Note: This article was amended after publication to report a response from the restaurant that welcomes people of all political identities and a second set of remarks on behalf Greg Aberle who maintains his position.
Secondary note: Alpha News has also received comments from Porter Creek customers and a former staff member who defended the character of the restaurant and corroborated negative reports about Aberle.
A Minnesota man says he was told he can no longer visit the restaurant he’s eaten at regularly for almost a decade because of his support for President Donald Trump.
Greg Aberle has dined at Porter Creek in Burnsville, Minnesota two or three times per week for nine years. However, after bringing the restaurant what he estimates to be roughly $90,000 of business, Aberle says he has been told he can no longer enter the establishment because management takes issue with his politics. He claims that the restaurant has barred him from ever returning because he frequently wears a Make America Great Again (MAGA) hat inside the restaurant.
However, Porter Creek has vehemently denied Aberle’s claims and says it welcomes people of all political identities to wear whatever political attire they chose inside their restaurant.
Aberle says that he’s been on the receiving end of snide political comments from managers at the restaurant for about a year— but that the situation has come to a head recently, after Porter Creek’s owner, John Sheehan, banned him from the establishment.
“After being a solid long-term customer there for 9 years with myself and my circle of friends, they decided to ban me from ever returning a few weeks back,” Aberle told Alpha News. “[My girlfriend] and I have never done a thing to warrant getting kicked out of that place, aside from wearing Trump hats,” he added.
He then criticized the apparent political bias of Porter Creek and speculated that individuals publicly who publicly display support for liberals would not be banned from the restaurant. Aberle also says that the restaurant threatened to uphold their ban and have him removed from the premises should he ever return.
Alpha News reached out to Porter Creek which responded in roughly 12 hours. Their statement denies that Aberle was banned for political reasons and instead cites what they describe as a pattern of unrelated poor behavior. Porter Creek’s statement to Alpha News is identical to the one they posted on Facebook, seen below.
Aberle responded to Porter Creek’s Facebook post, seen below, and also gave a second set of comments that categorically deny some of the resturants claims. “I’ve never changed any behaviors in 9 years, I was fine until last year when I started wearing the Trump hat,” he says.
While Aberle says he has contacted his lawyer about Porter Creek’s decision to ban him on account of his politics, he is also aware that he has little legal recourse in the face of apparent political discrimination.
In 2017, another man named Greg (last name Piatek) was told to leave a bar in New York City because of his MAGA hat. By 2018, the ensuing legal battle ended when a judge ruled that it’s acceptable for businesses to ban withhold service based on political opinions, per Newsweek.
If you find the name “Greg Aberle” familiar, it’s probably for a good reason. He owns Dolphin Water Taxi, a company that made headlines during Hurricane Irma as Aberle directed all of his resources towards helping stranded Americans survive the storm.
He has also been known to behave charitably within his own community. His notable donations to food banks during the holiday season once made local TV.