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“I have no problem with gun owners, concealed or open. I have a problem with any gun coming in an establishment that serves liquor. I don’t think there should be any guns there. That’s my decision.” Pi Pizza owner Lee Ellis, quoted in “Pro-gun” supporters protest Pi Pizza in the Heights after restaurant bans guns in restaurant [via cw39.com]

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81 Responses to Blue Force Gear Quote of the Day: Pistoleros Protest Pi Pizza’s No Pistols Policy

  1. Why does the establishment serving liquor have anything to do with it? It is the carrier’s responsibility to ensure they are in a state of mind where they can make a shoot/no shoot decision free of any outside influences. In my case, I would be perfectly fine carrying in a bar because I don’t drink.

    • Why does the establishment serving liquor have anything to do with it?

      A segment of our society wants to ensure that inebriated people can be belligerent and bash people’s skulls without risk of gunshot wounds.

      A segment of our society also views people who legally carry handguns as seething cauldrons of rage that will explode at the slightest provocation … and drinking all but guarantees that they will whip out their handguns and start spraying bullets into the room.

      • Agreed. If he was that concerned about safety, he wouldn’t be in the business of serving alcohol to belligerent jackasses in the first place. The people legally carrying are not the problem. But I suppose they aren’t drinking to the point of stupid so they aren’t the customers he cares about anyway.

  2. Why should I give up my rights because you’re serving alcohol to other people?

    Or, more to the point, why do you think I would spend money to sit in a free fire zone like Orlando’s Pulse nightclub?

  3. It’s his store, and he’s entitled to his opinion.

    … and I’m sure there are other places in close proximity where pistol owners can procure pizza.

    • He’ll likely be changing the name of that place in short order regardless, unless the folks at http://pi-pizza.com/locations were incredibly sloppy and didn’t trademark the name nationally. I’d find that really hard to believe, despite the fact I find their pizza horrible, it does have an audience, which includes Obozo and company.

      • What don’t you like about their pizza? I’ve been to both the Central West End and Loop locations in St. Louis, and loved it both times.

        Also, I believe this chain is just called “Pi” (or the symbol itself), while the one which is the topic of this article is called “Pi Pizza.”

        • I just don’t like deep-dish (heresy for someone born in Chicagoland, but I don’t).

          I went to Pi Kirkwood in the early days (in the old TNG), and was non-plussed. Food was rather blah and not well-executed.

          Pizza, I’m more a CPK guy, back when it was all-scratch made in-house. I do like Fortel’s, but I got hooked at a young age when Bob was running the place carryout only, in that tiny slot next to a laundrymat.

          Oh yeah, the name thing. Regardless, too close and any good trademark atty would slam-dunk him.

      • Their pizza is good food truck pizza, in my experience with them, as that’s where they started before recently opening a brick & mortar shop.

        Food truck quality generally caters to stoners, clubgoers, and assorted others prowling the late night streets for eats. It can acquire a certain hipster cachet, given the right write-up in the Houston Press, but in the end, it is what it is.

        I’m not saying that having the best food truck pizza is like being the smartest Stooge, but I’m not not saying it, either.

  4. I don’t see a problem. He’s the owner and he’s allowed to make that decision. Just like I’m a customer and I’m allowed to not eat his pizza.

    • Yes it is his right to be an idiot and it is my right to call him an idiot. He has no issue with guns and people who carry them but he has an issue with alcohol. Yet he sells alcohol. If he really wanted to take the moral high ground then he would stop selling beer. By his own twisted logic, it is the alcohol that makes an acceptable situation unacceptable.

    • His shop, his decision. If he wants to be a gun-hating prig, that’s also his business. Still, is it absolutely necessary to lie?

      He told the original complainer “FO”, followed immediately by informing him that, no, they don’t want his business. When called on that obvious obscenity, the Pi guy back pedaled and claimed “FO” means “fair observation”, as in he’s graciously acknowledging the validity of the pro-gun stance, but just doesn’t share it. Liar!

      Nowhere, but perhaps deeply hidden somewhere obscure, will you gind that “FO” means fair observation. That, coupled with his keep-your-money remark, makes it obvious what he meant. He just doesn’t have the nuts to stand up to Yelp and FB’s decency standards and admit what he said.

      It reflects not only his anti-civil rights mentaliy, but also his eagerness to lie about his shameful stance and to spin it.

      • I’m not defending him at all. I also think people have the right to call him out on his BS, and giving negative reviews are fair game if legitimate. But that’s where it should end. We shouldn’t be forcing him to change his policies, he has the right to be a soon-to-be out of business moron. But we need to be careful we don’t follow the left’s example with their same-sex cake nonsense. Voting with your dollars is the powerful, free market solution.

        • This isn’t anything like gay cake issues.

