Sydney burger restaurant condemned for 'racist', 'stupid' Australia Day post

The post has since been deleted.
The post has since been deleted. Photo credit: Downtown Brooklyn / Facebook

The owner of a burger restaurant in Greater Sydney has apologised after a post marking Australia Day received widespread backlash.

On January 27, Downtown Brooklyn in Penrith penned a social media post describing Invasion Day protesters as "bandwagoners". 

Australia Day, the official national day observed annually on January 26, is often referred to as 'Invasion Day' by those who see the date as representative of the British occupation of indigenous land. Protesters argue the celebration is offensive to the First Peoples of Australia - the Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal peoples.

In the post, the restaurant wrote: "Three great things about today... 3. 364 more sleeps til we have to listen to the Invasion Day bandwagoners again!"

A number of social media users branded the post as "racist", condemning the restaurant for its insensitivity and "stupidity".

In a strongly-worded Facebook post, former Labor Party MP Emma Husar berated the store for its poor attitude towards the community, noting that Western Sydney is home to the largest number of First Nations people in a metro setting.

"This level of racism is disappointing [and] also stupid," she said.

Others pledged to boycott the restaurant and left negative reviews online.

One review from Tuesday states: "I wouldn't recommend [anyone to] spend their money here unless they are happy to fund and support racism and bigotry. The staff were lovely, unfortunately their employers are not. Don't go here."

"Would never spend my money here. They have no cultural consideration," said another.

Downtown Brooklyn's owner Chris O'Shea has since released a statement acknowledging the post "may have pushed the boundaries a bit too far", according to local media.

"The point... was made in regards to social influencers and how they love to jump on bandwagons," he said.

"They use these days to support an issue for the likes or clout, then move on to the next one, forgetting about the true cause.

"Unfortunately somewhere along the line, this has been misconstrued as being racist, and it has taken off from there."

He added that it was "never meant to be a hateful or racist post".

The post has since been deleted.