Pickin’ on the Little Guy: “Hillbilly Heaven

I was watching CHCH news today at 11, and at the end of the segment they had that other segment where two people talk about topics and debate about them. The topic of discussion was the restaurant Hillbilly Heaven in Hamilton. From what I gather, it’s been getting a lot of media attention for various reasons which include the flag that is on the outside of the down town location, the signs in the window etc.

Some feel its offensive and have put up a huge stink about it. I was watching some old media reports about the restaurant and instead of talking about how amazing the food apparently is they talk about the signs and the flag.

I have never personally been to the restaurant however everyone I’ve spoken to have had nothing but great things to say about it. You get southern food and a good amount of it for what you pay, but this is completely over looked because of the shadow of media attention that has covered this restaurant.

Personally I feel a restaurant stays successful by staying out of the box and different from its competitors. Upper James in Hamilton is FULL of competition where people have a lot of choices as to where they want to eat. This restaurant isn’t a food chain, its one man’s thought and business. I applaud him for opening a location in the down town and investing in the core of Hamilton.

The restaurant makes southern food, and he stays true to that with the name, the look, and the cheeky signs. When I think southern I think of thick accents, cheeky attitude and farmers. I think he stays true to his name in that regard with the logo having animals and the cheekiness is shown in the signs that are put up. I don’t feel like those are offensive signs he’s simply stating what he doesn’t have.  I mean if it says “NO WE DON’T HAVE PASTA” I wouldn’t be offended because clearly if its southern food they wouldn’t have Italian pasta.  The owner mentioned in an interview that I had watched that he has even received complaints on the restaurant’s name and logo. Because the animals are smiling which means they are happy to be put to death.

The flag that is outside of the down town location isn’t up there for racism its up there for “southern pride.” WHY people are reading too much into all these things is beyond me and I feel bad for the owner for simply thinking outside the box and bringing southern food and atmosphere to Hamilton.

People are really sensitive these days and little things like a stupid sign or a stupid flag puts so many panties in a bunch. If it offends you DON’T GO THERE, its not like the owner is spitting out racist slurs at the front counter or they have someone standing outside with a mega phone yelling out hateful comments.

The fact that there have been complaints about the animals smiling in the logo or the fact that “heaven” is attached to the name is just stupid. NO ONE has said anything negative about the food just about the look, when the rating should be on the food because that’s why people keep going there.

There has to be better news then this to report on? People missing, murders happening, government secrets to be investigated, etc… and yet this is apparently news.


All I have to say to the owner is keep doing what you’re doing, the food will speak for itself, and the more people that love your food the more people that will be going to your restaurant. All the media is doing is creating free advertisement for your establishment; stay true to what you feel is right and run your business according to what your dreams were. Keep your head up and your shoulders strong, eventually they will have some other “little guy” to pick on!!


~ by Christina Sears on March 15, 2013.

One Response to “Pickin’ on the Little Guy: “Hillbilly Heaven”

  1. The confederate flag is regarded as a symbol of the civil war during which the south was fighting for slavery rights among other things. It has become a tainted symbol of negativity and hatred to most. I believe that is why people are getting more annoyed and enraged about his signage. Since opening the downtown location he has added this lovely touch to his other signs. In an area like downtown that is very culturally diverse, I believe it’s a slap in the face and unnecessary. ” Southerners I’ve met that identify with it, they think of the flag as a symbol of the joys and values of being Southern. Many of these qualities, like common courtesy, are some of the things that are so refreshing about the South compared to New York. It’s not that people aren’t nice in the North; they just don’t care to be.

    But the flag will never be an acceptable symbol, neither to Northerners, civil rights activists, or African-Americans. Sure, the flag no longer means the enforcement of slavery to most of the Southerners that associate with it, but some things will never change to those on the outside who view it.

    After the Holocaust, there was a movement in America to change the Swastika, once an aboriginal symbol of peace, back into its original meaning. The symbol, it was claimed, was once a good symbol and could be used for good again. The movement died when it became apparent that the world would forever associate Swastika’s with the Nazis, never again with anything to do with peace.

    The Confederate flag, unfortunately, falls into the same category. You can try to change its meaning, but outsiders will always view it as a sign of hatred and bigotry. “—- Jason Pressberg is writing on behalf of D.E.E.P., Diversity Emerging Education Program.

    To me that says it all, it may not be an intentional in your face racial slurr, however, when you add up all the innuendo’s, it’s hard to look past it and at the great food. Our society is very vain and if the “face is ugly” most won’t take the time to get to know the inside.

    I have never been to hillbilly haven because I cannot eat there, so I can only have a face value opinion.

    Just my opinion, but I still think he is promoting segregation and discrimination by his signage in general.



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