[Editorial note: After receiving a letter from Jason Van Dyke, a legal representative for Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, we've changed the original headline of this story, "Mission Brewery Serves, Then Disavows Members Of 'Alt-Right Group."
A full explanation follows this story.]
A Mission brewery is in the spotlight after members of a group linked to white supremacy reportedly dined at their establishment last Friday—and weren't ejected once they were recognized.
Patrons of Southern Pacific Brewing Co. (620 Treat Ave. at 19th St.) identified the group as members of the Proud Boys—a self-described "pro-Western fraternal organization" founded by Gavin McInnes, who also co-founded Vice Media.
According to Mission Local, group members were wearing black Fred Perry polo shirts with yellow piping, their ad hoc uniform. Proud Boys are known for inciting violence; in a recent interview on the The Steve Malzberg Show, McInnes confirmed that he couldn't "recommend violence enough. It is a really effective way to solve problems."
After guests and residents voiced disdain on social media and tanked the brewpub's Yelp rating, the company issued a statement on Facebook distancing itself from the group.
"By no means does Southern Pacific support this group, and they are not welcome on the premise [sic]," the statement read in part.
The group was allowed to stay, however, which is what stirred controversy among neighbors even further.
"Maybe try not and let fascist and Nazis eat at your restaurant and then release insipid statements defending your utter lack of action," wrote Angela W. on Yelp.
According to the brewery, members of the
so-called alt-right group right-wing group were permitted to finish their gathering because "staff and security decided not to engage with this dangerous group to ensure the safety of everyone here."
In the future, "this group will not be allowed in," said representatives, adding that "Southern Pacific is a non-affiliated space built for the San Francisco community."
But the negative Yelp reviews and social media messages continued throughout the weekend.
Yowz A. wrote, "Southern Pacific is THE place in San Francisco for the white supremacist alt-right nazi/KKK crowd. They actively encourage groups like "Proud Boys" to hold meet-ups there and often refuse to serve people with brown skin (aka locals)."
[10/10/17, 5:15pm] Jason Van Dyke, an attorney for Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and a third-degree brother in the fraternity, contacted Hoodline via email demanding that we correct and retract the use of the phrase "alt-right" to describe the organization. He said that the term said is generally associated white nationalism—which his organization rejects.
"[The Proud Boys] is a multi-racial organization and has never excluded any person on the basis of race," he said. "In fact, involvement in activities supporting white nationalism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and the alt-right are specifically prohibited by the fraternity."
Van Dyke added that "The Proud Boys object to any references that they are 'alt-right' or 'so called alt-right' because, even in quotes, these terms are false. I think it would be fair to say that Proud Boys are conservative or 'right-wing'. You may describe them as 'right leaning libertarians' or as 'civic nationalists', as those terms are far more truthful. The term 'Western Chauvinist' is also appropriate, as that is taken from the creed of the fraternity."
In a video posted to YouTube in April 2017, McInnes described “me and my friends” as “the alt-light.”