“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.”
Calling about copyright infringement is good, but someone needs to call NBC, not CBS. Cheers ran on NBC, and they should own the rights to everything, including the logo.
I remember it well! I actually started with Paramount, which produced the show. There was some sort of business split in which the TV rights to older shows went to CBS, even with the show airing on NBC.
Let’s get our heads in the game, Erika & Lonny.
As a convert about fifteen years ago to Judaism, I have been welcomed with open arms into a community of very loving upright and honest hardworking people who have helped me learn how to live a meaningful life. Life in my Jewish community is valued above anything else. Never have I heard such horrible things as I have heard from you come out of a Jewish mouth. Why do you say things advocating the obliteration of an entire people? Are all Muslims like that? Maybe your racism and specifically antisemitism is why you find yourself isolated and unsupported. It is unAmerican and you don’t belong here in a diverse country of immigrants who are here because of the freedom to practice your religion of choice without persecution. You yourselves seem to be the troublemakers. What I see is that you are overflowing with hatred. If you have citizenship you don’t deserve it.
I’m appalled, and I’m sure my cousin Bebe Neuwirth, who played Lilith on the show, would be also.
Certainly is a shame when a business owner exhibits this type of racism and that’s what it is racism pure and simple !! Let’s only hope that all communities withhold support and do not attend any functions or dinners at this restaurant bar !!!! And I say this as someone with Jewish heritage !!! and let’s not forget Jerusalem was David’s capital and Israel was given by God to the Jewish people !!
Well I guess you are out of luck, because the decent people of Minneapolis don’t agree with your bigotry, and that bar is never going to succeed.
You know what they say about Karma.
My college chum Dave Lee produced CHEERS for a number of years. I am sure he’d be appalled as well.
What a way to bring in a crowd. Sounds like he hopes it fails. A tax break or something?
Wow. I wonder what kind of person wakes up in the morning and decides to be nothing but spiteful and in contempt of their fellow human beings. The reason the state of Israel exists today is because the world has failed to accommodate its Jewish populations and make them feel safe. People like him and countless others only make the case for the state stronger. I hope that one day, people can realize this and treat Jewish people and other human beings with more respect. For now, we’re gonna have to just educate the ignorant and disavow the hateful.
This is an important article which I hope is shared widely. Our elected representatives need to publicly denounce Mr. Abed’s expression of hate speech.