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Crime

Vile homophobes attempted to burn down a historic 62-year-old queer bar in a botched Molotov cocktail attack

Josh Milton July 28, 2020
A beloved queer bar in southern California, Main Street Bar & Cabaret, saw its windows broken by vandals. (Main Street)

A beloved queer bar in southern California, Main Street Bar & Cabaret, saw its windows broken by vandals. (Main Street)

Vile vandals attempted to burn down the historic Main Street Bar and Cabaret in southern California with Molotov cocktails, smashing at least seven windows of a venue already reeling from the biting coronavirus pandemic.

The queer bar has for 62 years been a popular watering hole in Laguna Beach. Locals gathered around the creaky piano or danced till dawn in its pink-hued lights.

But owners were left devastated when two front windows on the South Coast Highway tavern were shattered and spirits shaken last Tuesday (21 July).

Detectives said what stopped Main Street from being engulfed in flames, alongside the building’s four tenants, were the choice of unbreakable bottles, the Stu News Laguana reported.

Historic Main Street Bar nearly reduced to ashes following botched Molotov cocktail attack.

Five jerry-rigged Molotov cocktails were found in a paper grocery bag by authorities on July 22. Seven small windows had been broken.

“Inside the bottles was an unknown liquid, suspected to be flammable,” said Laguna Beach Police Department sergeant Jim Cota.

“The bottles were also equipped with burned wicks. Due to the bottles not being of breakable material, this style of devices did not explode or result in a fire.”

Local fire personnel and forensic analysts combed the scene for evidence, police said, as the accelerant inside of the bottles is examined.

LGBT+ bars are already facing a volley of challenges amid the pandemic, as salvos after salvo are launched. Threadbare reserves, razor-thin profit margins and high rent throw many venues into uncertainty.

As Main Street owner of six years Wendy Nelson told the outlet, queer venues have long provided patrons with a sense of belonging beyond the ties of blood, and she hopes the criminals understand the damage to the community they could have done if the attack went as planned.

“We find the destruction endured this week at Main Street Bar, which originally opened in 1958, with seven broken windows and an accelerant thrown inside the space, is no more than a childish hatred for someone or some way of life.

“We pray that the culprit(s) find peace in their life and the fact that more damage did not occur to our business or the four other tenants in one of the most historic buildings in Laguna Beach.

“This pandemic can bring people together or tear them apart.

“We strive for positives within the bars’ walls and encourage positives for all in their own lives.”

More: California, Crime, Laguna Beach, LGBT bar, Main Street Bar, Molotov cocktail, US, vandalism

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