“It’s been the Titanic today: slowly sinking more and more,” said Chad Kampe, the founder and director of Flip Phone Events. “Since I’m a local, gay Jew who does work in the community, it was my duty to call it out.”
Kampe has been posting screenshots of the owner’s rants on his own Facebook page, just in case the owner deleted them.
The owner of Cheers Minneapolis, Emad Abed, has been responding to people on a Facebook thread that called out his anti-Semitic postings with profanity and banning them from his bar:
“This community is a joke. We don’t want their business or support. They can take their money to the Saloon & Gay 90. Without this group commenting on this post we will do big business and we will be the number one gay bar in town Without all the stupid losers commenting on this post Andy Birkey can take his post and shuv it up his gay ass. ❤️ this group here they are all racist, prejudice, biased and discriminatory, that’s why they are not welcome in my bar. My bar will still be number one without them and without their money.”
Birkey, late Monday, shared Abed’s profile on his Facebook page as well as several screenshots of anti-Semitic posts that Abed made. Carin Mrotz, the Executive Director of Jewish Community Action, also posted some of Abed’s posts to her Facebook page. Abed did not respond to a message seeking comment.
The bar is located at 1933 Lyndale Ave. S., in the location of the former Rudolph’s BBQ. Abed’s Red Star Group LLC was granted a liquor license in January by the Minneapolis City Council. According to Twin Cities Business, the owner had started a $2 million GoFundMe in an effort to buy the building. The GoFundMe page, which had announced a June 21 opening date for the bar, was deactivated on Monday.
Instead, an event called “Queers Against Cheers” was created on Tuesday evening to picket the grand opening, should it still be happening that day.
“Cheers is set to open Friday, June 21 for TC Pride weekend,” the event information said. “Let’s demonstrate the revolutionary spirit of Stonewall with a good old-fashioned sidewalk picket with whimsy and camp. We’re gonna show this looney tune what happens when you try to come into our community to make a buck while degrading us. Hell to the no.”
Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, released a statement on Tuesday evening:
“A day after Professor Deborah Lipstadt gave the keynote speech at the JCRC’s annual event on the rise of antisemitism comes the unsettling news of an unrepentant antisemite opening a purportedly LGBTQ friendly bar in Minneapolis.
“While the overwhelmingly negative response to this bigot is heartening, this latest expression of hate demonstrates how quickly unhinged opposition to Israel and Zionism devolves into anti-Semitism.”
The bar’s Facebook page was deactivated on Tuesday afternoon. The reviews of the bar – which again, wasn’t open yet – were so low, that it was rated 1.1 stars out of 5.
A call to the number of the Facebook page went to a voicemail with a different phone number listed. Phone calls were also made seeking comment from CBS Television, which owns the rights to the television show “Cheers.”