On Monday morning, a claim that a local Winston-Salem bar would host a benefit for a recently-arrested local Proud Boy quickly went viral on Reddit. The post, submitted on the Winston-Salem subreddit by user winstonsalems, stated that on Friday, a benefit for Charles Donohoe would be taking place at Second and Green Tavern in downtown Winston-Salem from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Just past 1 p.m., a user for the Second and Green Tavern’s Facebook page posted a statement that called the event “false.”
“We want to take this opportunity to dispute false information being disseminated about our business and our family personally,” the statement reads. “At no time was there any discussion, or consideration, for hosting any form of fundraising activity/event for anyone’s legal defense or personal benefit. We do not support the Proud Boys, or any other group involved in the horrific events that occurred at our Nation’s Capital on January 6th. Second & Green Tavern and it’s [sic] patrons represent a melting pot that mirrors the amazing diversity of our great city. We will remain steadfast in fostering an inclusive environment for everyone to fellowship together. We denounce all acts of aggression, supremacy, misogyny, and racism. We welcome all people that share our spirit of love to visit our establishment. We appreciate the support of our community to combat this false information that is being promoted by anonymous individuals via social media.”
Charles Donohoe was arrested in Kernersville on March 17 for his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. He was charged with conspiring to interfere with law enforcement officers at the Capitol and with obstructing the certification of the presidential election.
The thread by winstonsalems that initiated the controversy stated that live music and local food trucks would also be in attendance, naming Burger Supreme as an example.
JP Pichardo, the owner and operator of the Burger Supreme food truck, said that he was never contacted by anyone to book the event on Friday.
“It’s crazy to me that someone said I would go,” Pichardo said. “I haven’t even spoken to anybody. I’m usually at Hoots on Fridays from six to nine. No one contacted me and we would definitely decline.”
Owner John Cain said in a phone call with Triad City Beat that they are working to track down who posted the initial thread on Reddit. Cain did not answer questions about any connections Donohoe has to Second and Green or respond to another claim by the Redditor that the establishment sold shirts to cover Donohoe’s legal fees.
Most users on Reddit are anonymous, making their real identities hard to trace. In the past couple of months, winstonsalems has posted on a few Winston-Salem-themed subreddits, mostly disparaging Gov. Roy Cooper’s regulations of bars during the pandemic as well as posting negative comments about local bar owners in general.
“I have low expectations for most of these bars to actually do a test wether [sic] or not to see if the person is already intoxicated before they sell and I’m sure there will be no type of regulation in order for this type of thing,” they wrote in response to an article about to-go mixed drinks being allowed by Gov. Cooper a few months ago.
On the same post about mixed drinks being allowed, the user stated, “These business owners only see money and do not understand the detriment to the community they produce while continue to operate within.”