by Photo by Sarah Berjan

A local business is on the brink of losing its lease a month after a man’s unprovoked verbal assault on the establishment due to a Black Lives Matter sign on the window. 

Just before the start of their Vinos y Boleros live music night on Dec.1, a man identified as 68-year-old Howard Freelove harassed Brew Bar unprovoked at approximately 7:30 p.m. According to  Brew Bar owner Alex McDaniel,  the aggressor came into the establishment in an “aggravated and aggressive state” yelling at patrons and the musician.  

Chula Vista Police later arrested 68-year-old Howard Freelove and gave him a citation for misdemeanor vandalism. 

“With the fight to keep our doors open during Covid, the harassment we've begun to receive because of our support for Black Lives Matter, we have found out that the space we currently work out of is being sold from under us. We have been given a chance to buy the space and stay in Chula Vista,” McDaniel wrote in a statement.

A fundraiser will be held as an effort to save Brew Bar from being sold off by the corporation that holds the lease. A variety of vendors, musicians, and food options will be featured at the fundraiser on Saturday, January 15 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. The business also has a Gofundme page set up to raise $100,000 by Jan. 31.

“We want to buy the space and be independent and do what we do best, create a space for our community, support local musicians, artists, non-profits, other minority-owned small businesses, and create a space for everyone. With your help, and the support of the community we've been able to create here in our space, we want to continue to be a space for everyone and live by the motto we have on our door "filter coffee, not people," McDaniel said. 

Masks will be required for the event and there is no entrance fee. Attendees are asked to make a donation on Gofundme, or in one donation jar at the establishment. 

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