Top Stories

Halloween decoration or racist display? Local bar's decor sparks controversy

ELIZABETH, Pa. — There is a debate in Elizabeth over a mask that is hung by a noose on the wall of a local bar.

Some say it's racist, but the owner of Kickstand Restaurant maintains that it's not.

Photos and video of the decoration have been shared hundreds of times on social media.

"I’m looking around and right in front of me is this mask, this hanging face on a noose," said Jasmine Mull, who posted about it. "If you don’t want to call it a black man looking like it’s being lynched, it’s a very dark complected individual."


But the restaurant owner, Skip Riggle, says it's a Halloween decoration.

"It was a devil. That’s all it was a devil mask for Halloween. That’s it!" he said. "It was red and the eyebrows went up to like a horn. It had a noose on it that’s the way it came!"

On social media, dozens of people have said they are boycotting the restaurant and are calling Riggle racist.

"I’m not racist," Riggle said. "If you know me, you know I’m not racist. Those people don’t even know me. I have been found guilty before my trial."

If you want to receive BREAKING ALERTS, please download our WPXI News App.  You can also follow WPXI on Facebook and Twitter

But Mull said she's not buying the owner's response.

"I heard he said it was a devil’s mask, and my concern was, where were the horns? Where was anything else signifying it was a devil?" she said.

"I can’t change their mind. You believe what you want to believe. I’m telling you the truth," Riggle said.

The owner told Channel 11 as soon as he heard about the post and that the customer was offended, he took the mask down and threw it away.