Will "Obama Coffee" Become the Next Target of Protests?

Photographs taken at Ray's Candy Store by Billy Parker
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Photographs taken at Ray's Candy Store by Billy Parker

With all of the hubbub surrounding the controversial naming of Obama Fried Chicken eateries as well as the Obama Chia, we wondered why no one had called Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A for one of its Obama-inspired offers. The East Village institution sells a number of "Obama" products, none more prominently displayed than their Obama Coffee (coffee with a dollop of ice cream). Will possible racial undertones of Obama Coffee be enough to draw the ire of City Councilman Charles Barron, who has led protests outside Obama Fried Chicken pressuring the eatery to change its name?

Ray's has been offering Obama coffee, cheeseburgers, fries and (as you can see on the right) socks since before the election. For a while, owner Ray Alvarez thought he had a hit on his hands, but admitted it was "a mistake" after pricing all of them (cheeseburgers included) for merely a dollar.

Friends of Ray and his 35-year-old soda counter were recently trying to help out the 76-year-old Alvarez after he had fallen upon tough times. Alvarez is said to be broke, in need of new glasses and suffering from a hernia. His lack of a birth certificate has apparently kept the Turkish immigrant from receiving Social Security.

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