Yeah, I used to go to the Town Hall a lot, when I worked a couple of blocks away. I still stop there for lunch now and then when I’ve got something to do on the West Bank campus of The U or nearby downtown. But no longer. Recently, an atheist-linked event was scheduled there, and the owners of the brewery/restaurant canceled it because “they don’t want you’re kind ’round here.”

Or so it seems. Details here.

I’ve booked events at the Town Hall, and on other occasions, the Town Hall was on my short list. Not any more. And I understand Ben’s point about going back to the Town Hall (see the post linked to) but I’ll be down the street at one of the other fine establishments in the area.


  1. #1 Elizabeth
    August 9, 2010

    This fits with other things I have heard.

  2. #2 Crystal D.
    August 9, 2010

    I’m not really sure what happened. I was the one organizing the event with the production company, and I was told the venue was secure, so I began advertising, then I was told not so much… I have no real idea why, and I haven’t gotten any straight answers from anyone. I did get an email from Town Hall Brewery just saying they wouldn’t be able to host our event after all, but they didn’t give me a reason…

  3. #3 MadScientist
    August 9, 2010

    They just don’t get it – not believing in fairies isn’t a religion. They don’t want to offend anyone? Fuck that, that’s not their job. There is nothing in the constitution to protect people from being offended.

    Anyway, if someone cancels agreed events without notice, fuck ’em – don’t give them any of your damned money. Take your business elsewhere – that’s the way it’s always been and the way it should be.

  4. #4 itzac
    August 9, 2010

    They have an interest in not upsetting their customers. Hosting an event that would likely result in some of their customers being offended runs counter to that interest. They have no obligation to provide anyone with a soapbox. I’d say wait until they host an event with a significant religious or political purpose before calling for a boycott. Or at least until there are more details on the content of the voicemail.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    August 9, 2010

    Itzac: “They have an interest in not upsetting their customers. Hosting an event that would likely result in some of their customers being offended runs counter to that interest” Have you ever been to the restaurant in question? I am a typical patron.

    The issue in question is not providing someone with a soapbox. The establishment has a large back room that is not separate from the rest of the place (there is not door or wall) but is hardly ever used by day to day customers. You can arrange to have several tables blocked off there for a large party. That’s it. I’ve made that arrangement with them a number of times, generally connected with conferences and such (often, indeed, having to do with EVOLUTION and stuff!). I’ve even made the arrangement with political groups. The statement that there is no “political or religious” thing going on there is a lie.

    Really, all we are talking about is a large restaurant that has the ability to take an extra-large size reservation (like, 40 or 50 people) … not in a separate banquet hall, but in the restaurant itself, in an area not separated from the rest of the restaurant.

    Specifically stating that a certain category of person (atheists) are not allowed to make reservations and have dinner there is somewhat problematic.

  6. #6 Stephanie Z
    August 9, 2010

    Greg, this was a show, not a dinner.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    August 9, 2010

    They have shows at the Town Hall? That’s new. I stand corrected. It makes it much, much worse, of course.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    August 9, 2010

    In fact, I just checked their web site and they still don’t seem to have shows. Or at least, there is no evidence that they have any scheduled. Just beer tastings and the usual other stuff.

  9. #9 Stephanie Z
    August 9, 2010

    That’s one of the things Ben wanted to check out.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    August 9, 2010

    OK, I’ve checked. It was an informal event, much like some of the things I’ve scheduled there … a guest of honor who will have the audience for a while while people eat, etc. (In fact, I was the guest of honor once.) We did Francis Thackary there once. Which was funny because he thought we were going to the Town Hall. Like, where the Mayor is. He was happy to find out that it was a tavern.

  11. #11 Patrick Bowling
    January 9, 2013

    I’ve read both your and the linked article and nowhere did it suggest the brewery of saying what you quoted them of doing so. I understand that blogging is alternative news but when using quotes you are implying they have said that. Very sloppy

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    January 9, 2013

    Patrick, that is an interesting interpretation, but I think anyone who clicks through and read the original information would form an opinion different than yours.