Business owner removes controversial bull’s penis, says it’s about art–not resident’s complaints

Posted at 4:59 PM, Mar 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-28 18:59:57-04

HURRICANE, Utah — A bull sculpture perched atop a restaurant’s sign that was at the center of controversy in Hurricane has been metaphorically castrated, but the owner of Barista’s says he had the extra-large rendering of male anatomy removed for art reasons—not because of the complaints from residents.

According to St. George News, the owner of the bull atop Barista’s restaurant at 460 West State St. has elected to have the bull’s penis removed.

“The famous weenie’s gone,” Barista’s Restaurant Owner Stephen Ward told St. George News on Friday afternoon. “But the reason I did it is because I didn’t like it.”

The bull at Barista's before the controversial penis was removed. Photo courtesy Kimberly Scott/St. George News.

The bull at Barista’s before the controversial penis was removed. Photo courtesy Kimberly Scott/St. George News.

Ward has reportedly spent a million dollars on signs for his restaurant, and he said this bull sculpture was purchased in Las Vegas for $130,000. The bull was added to the shop’s sign on March 14, and some residents complained.

Ward tells St. George News he had been thinking about it for a few weeks, and: “It has nothing to do with the city at all – I said ‘you know what, I’m gonna have that penis taken off so you can see more of the beautiful (bull). I love the joints and the plate work, you know, instead of that atrocious, well that party hat. It was so stupid because it looks like a party hat.”

In addition to the backlash over the bull’s genitalia, which some residents felt was overdone, Ward said he has other disputes with the city and plans to file a lawsuit over the city denying his request to upgrade his businesses’ liquor license. Click here for complete coverage of the beef between Ward and the city from St. George News.