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'Roofie Colada' Dessert Leaves Bad Taste in Restaurant-Goers' Mouths

By Nicholas Rizzi | November 26, 2014 7:22am | Updated on November 28, 2014 3:18pm
 The Phunky Elephant gastropub removed their Roofie Colada dessert drink after customers complained.
The Phunky Elephant Roofie Colada
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ROSEBANK — A Staten Island bar's Roofie Colada dessert is leaving a bad taste in some customers' mouths.

The Phunky Elephant gastropub at 1271 Bay St. named a dessert drink with coffee ice cream, fried donuts, Kahlua, vanilla vodka, caramel, chocolate syrup and whipped cream after the "rape drug" Rohypnol — apparently in a hat tip to an episode of the off-color cartoon "Family Guy."

It left Jeremiah Jurkiewicz and his friends upset when he celebrated his 24th birthday party at the Rosebank spot — but he said staff initially ignored him when he complained.

"We brought it up at the restaurant to a chef and another woman recently brought it up to wait staff and was laughed at," said Jurkiewicz, an actor and coordinator at the College of Staten Island's LGBTQ Center.

"Obviously they're not wanting to change it. It speaks to a rape culture in society and how it's sustained by this type of language and this ignorance of the situation."

Jurkiewicz said his friend first tried to email and private message the restaurant owners to point out why the joke is offensive and should be taken off the menu, and later expressed her offense on Facebook.

The owners sent back a message explaining the title comes from the TV show "Family Guy" and later chastised her for posting publicly about it.

"For the record, you know there aren't any date rape drugs in the dessert right?" the restaurant wrote on Facebook.

"You could have said something to management or even sent us a private message about how you felt, which we would have respectfully considered and maybe even changed."

Others jumped on the thread to criticize the eatery for the title, and said it condoned a culture of sexual violence by making light of the situation.

"You name a drink after a known date rape drug, it condones rape. It's a really simple concept," Jenna Pantophlet wrote on the restaurant's Facebook page.

"Even with all that whipped cream you can't make a rape joke palatable. Roofie Colada = Not Funny," Lauren Marie wrote on the restaurant's page.

On Tuesday, operations manager Jerry Agro apologized for the title and said the restaurant pulled the cocktail off the menu until they renamed it.

"We certainly did not intend to create an impression of reckless or negligent behavior by presenting the dessert at question to our guests nor did we mean to make anyone feel uncomfortable or insulted," Agro said in an email.

"This dessert name was simply a homage to an adult cartoon and there was no malice. We obviously do not support date rape or any sort of violence for that matter."

Some people defended the restaurant on social media and complained that the criticisms were too "politically correct."

"This is what's wrong with society," Lisa Sapio Delprete wrote on Facebook.

"I'm sorry, why does everything have to be politically correct? I'm so tired. People know you meant no harm, it's just ridiculous how people can turn something around."

For Jurkiewicz, a restaurant isn't the right place to make these type of jokes and could serve as a trigger for some diners.

"Imagine you are someone going to a restaurant to enjoy dinner with family and friends and say you just went through a traumatic experience and that's right there, blatantly on the menu. That can be very jarring for someone," he said.

"It's not a comedy club, it's not a comedy cartoon that has liberties to make fun on these things. You are a restaurant that is serving alcohol and food and you should be conscious of that."