Vancouver brewery owner fears drag brunches led to vandalism

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:07 PM PDT
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VANCOUVER Wash. (KPTV) - The owner of Heathen Brewing says his Downtown Vancouver location may be out of $20,000 or $30,000 after most of the glass along the front windows and doors was shattered.

For owner Sunny Parsons, it was a shocking sight early Saturday morning. Nearly all the front windows at Heathen Brewing in Downtown Vancouver were shattered. The brewery’s security captured the moment someone pulls up to the brewpub in an SUV, then takes what appears to be a baseball bat and smashes the front windows and door, then takes off.

“You feel violated,” said Parsons. “You feel like everything you’ve done doesn’t matter because people can take away what you’ve worked so hard to build.”

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Parsons and his team feel they may have been targeted because of charity brunches held at Heathen Brewing featuring drag performers. Parsons says in the days leading up to the attack, his staff was harassed dozens of times over the phone about their drag brunch events.

“These phone calls were just calling you every name in the book regarding exposing children. Everything from the terms ‘grooming’ to ‘prostitution’ to ‘eternal damnation,’” said Parsons. “It continued Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and then Saturday, the glass break incident.”

Vancouver police have yet to determine a motive or suspect. Parsons says the drag brunches have always been family friendly, and raise money for local charities. He hopes the person that caused this damage comes forwards and takes responsibility.

“Jumping out of a car and taking a baseball bat in my window as your way of communication, I don’t think you’re going to go very far in this life, not if you want people to like you. "

The next drag brunch is scheduled for the end of this month. Parsons says he is in close contact with Vancouver police to ensure it is a safe and enjoyable event.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the brewery cover some of the damages.