Atwater Village —  Police were present early this morning at The Griffin Bar after a fight reportedly broke out between a group who arrived wearing red Make America Great Again hats and other patrons.

Many Twitter users accused the group of being members of The Proud Boys and blamed the bar for hosting their gathering and “serving a bunch of Nazis.” However, the bar this afternoon denied those claims in its own social media posts.

“I’m Jewish and finding out that my bar was overrun by a hate group has had a legitimate emotional impact on me and has made it hard for me to function,” said a post on The Griffin’s Facebook page. “Neither I nor my business partner support any Nazi or white supremacist groups and this is not a Nazi bar.”

The post, which did not identify the writer, went on to say:“We didn’t have any advance notice that they would be showing up, this wasn’t a meeting that was supported or condoned. I wasn’t there last night, but I was informed that there were proud boys in the bar. At this time there was only a handful. Ideally that would be stopped at the door, but since they were already inside I advised that we use a tactic that I’ve used in the past with gang members or people that are obviously in there to cause problems, kill them with kindness and they’ll get bored and go away. We are generally a pretty mellow and peaceful bar with no real security and I foolishly thought this was the best way to ensure they’d leave without putting my staff in danger. Neither myself nor my business partner were there or had any idea that more were showing up en masse.”

Jonathan Blaize Hensleigh and Aaron Mark Chepenik are the owners of the bar, according to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

A video posted on Twitter shows least one police officer was present as heated arguments and yelling took place outside the bar at Los Feliz Boulevard and Boyce Avenue.

However, an LAPD spokeswoman said there were no indications that anyone was arrested.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly described the Proud Boys as a white supremacist group. The Proud Boys have denied that representation.

Update on Tuesday, July 17: L.A. Times weighs in with a detailed account of how the Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America confronted the Proud Boys members gathered at the bar.

Update: The Griffin said it will be closed tonight Sunday, July 15, and that no persons with any affiliation to any hate group will be allowed on the premises.”  Police told CBS2 that people on both sides of the confrontation left the bar when told to do so.  LA Taco says 20 Proud Boys members were in the bar when they were confronted by supporters of the Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America and Defend North East Los Angeles.


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