Zesto Owners Upset with Content of Newspaper

1:40 PM, Oct 23, 2007   |    comments
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(West Columbia) - A Columbia newspaper is causing controversy with content that some are calling highly offensive, and now one area business is taking a stand against the publication. Zesto in West Columbia is big on both the sweet and the savory - with hopes that they'll satisfy even the tiniest of taste buds. "We've been here since 1949 and we built this place on family and a family business and that type of newspaper is not good for family business," said co-owner Pete Manos. He said he could not digest the content of the Columbia Citypaper, which was left for distribution at his restaurant last week. Vulgar language and gestures, sexually explicit cartoons - it was certainly something he would never serve up, even to his own family. "I'm a father of a seven-year-old daughter and I would hate to have her open it and ask me what those words mean," Manos said. "It's scary." He explained that the Citypaper never had his approval to distribute at his restaurant. So whether it was dropped off by a publisher or just a patron, he made it clear and put his preference in black and white. "We got a call from the Zesto's manager last week and we're not gonna deliver it there anymore," said the paper's publisher, Paul Blake. He said the First Amendment protects what he printed and that this kind of controversy actually makes his paper more popular, which he sees as no problem. "I just don't think graphic language leads to any irresponsible behavior," Blake said. "They're free to do what they want to do but they're not gonna do it in my restaurant," Manos added. It's an argument as American as the freedom customers are reminded of by the flag that flies in front of Zesto's. Zesto's was the only business to ban the publication after the last issue was put on newsstands. Other establishments that have made that decision in the past include Capital News and Maps, Bey's Sports Bar, Pop's Pizza, Wild Wings in the Vista, Keg O'Nails, Delaney's, the Saloon, Revente, El Burrito, and Speakeasy.

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