An American-style burger restaurant in Western Sydney has come under fire after sharing purportedly racist posts regarding both Black Lives Matter and Invasion Day.

Downtown Brooklyn Penrith was called out on Monday for a post that was shared on January 27.

“3 great things about today! 1. One of our fans grabbed a Fairy Bread Burger and trekked into the city to grab this shot! 2. We are back open from 5.30pm so you can grab yourself a Fairy Bread Burger. 3. 364 more sleeps till we have to listen to the Invasion Day bandwagoners again!” the post said.

Screenshot of the original post made by Downtown Brooklyn Penrith on January 27. Photo Supplied.

The original post has since been deleted.

The brand also came under fire for previous posts, one of which was a comment that referenced George Floyd’s death.

“Sorry for the late reply, been f**king busy. Oh and you got it all wrong hunny. This was to pay respects for one of our customers,” the comment said.

“They had a Cheat Platter with a Big Poppa. Like this thing is massive. Loaded fries, wings, onion rings, 4 patties, 4 bacon, 4 cheese – you get the gist yeah? Well after this man accomplished this amazing feat all he was able to murmur was, I can’t breathe. So was fitting to show our support.”

Screenshot of Downtown Brooklyn’s comment referencing George Floyd’s death. Photo Supplied.

NIT was unable to clarify when this comment was posted by the burger restaurant.

Downtown Brooklyn Penrith owner Chris O’Shea has since apologised, posting to Facebook on Monday evening.

O’Shea said the restaurant’s social media team “like to push the boundaries when it comes to their marketing” and that they may have gone too far.

He acknowledged the bandwagon comments regarding Invasion Day.

“The point #3 was made in regards to social media influencers and how they love to jump on bandwagons. They use these days to support an issue for the likes or clout, then move on to the next one, forgetting about the true cause,” he wrote.

“Unfortunately somewhere along the line, this has been misconstrued as being racist, and it has taken off from there. The post was never meant to be racist in any way shape or form.”

O’Shea apologised for the post, saying “the damage is done”.

“To the entire Indigenous community that has been offended in regards, please take this as my sincerest apologies as to how the post was construed,” he wrote.

“I will cop the hate, cop the flack, and cop the damages that will still continue as most will say this is back pedalling. This was never meant to be a hateful or racist post.”

Screenshot of Downtown Brooklyn owner Chris O’Shea’s apology which was posted on Monday. Photo Supplied.

Members of the public have since commented on the apology post in disappointment, with many drawing attention to the hypocrisy of the business.

One Facebook user commented on the apology, urging O’Shea to be a true leader. Photo via Facebook.
Another Facebook user called out the owner on Downtown Brooklyn’s apology. Photo via Facebook.

Many pointed out the performative allyship of the business, noting the comments regarding George Floyd and the business’ change of profile picture to a black tile in June 2020 in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.


A Facebook user commenting on Downtown Brooklyn’s apology. Photo Supplied.

Others also noted the business features a large mural of African-American hip hop artist The Notorious B.I.G., pointing out that the business profits off Blak culture whilst posting racist commentary.

Notorious B.I.G. mural at Downtown Brooklyn Penrith. Photo Supplied.

Downtown Brooklyn Penrith has also been called out for a sexist post on January 19.

“We think the best thing about Five Guys coming to Penrith is how confused the girls chat groups are going to be, as they try to figure out whether they still meant they had Five Guys on the weekend or now they mean burgers,” the post read.

Posted by Downtown Brooklyn on January 19. Photo Supplied.

This follows a post made on the restaurant’s Instagram in September 2019.

Screenshot of @dbpenrith post from September 2019. Photo Supplied.

“Our umbrella poles are not for pole dancing. Please find alternative ways to disappoint your father,” the post read.

The comment uploaded with the post featured the hashtags, #disappointedfathers and #youcandobetter.

Downtown Brooklyn Penrith has since deleted their Instagram.

By Rachael Knowles