          In this case, a man stumbled upon a pizza place and found he disagrees with the company’s policies. So he exercises his right to speech to tell the world about it. He urges people not to support the business. OK. None of that is “force”, though. The man has not employed violence or the threat of violence to compel someone to change their policy.

          In the gay cake cases, they did use force. Gays actually sought out Christian bakers specifically to manufacture a controversy. When the bakers declined the order, the gay thugs went to the State to complain. The State, whose decisions are enforced by men with guns and the legal monopoly on the initiation of deadly violence, then forced the bakers to comply or else pay fines.

          There’s no state-sanctioned violence being threatened against this pizza place. It’s just free expression, free association and the free market. That’s nothing like the gays bullying bakers with government force.

        • J-H, had to be something like that. You go into a bakery and order a wedding cake, I’m pretty sure you are not interrogated as to the specifics of penis length, previous partners, STDs past or present, status of prostitution prosecution, last communion/confession, any other meaningless BS. Here, let me check if your credit card is good.

  5. “What really ticks off Ellis are what he says are bogus reviews that just popped up.

    “The guy never ate here. He wrote a one star review without ever ordering a pizza or eating a pizza,” Ellis said.”

    Unfortunately for you, Ellis, that’s not a bogus review. A would-be patron gave you one star for refusing to serve him.

    • Bingo.

      Reviews are not JUST for the food itself. Reviews can cover quality of service, staff attitude, atmosphere, general vibe/experience, etc.

      All is fair game in a review, Mr. Ellis. And all of those review categories cover “no guns because the store owner is an idiot” quite nicely.

      Choosing to not allow guns in your place is your business. Saying it is because you serve alcohol to SOME patrons is the height of moronic. Or, Mr. Ellis, is it your assertion that you FORCE all and every patron to purchase an alcoholic beverage or leave the store?

      • Even THAT wouldn’t do it unless the dumbfuck is somehow forcing people to consume the moose-piss-called-beer they’ll order to meet the requirement as cheaply as possible.

  6. So concerned with public safety. I assume he also doesn’t want anyone driving to a location which serves liquor?
    If not then he’s just an idiot and a hypocrite.

  7. Then you do have a problem with concealed and open gun owners, if you don’t think they should be around alcohol.
    Dissembling mush. I’m not anti-X, but… I support Y, but… If you don’t want guns in your place fine, but I don’t care why, it is what it is. It would be more dignified and less insulting if he just owned it.

  8. The Facebook response from the pizza company told the post “Hey Kyle, FO. You are correct, we do not want your money” “Kyle get a life” “Kyle really? You are the ignorant idiot” It was the way that the company responded that gets me

    • Guy who owns the restaurant came from a food truck – the owners of which are 99% notorious hipsters, who feel that they can pull crap like this and still have a business because their facebook friends said they could.

      I’ll be looking for the obit for that shop soon. Or at least a name change, since “Pi” was taken long ago.

  9. The fridge in my kitchen also serves alcohol. That doesnt mean that I grab a beer everytime I walk past it. Armed or not.

  10. Pistol Pete’s Pizza Palace.
    There’s a business opportunity right there.
    His right to say no guns, so just don’t go there.
    He won’t go broke, and you won’t go without pizza.

    • I’m not asking for a law against his rights. But to ignore such open stances against freedom to carry just enables the next anti-freedom establishment to feel righteous. It’s just dialogue. Nothing wrong in that.

    • Gilbert,

      Private property does NOT imbue the property owner with infinite latitude and power to do anything and everything. Their property rights end where an “exercise” of their property rights imperils other people’s lives. This tiny limit on property rights is righteous and honorable because human life is sacred and we have no right to life at all if our right to life only applies in certain locations.

      Consider these examples:
      (1) A business cannot have icy steps, dim (unsafe) lighting, unsecured heights, inadequate emergency exits.
      (2) A private property owner cannot have punji-pits, booby traps, or unsecured below-ground pools.
      A business or private property owner who violates those standards faces both criminal and civil liability. Why? Because implementing those conditions imperils the lives of other people.

      If it is wrong (and overtly illegal in the examples that I listed above) for a business or private property owner to imperil people’s lives, why would it be okay to imperil people’s lives with a ban on self-defense at a business or private property?

      • And another whole cloth invention of new rights by uncommon_sense! Taking a breaking from spinning the Emperor’s new clothes, I see?

        • Jonathan – Houston,

          The facts of the matter are:
          (1) Human life is sacred.
          (2) We have an unalienable right to life.
          (3) Preserving human life is good and honorable.
          (4) Imperiling human life is bad and criminal.
          With which of those facts do you disagree?

          What is perhaps new is that I apply that concept consistently and don’t allow exceptions when someone has intense feelings of disregard for other people’s lives. It is immaterial whether that disregard manifests itself as a person who:
          (a) swings a stick at someone’s head,
          (b) builds a balcony without a railing, or
          (c) prohibits self-defense.

