San Antonio restaurant owner vows to ban Russian liquor establishment

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SAN ANTONIO — The Texas Restaurant Association says it’s seeing many restaurateurs removing Russian imports from their menus following a push by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Saturday to voluntarily remove all Russian products from their shelves amid the conflict in Ukraine.

Governor Abbott also extended this request to the Texas Package Association and all retailers in Texas.

In a statement to KENS 5, the Texas Restaurant Association says, “We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and are ready to help companies that support economic sanctions by finding alternatives to Russian imports. We join in global prayers for peace and security at this troubling time.

We are already seeing many remove Russian imports from their menus. The good news is that we have many great alternatives. For example, vodka is one of the top Russian imports in our industry, but we have many award-winning alternatives distilled here in Texas, including Tito’s, Deep Eddy Vodka, Dripping Springs Vodka, Enchanted Rock Vodka, BlackEyed Distilling Vodka, and Western Son Vodka.

We also want to remind customers that our enemy is not Russian Americans or immigrants, or even Russian people. We stand united with all those who oppose the violence in Ukraine.”

After witnessing the war unfolding in Ukraine, the owner of Conroy’s in Stone Oak took it upon himself to remove Stoli Vodka from the menu of his two establishments in the area.

“When all this stuff started happening with Russia and Ukraine, I started thinking about it really hard because I have a big heart and I feel bad about what’s going on in Ukraine. Like, why?” said Gary Skinner, the owner.

Stoli is a vodka with a Russian name and owner of Russian origin but made in Latvia. On their website, the Stoli groups write that they “defend peace in Europe and stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people”.

Whether Russian-made, affiliated or inspired, Skinner said he didn’t belong at Conroy’s. Even if it means lost revenue for Skinner and the distributors he buys from.

“It’s not my concern. My concern is to support,” he said.

Conroy’s is currently fundraising for Ukraine to show additional support. For each pizza purchased, the restaurant will donate a portion of the proceeds to an emergency fund. This special is for both Stone Oak and Fair Oaks locations.

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