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'Totally unreasonable action': Vancouver brewery vandalized weeks ahead of drag brunch benefit

The executive chef at Heathen Brewing said they had been getting threats via email and phone about the event days prior.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Shattered windows and broken glass covered the sidewalk in front of a Vancouver brewery. Normally opening around 9 a.m., Heathen Brewing pushed back their regular opening time until workers could clean up the mess and get the windows boarded up. 

Early Saturday morning, brewery staff found the windows including the door damaged at Heathen Brewing Feral Public House on Washington Street in Vancouver. 

Vancouver police responded to a glass break alarm at the brewery. When they arrived, they found numerous windows broken out appearing as an act of vandalism. The incident is being investigated, confirmed to KGW by Vancouver police.

It was a shocking start to the day for the brewery, especially for the Brewery's Executive Chef Michael Garofalo.

"I got here about 6:15 this morning. Looked like someone breaking in. It was the owner pushing glass out. Surreal. Big hot mess," Garofalo said. 

We will be closed for brunch this morning due to vandalism. We are planning to open later today once we get things cleaned up. Thank you for understanding.

Posted by Heathen Brewing Feral Public House on Saturday, March 11, 2023

Why something like this would happen is what many are trying to piece together. Many are puzzled like Garofalo.

"We don't know why something like this would happen," he said.

The Heathen Public House is hosting a Drag Brunch Benefit Event on March 26 with tickets required to attend. 

What an amazing weekend we had! Big thank you to everyone who attended the Fellowship:Soul Food & Gospel show as well as...

Posted by Imperial Sovereign Court of the Raintree Empire on Monday, March 6, 2023

Garofalo said in the last three days, they've heard from people who oppose the event. The opposition comes just days after Tennessee's governor signed what's being called an anti-drag bill into effect.

"We've gotten some serious threats via email, the phone. Not sure. Not pointing fingers, but it's been pretty hateful," Garofalo said. 

Garofalo has a message for those responsible for the damage.

"Grow up. This is totally unreasonable action whether for vandalism or whatever your cause," he said.

There is a GoFundme to raise money to cover the costs for the vandalism at the establishment.

Back in October of 2022, protesters targeted a pub in Eugene, Ore. that frequently holds events for those who identify as LGBTQ+. Some of them who were armed threw rocks and smoke grenades at each other outside a drag queen story time event the pub was hosting.

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