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Boston pub hit with backlash after raising Pride flag in solidarity with LGBTQ bar

Boston pub faces backlash for flying Pride flag to support lesbian-owned bar
Boston pub faces backlash for flying Pride flag to support lesbian-owned bar 02:24

BOSTON - A Boston pub that raised a rainbow flag during Boston's Pride celebration is now being hit with negative reviews online.

Pub hosts Pride event on behalf of lesbian-owned bar

A.T. O'Keeffe's posted a video on social media of employees raising a rainbow Pride flag to honor the LGBTQ+ community during the city's Pride celebration. The pub also hosted a Pride event on behalf of Dani's Queer Bar, a lesbian-owned business next door that is set to open soon.

"It was about getting in the spirit of the weekend and throwing a great party," said O'Keeffe's manager Rich Gaines.

The video left some people upset that the American flag was replaced with the Pride flag. O'Keeffe's was then hit with a wave of negative, one-star reviews. Dani's responded, saying O'Keeffe's "graciously" hosted an event on their behalf and encouraged guests to leave positive reviews.

"We don't want to let these haters bring down an ally business, so if you enjoyed your time at A.T. O'Keeffe's, please leave them a positive review!" said Dani's in a social media post. "Let's show the homophobes that this won't fly in Boston and love and support is going to win!"

"There are so many LGBT people that served for our country," said Charina Pimentel, the assistant general manager of Dani's. "In no way, shape or form was that ever meant to be disrespect. It was to say that we are welcome."

Pimentel said O'Keeffe's agreed to host the event because inspection and permit delays have pushed back Dani's opening.

"We've been fighting tooth and nail to get our doors open," said Pimentel. "It sucked that they got negative feedback from something that was with good intentions."

"At the end of the day, America's all about freedom of expression"  

O'Keeffe's said despite the backlash, it was the most profitable day in their history.

"At the end of the day, America's all about freedom of expression and that's kind of like what this week and what this month and what the country is ultimately all about and that flag symbolizes," said Gaines.

Dani's is set to open soon.

"There are a lot of spaces that even though it is a gay bar, it isn't as welcoming or open to the entire community," said Pimentel. "This is a safe space and all are welcome, continued love and support is our reminder when things get hard that we're doing it for all the right reasons." 

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