A Minneapolis bar has gone from local hotspot to closed-for-business after employees, patrons, and entertainers learned that the club’s owner recently donated to the political campaign for a former head of the Ku Klux Klan.
Last week, CityPages confirmed that the owner of Minneapolis’ Club Jäger had donated $500 in 2016 to the senatorial campaign of David Duke, one of the nation’s most prominent white supremacists for several decades, a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, and a continual candidate for state and federal office.
The response to this news was immediate, with local entertainers canceling their regular dance and trivia nights at the club. Customers called for a boycott while a handful of racists began patronizing the bar in support of the donation. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, employees eventually walked off the job rather than being caught in the middle between the scandalized owner, the new bigoted patrons, and locals who accused them of sympathizing with the hate groups.
The owner of the bar was rarely on site, per local news reports, so the decision to shutter the club was made by the employees who actually controlled the day-to-day operation of the business. It’s possible the owner could simply reopen the bar with a new staff.
The bar’s website is still up, as is its Facebook page. The Club Jager Twitter feed has been deleted.
Other local businesses, including an improv theater and a used clothing store, found themselves caught up in the headlines because the bar owner also owns the properties where they operate. Both have publicly come out against their landlord’s political donation and stressed that he is not involved in their businesses in any way beyond collecting their rent payments.