JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle bar tried to deny service to Republicans celebrating Kavanaugh

Oct 8, 2018, 6:00 AM | Updated: 10:42 am
College Republicans...
College Republicans celebrating Kavanugh confirmation. (Chevy Swanson)
(Chevy Swanson)

The University of Washington College Republicans hoped to celebrate the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh by enjoying beers at Shultzy’s Bar and Grill this past Saturday. But their plans were stalled after the bar asked them to find another venue “due to the political nature” of their get-together.

The UWCR’s called the informal gathering “Beers 4 Brett”, a reference after Kavanaugh’s famous “I liked beer” line from the confirmation hearings.

“Let’s celebrate our newest Supreme Court Justice, and the failure of the lies and false claims against him!” the Facebook invite read.

Soon after the posting, some Progressive activists contacted the bar to complain. Chevy Swanson, president of the UWCR’s knew it would mean trouble for them.

In response, Shultzy’s Bar and Grill posted on Facebook: “Shultzy’s is a sports-themed bar & grill that welcomes everyone. We do not promote or endorse any one religious or political viewpoint. As such, due to the political nature of your planned event, we request that you find another venue to celebrate.”

In other words, they welcome everyone — except Republicans celebrating a major SCOTUS victory. It remains unclear if they allowed Progressive patrons to drink away their sorrows, depressed Kavanaugh ended up on the Supreme Court despite their resistance.

“I thought that the left wing activists who took notice of our event had lied to the restaurant about the nature of our event,” Swanson tells the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “It seemed incredibly odd to deny service for a quiet gathering of college republicans and guests.”

The bar’s discomfort with the event aside, there could have been a small problem if they were to enforce their request: Seattle prohibits discrimination on the basis of political ideology, one of the few cities in the country offering such protection. Indeed, it’s been controversial, as some Progressives argue it should be legal to discriminate against people who hold views counter to their own.

Swanson immediately contacted Bill Becker of Freedom X, the attorney who successfully sued UW on their behalf, after the school imposed onerous fees in a move to silence the group’s political activism.

“[Becker] advised us to call and explain that they can’t deny service over political leanings,” Swanson told me. “We did and they hung up on us…”

Becker posted to the Shultzy’s Facebook page to warn the bar: if you deny them service, Freedom X will sue.

With that in mind, Swanson and over a dozen UWCR members went to the bar as planned, and clearly explained they were there for their gathering.

“We asked for a table and they served us,” Swanson said, relieved that the threat of a lawsuit allowed them to be treated like any other customer would.

Shultzy’s Bar and Grill did not respond to my repeated requests for comment.

For Swanson and the UWCR members, this is par for the course of being a conservative in Seattle, but they vow to push back against the ideological bigotry.

“It’s shown that it’s clear that the tension against conservatives around here has hit a boiling point where even the smallest public showing of support of conservative ideas is a point of contention and that there is no reason to roll over to hostility like that,” Swanson believes.

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Rantz: Seattle bar tried to deny service to Republicans celebrating Kavanaugh