ZELIENOPLE, Pa. — The owners of Burgh’ers Brewing Company in Zelienople said they’ve been receiving hateful messages online and over the phone after they announced weeks ago they are hosting a drag brunch with S & S Productions this Sunday.
“We’ve been getting a lot of comments that we don’t want this in our town and we don’t want these types of people in our town,” said Fiore Moletz, the Burgh’ers Brewing Co. co-owner
Some of the public messages online read, “Boycott this Zelienople restaurant,” “You just lost my family’s business!” and “This type of show doesn’t belong in our community.”
The messages got so bad, the owners filed a police report and reached out to Channel 11 to share this message.
“I didn’t want to be intimidated and I want to show people we support the event and it’s happening regardless of any haters out there,” said Moletz.
The owners said they were surprised about the backlash because they held the same event at their other location in Lawrenceville weeks ago and there were no issues.
“No problems whatsoever, no objections,” said Neil Glausier, the Burgh’ers Brewing Co. co-owner. “No community outrage, no hate, it was an ideal situation.”
S & S Productions said drag entertainment is under attack now more than ever. They had to cancel a drag brunch in Wheeling, West Virginia, months ago because they received hate and threats. They said in situations like this, they take appropriate measures to make sure attendees, staff and entertainers are protected and safe.
“I think the summary of the threats are not violent. It’s more or less holding our business hostage to a few petty-minded folks who believe they can take our business away from us if we do something they don’t approve of,” said Glausier. “And that’s not true. The community has spoken back and said we will support you.”
Despite the hate, the restaurant is also receiving a lot of support from others in the community. That’s why they are opening their patio area during Sunday’s event for supporters.
The Zelienople police chief said they are investigating this situation and are aware there may be a protest outside the restaurant on Sunday so they will have extra officers on hand.
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