          But go ahead. Dazzle us with your verbal gymnastics and tell us how it is good and honorable to imperil human life.

          Notes:
          (1) I am not claiming that our judicial system upholds this concept. Rather, I am stating what is right and honorable.
          (2) I am not eroding freedom of association.

  11. From what I’ve heard, their pizza is mediocre anyway. I’ll skip them. I’m too much of a pizza snob to waste my time on lousy pizza.

  12. I went to their website and I see they have other restaurants that don’t serve alcohol. Do they allow firearms in these establishments? If not than we have a bigger integrity issue than what is in the original article.

    • The STL/CVG/DCA company has nothing to do with this joker in TX, and will likely be sending him a C&D to stop using the name.

      As far as I can tell, this is some kid who operated out of a food truck until recently.

      • I saw what you saw but there’s another site when you google-fu pi pizza Houston. You get another group of food providers, some of which do not have alcohol on their online menus.

      • He’s supposedly opening 6 more restaraunts in the Austin area if that’s true likely food trucks. I have had really good food off a food truck and also horrible food. If he gets a liquor or beer license for a mobile location sounds more dangerous than Feinstein trying to hold a weapon. Pizza off a food truck has always tasted like microwave pizza. Except for 1 place in London that built a hardwood fired handmade dough into a step an from the 70’s if they are still around damn near worth flying to England for a pie. That was 2 years ago though. But great dough & building a portable wood burning beehive oven in a truck takes a lot more cojones than most would ever have. Doing good food in in Europe that’s palatable to Americans is a rarity from every non foodie friend I have. The Europeans tolerate our food for the most part so they can have our rights we take for granted.

        It’s mr. pizzas right to ban arms it’s the POTG & everyone else to eat elsewhere.

  13. I always get a little chuckle when businesses declare that no guns are allowed in their establishment, especially in Shall Issue states. Not that I advocate disobeying them, or breaking the law where such prohibitions have legal backing. But, come on. Who would know? If you are CC’ing appropriately, stopped in for a slice and a beer, and left they sure wouldn’t.

    Same mentality that thinks criminals obey state/fed laws regarding guns. However, if the claim about bogus reviews is true, then that is a shame. We don’t want to be like the libs who make it a federal case whenever they are offended and try to ruin peoples lives and destroy their livelihood (gay wedding cakes).

    • Swilson,

      “Same mentality that thinks criminals obey state/fed laws regarding guns.”

      I have heard multiple gun-grabbers state publicly, unabashedly, that they fully realize that criminals disregard firearm laws. Gun-grabbers want firearm laws for three reasons:
      (1) They want the activity to be illegal (on principle) anyway.
      (2) They view firearms laws as a possible tool to incarcerate bad guys for even longer or as bargaining chips for guilty pleas.
      (3) They believe that legal carriers pose as much or more risk to the public as criminals and compelling legal carriers to disarm in public reduces the frequency of wounded bystanders.

      So, in the mind of a gun-grabber, since criminals are going to break the law and carry firearms anyway, gun-grabbers have nothing to lose and everything to gain if good people are unarmed in public. The fact that a “good guy with a gun” might reduce the frequency of violent crime (deterrence) or reduce the number of victims (either on the spot or at future attacks) never enters their calculus.

  14. If you read the full article it’s a Pizza Truck just now opening a storefront. Apparently based on that delicacy of fried chicken & doughnuts. This guy is supposed to be a James Beard award winning chef. Forget the fact he’s Antigun his menu alone sounds like he’ll be back to a food truck soon. Also it seems his main businesses are in the most liberal area of TX. Austin
    Watch for him on a Bar or Restaurant “reality ” makeover show soon.

    • “Also it seems his main businesses are in the most liberal area of TX. Austin”
      Pretty doubtful since his restaurant is in Houston.

  15. Let me get this straight … the restaurant owner:
    (a) does not trust people to refrain from drinking if armed
    (b) does trust people to disarm before entering his establishment

    Which is it? Does the restaurant owner trust his patrons or not?

    • You pretty much said it. The policy doesn’t make much sense. If they’re irresponsible enough to drink while carrying, which is illegal already, then they’re irresponsible enough to disobey a no guns sign.

    • He trusts gun owners BUT only the ones who own shotguns and only if they only occasionally use them to maybe hunt, but not hunt anything that might be on some progressive list of animals that shouldn’t be hunted.

  16. Another sanctimonious ass whole ! Please keep your personal opinions to yourself…And out of everyones civil liberties!…So shut up and make pizza! I’m sure they’ll be alot of people who go elsewhere for their pizza needs anyhow…..And how the hell does anyone in Texas get real pizza !?!

