MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Members of the Twin Cities’ LGBTQ community plan to protest a yet-to-open gay bar in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood following outrage over the owner’s reported anti-Semitic Facebook posts.
According to Twin Cities Business magazine, Emad Abed is planning to open a gay bar called Cheers at the corner of West Franklin and Lyndale avenues, in the building that once housed Rudolph’s Bar-B-Que. The bar’s opening is slated for June 21, the first day of Pride weekend in the Twin Cities.
On that day, a protest called Queers Against Cheers is planned. A Facebook event for the demonstration is calling for the LGBTQ community to gather for a “good old-fashioned sidewalk picket” outside the bar.
“We’re gonna show this looney tune what happens when you try to come into our community to make a buck while degrading us,” the Facebook post said, referring to Abed.
Earlier this week, outrage erupted online after images of Abed’s Facebook feed circulated, with screenshots appearing to show several anti-Semantic posts. One read: “Israel & it’s (sic) people must be eliminated.” Another said: “I hate America for supporting Israel. America is run by Zionist Jews.”
In response to the online outrage, Abed commented on posts by calling his detractors “losers” and said he’d ban them from his bar, according to TC Jewfolk, a local website covering the Jewish community.
Abed is the owner of Red Star Group LLC, which is renting the former Rudolph’s space from its previous owners, Twin Cities Business reports. Abed had tried to raise $2 million via a GoFundMe campaign to buy and renovate the building, but the crowdfunding plan was abandoned in the wake of the social media pushback.
When asked about his Facebook posts, Abed told Twin Cities Business that he’s not anti-Semitic, adding: “I don’t have any posts that are anti-Semitic.”