Councilwoman Jenn Carrillo and the downtown Bloomington business owners find middle ground

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Bloomington Council Woman Jenn Carrilo was in the hotseat Monday night after she was called out for attacking a Bloomington restaurant in a Facebook post. 

Tuesday night the Downtown Bloomington business owners invited her to a meeting where they discussed her post and ways to improve their relationship.

The controversy began when Carrillo said she had a problem with the name of a soon to open restaurant in Downtown Bloomington. She said, the name, The Gypsy Room, is offensive and in a Facebook post on the “Bloomington-Normal restaurant scene” page she tried to explain her reasoning.

The problem is, in that post she wrote “#boycott”, which angered many business owners as they felt she was intentionally rooting against the restaurant.

Tuesday, several business owners gathered in the bistro to discuss that and ways to prevent this in the future. The meeting had a rocky start as up to half a dozen people left early, upset at Carrillo.

But, she and the other business owners say the meeting ended up taking a turn and most people left in a good mood.

“We need to have more one on one conversations about issues like this, because at the end of the day, if you can’t feel like you can speak to each other, we’re just going to go down the wrong path,” said Ruben Granados, Co-Owner of Bloomington Spice Works.

 The restaurant name will be changed, though we don’t know what the new name is. Carrillo says she hopes to have more open dialogues like this in the future. 

“I have always had to fight to be recognized and that is where I come from, those are my roots,” said Carrillo. “I am sorry that I did not handle this in a different way because I missed an opportunity to connect with two women who are trying to open a business downtown.” 

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