  17. >>I have a problem with any gun coming in an establishment that serves liquor.

    I agree, if this were allowed next thing you know they’d build parking lots outside bars and liquor stores!

    O2

  18. The thing is, unless he’s got metal detectors at the door, he’s not banning anything. He’s just pushing away the very people he would like to have as customers.

  19. If its concealed, how does this moke know? Thats the beauty of concealed carry vs open carry. Stealth. BTW: this guy is just echoing many state laws that prohibit guns on premises where alcohol is sold. In fact concealed carry licensing in my state prohibits carry into any joint that serves booze.

  20. The news story linked in the post shows someone drawing a pistol from IWB in the SOB position, without a holster, and with the booger finger on the bang switch (or at least across the trigger guard). The last two factors indicating a thug more than a lawful carrier. At least the pistol is hammer-down and DA for the first shot, but sheesh, is that the only stock photo they could find or did the station just have a random intern pose for the image?

  21. Did you guys get that??

    If you are a gun owner and have alcohol in your fridge – you are irresponsible.

    Own guns in your home? Drinking alcohol in your home at any time? Irresponsible!

  22. It’s ok for cops though. You know – “Law enforcement officers safety act.”

    Lee Ellis: Hi. I saw you were carrying a firearm there. Did you see the 51% sign out front indicating no guns?

    Man with gun: Yep. And I don’t have to follow it. I’m a retired police officer. Me being a retired police officer should immediately make you feel warm and fuzzy about this exemption. Because I’m trained. Also I’m special, because I can carry in here and others can’t. Now stop whining, prance on back there, and fetch me my pizza.

  23. My natural right of self-defense doesn’t end at your property line nor does the government have the right to restrict my right to protect myself and my family.

    We have had concealed carry in Colorado since 2003, the sky never fell. Guns in bars and churches, state, county and city government buildings.

  24. “Listen all you inbreds! No one cares about your reviews! Shove your guns where the sun don’t shine. Poor white trash can’t afford our pizza anyways !” -Lee Elllis, a review of his own restaurant on Google reviews

    “I chased a bunch of drunk Irishmen off the back of my truck because they wouldn’t stop climbing on the propane tanks. I pulled my pistol out at a crackhead who pulled a boxcutter on me at the window. I started laughing and he said “What are you laughing at, white boy?” “Because you brought a knife to a gun fight.” -Lee Ellis, hypocrite
    http://www.houstonpress.com/restaurants/chef-chat-part-1-anthony-calleo-of-pi-pizza-truck-6402704

    He carries a handgun, but YOU can’t!

  25. People are missing the point. I don’t think anyone is arguing he doesn’t have the right to bar carrying of firearms on personal property. They’re calling him out for his complete unprofessional attitude on social media, telling people to “fuck off” and that they’re “ignorant idiots”. He gets all defensive and goes “Well, they’re being mean because I don’t think guns should be near alcohol” which was NEVER the issue at hand.

  26. I’m all for private property rights so I would say that in an establishment owned and operated by a someone, their rules apply. Unless of course they’re merely renting the space in which case their wishes are superseded by the actual property owner in certain cases.

    That said, I really do tire of this whole “alcohol and guns = murder and mayhem” argument. How many people here would have a beer or three and suddenly turn into a wild animal pulling out their gat for no reason? Virtually none. How many people here would get wasted at a pizza joint while carrying and then shoot someone? Yes, alcohol is stupidity’s force multiplier but for that to work you have to be stupid in the first place otherwise you’re just multiplying 0. [Let’s ignore the fact that I myself have previously admitted that I might use the guy’s restroom, shoot up his ceiling and then slide my gun under the stalls while sober, ya know, just for giggles.]

    The truth is that if you’re the type that likes to have a drink at the end of the day/week then you SHOULD drink while shooting on occasion. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I’m not talking about getting shitfaced here. I’m talking about slowly consuming a few drinks while operating that fire-breathing-freedom-enhancer safely so that you get the feel for how that sweet, sweet booze drink changes your tactile perception, visual perception, reaction time etc.

    The truth is that if you’re going to be the victim of a home invasion or find yourself in some other DGU situation, the criminals are NOT going to assess the situation to ensure that you’re 100% C&S before they strike. You don’t want to miss popping that safety to the fire position or screw up a tap/rack/roll when Mr. Methhead is waving a machete around in your living room do you?

    Also, hipsters are dumb, annoying and should stop stealing their sister’s jeans.

    • Gotta say, if I’ve been tossing a few and a jihadi walks in and tries to kill me and my family, I guess I will have to answer for the fact that I do *NOT* leave my gun in the car in order to have a drink with dinner, but only if I survive. If I do leave it behind, I would not have to answer any questions because my family and I would be dead. Meanwhile, no one is checking, WGAS what they post?

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