A now-deleted Facebook post from the Hexagon Bar has sparked a whole other kind of fire after it blamed “arsonists connected with Black Lives Matter” for destroying the place in weekend rioting in south Minneapolis.
The post — which noted plans to rebuild — was made on the Seward neighborhood bar’s Facebook page Monday morning but taken down within a half-hour. Screen shots of the post were captured, however, and are now heavily circulating on social media along with blow-back messages such as, “You should stay closed.”
The original full message read:
“Due to Arsonist’s [sic] connected with ‘Black Lives Matter’ the Hexagon will be closed until further notice. Plans for rebuilding are in progress. We would Like to ‘Thank our Community’ for all their support and condolences for such an outstandingly shocking, lawless activities that seek to destroy our neighborhood & Community.”
Before its Facebook page was erased entirely, a subsequent post read, “Any previous postings regarding the disaster was not authorized. We apologize for any miss communications.”
Responding hours later to a request for comment, Billy Hupp Jr. -- son of owner Bill Hupp -- reiterated the claim that the post was made "without the knowledge of management." He did not say who was behind the post, though.
"They do not reflect the beliefs of ownership or the Hexagon Bar," Hupp said.
"These posts made me sick to my stomach because the Hexagon Bar has been an intricate part of the Southside community for over 85 years, and I personally serve its patrons that come from all races, religions and walks of life."
The younger Hupp also said his dad believes he caught the arson on a security cam: "A heavyset, white male threw something onto the roof of the bar just before the fire started and surveillance feeds were lost. ... It is clear to us that the arson was not made by Black Lives Matter or anyone associated with the BLM movement."
Photos began popping up on social media just after 2 a.m. Friday of the Hexagon Bar engulfed in flames. Come daylight, the part-time music venue had been reduced to crumbling walls and smoldering ash.
The bar sits on the corner of 26th Street and 27th Avenue South, six blocks north of the heart of the rioting destruction that ravaged East Lake Street from Wednesday through Friday nights.
“The Hex” was a dive-y watering hole with gritty bathrooms and ultra-cheap beer that dated back to 1934. It was newly adopted by punk and indie-rock bands in the 2000s, but the relationship with the bar’s management and its regulars with the younger music community was often tenuous.
“I once had the bouncer open the door with my face and throw me out in to the street while my band was on stage because he was too methed out and drunk to do his job,” Liam Watkins wrote in one of many responses to the bar’s initial post.
Music scenester Jason Koffman also wrote, “You canceled yourself faster than the fire that burned you down.”
The Hupps still plan to rebuild and pledged to support the community along the way.
"George Floyd’s life was more important than anything that has been destroyed," Billy Hupp also said. "We are looking forward to working closely with the community to heal, learn and support local leaders to ensure equal treatment of ALL citizens."
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658