NEW YORK — Barilla pasta, whose chairman came under fire last year when he said gays “can go an eat another brand” of pasta because his family-friendly company would never feature a same-sex couple in its advertising, has opened a new restaurant in New York.
The Italian restaurant quietly opened three months ago in the concourse of a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper, and is the first U.S. restaurant for the 138-year-old, multibillion-dollar pasta and sauce company, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Academia Barilla is a cafeteria-styled destination that offers pasta dishes, pizzas, salads and paninis, made from Barilla pastas and jarred sauces widely available on local grocery store shelves.
In September 2013, Barilla Chairman Guido Barilla came under fire when he said on an Italian radio broadcast: “I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand.”
The remarks made international headlines and sparked a global boycott of Barilla products by the LGBT community and allies.
Barilla later apologized and said it would launch a global online contest in 2014 “designed to engage people on diversity, inclusion and equality,” where entrants can create short videos that represent the “multifaceted nature of pasta” while they enjoy Barilla products.