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Sep 29, 2009
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RE: O' Taters Irish Restaurant

They already have a place named after potatoes with Les Frites. Enough with potatoes! Lol.
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Alf33

Life is short, so eat dessert first.
Jun 8, 2013
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RE: O' Taters Irish Restaurant

The Chicken Alfredo loaded potato will be something I'll try. Then add a piece of cake to satisfy my sweet tooth and I'll be happy.
 
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Zachary

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Sep 23, 2009
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RE: O' Taters Irish Restaurant

Two different people have told me today (completely unprompted) that they believe "O' Taters" is offensive. I find myself agreeing to some degree. At the very least it seems like it is appealing to some... rather distasteful... Irish stereotypes—something I believe the park would do well to avoid.
 
Dec 29, 2014
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RE: O' Taters Irish Restaurant

Zachary said:
Two different people have told me today (completely unprompted) that they believe "O' Taters" is offensive. I find myself agreeing to some degree. At the very least it seems like it is appealing to some... rather distasteful... Irish stereotypes—something I believe the park would do well to avoid.

That was admittedly my first thought too.  I don't understand why BGW is changing the name in the first place, but if they wanted a change, why would they come up with a name that uses a cultural stereotype to seemingly mock the style of many Irish surnames?
 

Zachary

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Sep 23, 2009
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RE: O' Taters Irish Restaurant

In my mind the issues with the "O' ______" part of the name are minor compared to the "Taters" bit. Would I prefer that BGW avoid cheesy stereotypes such as putting "O'" in front of a word to make it sound Irish? Most definitely. That said, for me personally, I can roll my eyes and cringe at some of the more cheesy cultural stereotypes.

The "Taters" part though... That is a different story in my mind.

First off, references to potatoes in the context of Irish history instantly harken back to the Irish Potato Famine—a period in which roughly 1 million Irish people died of starvation or related causes and in which another 1 million fled Ireland. In total, the island's population dropped by nearly a quarter thanks to the famine.

Secondly, after fleeing their homeland in search of food, they were treated horribly by many of the countries into which they immigrated. They were often called all manner of derogatory names—including terms such as "potato eaters."

Thirdly, "taters" is a heavily stereotyped "country bumkin" version of potatoes in the same vein as "feller" vs. "fellow." This, in effect, acts to reenforce the "uneducated and dumb" stereotypes that Irish immigrates faced after fleeing Ireland in mass to places like the United States.

Naming what I have to assume is a fictional, "fun," character in the park's lore by combining a cringy Irish stereotype with a colloquial "country" version of potato—a word that had been used to mock Irish immigrants for over a hundred years—seems like an incredibly poor judgement call. I have to assume the park simply didn't put much thought into the implications of their new, "fun" restaurant name, but I think they may need to reconsider their choice.
 
Sep 29, 2009
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RE: O' Taters Irish Restaurant

The only reason that I can think of for the name change is that people often confused Grogan's Pub with Grogan's Grill. Still, Annie Grogan is a fictitious character that appears in other SeaWorld parks. That branding was solid enough, especially since we have a believable portrait of her on the pub and in some branding.

I still think this is too similar to "Pierre les Frittes", except this one directly corresponds to a negative stereotype without even knowing the history of the character. I think one of the strengths of characters like Annie Grogan and Mamma Stella is that we hardly know about them. Several legendary foods have legendary inventors, and a little bit of mystery strengthens those legends.

This naming choice, in my opinion, is just a cheaper variation of the more subtle SW/BG tactics of the past
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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RE: O' Taters Irish Restaurant

My issue is the name sells short the diversity of the restaurant's menu. "O'Taters" sounds like a specifically potato/french fry joint in the same breed as Les Frites.

Of course, the name is also tacky and Americanized. The change makes sense to differentiate from Grogan's Pub, but why not choose from the laundry list of common real Irish names? Flanagan's? Finnegan's? Donovan's? How about a subtle nod to Corkscrew Hill and call it Duncan's?
 
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