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Gainesville restaurant owner asked to take down decorations

Gainesville restaurant owner asked to take down decorations

Big Mill's Cheesesteaks, a new all-American baseball themed restaurant once had patriotic buntings displayed outside, but city officials told the store owner to take them down or be fined.

Keith Miller is the owner of Big Mill's. He said the restaurant recently opened and all he wanted to do was have decorations out temporarily for curb side appeal.

"What else would you use to decorate for Memorial day, for Fourth of July or Veterans day? They sell them in the store for a reason," Miller said.

Keith got a phone call from city officials telling him buntings were banned.

City spokesman, Chip Skinner said Gainesville has a strict sign ordinance.

"It prohibits any bunting, pennants or things of that nature because it counts as additional signage," Skinner said.

Miller said because the buntings had an American flag design, some customers were offended he was asked to take them down.

But the city made it clear the colors and design were not the problem.

Miller said he wishes he had a better explanation as to why he can't display them.

"If it were offensive or distasteful or big and gaudy I could understand it," he said.

Miller plans to meet with code ordinance officials this week to discuss what is or isn't allowed. He said he hopes they give him a clear reason why and if not, he will talk to city commissioners

"I will just ask them if it can be changed because they were not too large, they were very tasteful and I think it added to the city appeal," Miller said.

The buntings are moved inside for now until they can compromise on what he can have displayed outside.

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