannot be appealed, is for it to be taken down and placed in the smoking area at the rear of the bar.