Restaurant owner refuses to book space for Republican bash

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The owner of a downtown Waterloo brewery and restaurant has refused to reserve space for a Republican election night party, saying it’s not “the right fit.”

Black Hawk County GOP treasurer LeaAnn Saul told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that she tried to book space for 75 people the night of Nov. 6 at SingleSpeed.

“It was my first choice,” Saul said. “It’s a great location, a great venue. Republicans love to go there just like anyone else.”

But SingleSpeed owner Dave Morgan refused.

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“As our core beliefs rest a bit left of what we feel would be appropriate for such an event, we feel it would be best to guide you in a different direction,” Morgan wrote in an email to Saul last week

She wrote back that she was disappointed “that people may not be welcome at your brewery if they are leaning to the right.”

In his reply the next day, Moran said, “hosting an official election celebration for a party that currently stands and fights against many of our beliefs, does not ring true to me.”

“Simply put,” he added, “it just doesn’t feel like the right fit.”

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Saul said SingleSpeed’s owner has the right to refuse service but that the decision seemed odd given the venue has hosted events for Republican candidates, including Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Morgan said candidate events have less visibility than election night parties.

“Our thought process on election night is: We don’t want our beer hall to be red, we don’t want our beer hall to be blue,” Morgan said.