"There are certain things that have been used to put down black people -- watermelon, fried chicken," resident Woody Henderson told NBC New York.
"Obviously it looks like the president, but I don't think it's racist," another man remarked.
A Whole Foods rep said that while they used "a variety of pop culture imagery" to sell their products, they removed the sign once someone found it offensive.
"There was no disrespect meant at all," the rep said.
This isn't the first time Obama's face or name has been used to sell poultry products. Shanghaist spotted a Chinese eatery using the president's picture as a suspenders-wearing stand-in for Colonel Sanders. "OFC," their sign read.
Do you think the ad is racist or offensive?
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]