The owners of a Texas restaurant defended putting up a sign outside their restaurant, which was deemed racist by social media users.

A person, who went to attend a company Christmas party at Cook’s Garage, a restaurant in Lubbock, Texas, noticed a glowing sign outside it. That person took its pictures and posted them on Facebook, calling out the owners of the place for putting up a racist sign, NBC affiliate KCBD reported. 

The sign in question was a caricature of an African-American man, with a porter's cap, outlined with neon lights. The words “Coon Chicken Inn” are written inside the mouth.

The post received a fair bit of attention on social media, which led negative publicity for the restaurant. After 24 hours of posting the photos, the restaurant owners responded to the accusations on Cook’s Garage’s Facebook page.

"We did not put this sign up to be derogatory, racist or to offend anyone. This is part of Americana History...just like everything else hung in our collection and buildings,” they wrote in a post.

The post added: “Aunt Jemima, mammies, and lots of other black collectibles are highly sought after, as is Americana collectibles with white characters. The Coon Chicken Inn was an actual restaurant started in the 20’s. Again, we want to stress we do not intend to offend anyone, and are only preserving a part of history that should remind us all of the senselessness of racial prejudice."

As per the post, the owners stated their intention was to pay homage to the original Coon Chicken Inn, which was a popular restaurant chain from the late 1920s through the 1950s.

According to Ferris State University Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, “A grinning, grotesque head of a bald Black man with a porter's cap and winking eye formed a restaurant's (The Coon Chicken Inn’s) entryway. The door was through the middle of his mouth.”

“The restaurants sold southern fried Coon Chicken sandwiches, chicken pie, livers — and hamburgers, seafood, chili, cakes, and assorted sandwiches,” it added. “When possible, Blacks were used as waiters, waitresses, and cooks.”

Cooks' Garage, on the other hand, opened in April 2017. At the time, the main attraction of the place was a showroom for collected vehicles. Later on, a kitchen was added to the facility to provide lunch for families and employees. Today, the facility stands as a full-fledged bar and restaurant. Additional buildings have been added to the facilities carrying various signs.

There were mixed reactions to the restaurant’s response to the allegations.

“Not impressed,” wrote one user below the post. “I guess you should hang a noose up next or a no colored's sign. It's disgusting! I hope your restaurant gets loses business. Black people don't need these reminders. This belongs in a museum not a public restaurant.”

Another user stood up in defense of the restaurant, writing, “It’s ridiculous and everyone knows it. I’m offended by the gas pump because people used to have to pump it for you... smh seriously. You guys rock and do you. What you have accomplished is more than an atmosphere, it’s good food, good times and an amazing assortment of vintage and well sought after history!! I’m happy for you guys. There’s always that one person.....”