The Justine’s Porn Dialogues
We get about one email a month letting us know that our website (justines1937.com) is porn—————-and we usually don’t reply (see Instagram @justinesbrasserie) since, as @larscrooks wisely noted: “It’s great when problem customers self-regulate.” Or, as @designbuildadventure said, “Your website works!”
But this particular writer demanded a RESPONSE. (She also likes to capitalize the word PORN!) So we wrote her back. wink emoticon
From: [email address redacted]
Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 2:19 PM
Subject: Your website
Being a lover of French Onion Soup I went online and found several recommendations for your restaurant. I was curious as to your menu, hours, etc. so I decided to check out your website. When I googled you two listings came up: 1) Justines and 2) Justine's, both listing the same address and phone number. I happened to click on #2, Justine's, and to my total shock a very grainy pornagraphic film was playing - several naked women in a bathtub etc. While the images weren't totally clear it was definitely porn. Several of my co-workers agreed with me after taking a look.
I wonder why you would think it was appropriate to have pornagraphic movies on your website? I wanted to see your menu and other information, again I am after the best bowl of French Onion soup in Austin, and NOT PORN.
I await your response as why a restaurant that is supposed to be family friendly would do such a thing.
If you are unaware of this - please take a look at your website immediately - maybe somebody is intentionally trying to damage your business as it is hard to imagine why a responsible restaurant/business owner would include PORN on their website.
From: [email redacted]
To: BelleDejour <BelleDejour@justines1937.com>
Sent: Wed, Sep 4, 2013 3:02 pm
Subject: Fw: Your website
SECOND REQUEST!!!!!! PLEASE RESPOND!!!!!
From: BelleDeJour <BelleDeJour@justines1937.com>
To: [name redacted]
Sent: Wed, Sep 4, 2013 5:13 pm
Subject: Re: Your website
Dear [name redacted],
So sorry for the delay in responding. That is in fact our website, and we designed the opening page ourselves; the film you see playing is footage that Justine, the owner (who is also an artist), created at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco years ago. To us, it's beautiful, racy, sensual, risqué, edgy, nostalgic, evocative, referential, playful, counterintuitive, rebellious, sweet and provocative---but not pornographic.
We're not offended that you see it as pornography even though we see it as art because everyone is entitled to defining terms like that, and "pornography", from culture to culture and individual to individual, has more definitions than practically anything else, besides perhaps "love".
Justine's was built by hand and is run by a group of friends and co-workers who work hard to do something we believe in. We're not corporate, and don't need to sanitize and compromise our ideas to please the masses. We not only please but (hopefully!) thrill many of the diners who come to Justine's, and it's largely because we have a distinct and sincere ideology and aesthetic. We're not the Olive Garden. Our outlook is that by trying to please everyone, you end up truly exciting no one. We may alienate some people, but we make other people happy, and in the meantime, we honor our own principles and imagination.
We're a bar as much as a restaurant, open till 2am every night, and are a meeting place for many different kinds of people, including many artists and musicians, and we embrace every race, age, creed, sexual/political/gender/cultural orientation. We play loud records all night, have fun, and are known to provide a sense of joie de vivre (bordering on chaos) and freedom.
We think our website does a GREAT job of letting you know what you're in for. We are not for every one. And we think the families who come to eat at Justine's are very happy to be there, having chosen to come there, and believing like us that beauty and sensuality are not "anti-family". If you fear kids being online and seeing something THEIR parents deem inappropriate, you’re referring to a burden that lies on the parents.
The glorious part for us about running a business in America is that you don't need to come to Justine's, and you don't need to spend any more time looking at our website if it offends you---and we don't have to apologize. We do however appreciate the opportunity you've given us to articulate our thoughts on this, since we don't take the issue lightly either.
[postscript* Then she never wrote us back!]