Atwater Village — The owners of The Griffin are busy repairing the damage done to their business as well as their Yelp! reviews in the wake of this weekend’s fight between members of the far-right Proud Boys and supporters of the Democratic Socialists of America.
The bar, housed in a brick building topped by a neon griffin, has been accused in a torrent of social media posts of hosting and supporting the gathering of the Proud Boys and “serving a bunch of Nazis. There have been widespread calls to boycott the bar at the corner of Los Feliz and and Boyce Avenue and post negative reviews on Yelp!
But the bar owners, in their own social media posts, have denied claims that they are sympathetic to the Proud Boys. “Neither I nor my business partner support any Nazi or white supremacist groups and this is not a Nazi bar,” said a post on The Griffin’s Facebook page.
The Griffin is not the first brick-and-mortar businesses that has suffered as a result of being caught in an online cross fire between left and right.
In New York, a grocery with a restaurant and bar has struggled to recover from an online onslaught last month. It began after a relative of the owners was revealed to be a Twitter user known for notorious attacks against Muslims. Business dropped off substantially, additional security was hired and the grocery disabled its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, according to the New York Times.
In Atwater Village, owners of The Griffin have begun taking steps to win community support and blunt the online campaign to shut down the bar.
Late Sunday the bar said it would post signs indicating that “no persons with any affiliation to any hate group will be allowed on the premises.” Tonight, Wednesday, July 18, The Griffin will be hosting a “Summer Neighborhood Benefit” with all proceeds being donated to local charities and The Southern Poverty Law Center.
And Yelp! has launched an “Active Cleanup Alert” on The Griffin’s page, which had been filled with one-star and negative reviews since the weekend.
A notice posted by Yelp! says that both negative and positive posts that “appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business” have and are being removed.
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