Minneapolis bar closes over owner's donation to David Duke campaign

A bar in Minneapolis shut its doors Friday after it was revealed the owner had donated to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s failed Senate campaign, The Star Tribune reported.

Club Jäger closed down Friday, with staff protesting after local newspaper City Pages revealed that owner Julius De Roma had made a $500 donation to Duke’s Senate bid last year.

Entertainers at the bar and staffers quit after the story about De Roma’s campaign donation to the former KKK grand wizard emerged. Employees said the decision to close the business was made by those who ran the bar, not the owner, according to the Star Tribune.

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De Roma defended his donation to local television station WCCO this week as “free speech.”

"Well, whatever," De Roma said. "What do you expect? It's basically something that is blown up beyond what it should be." 

Staffers learned of the news at an emergency staff meeting Tuesday, where employees said they cried together before deciding to quit.

Customers of the bar also announced they were boycotting the establishment, and regular performers pulled their appearances at the bar.

But a small group who weren’t regulars at the bar came out to show their support for De Roma after the news broke, according to City Pages.