Cheers saga continues as bar management sues the building owner

Red Star alleges the property owner left out some major building problems that kept the bar from opening.

Red Star alleges the property owner left out some major building problems that kept the bar from opening. Imad Abid, Facebook

If you have been keeping track of the saga that is Cheers, the gay bar that was supposed to be coming to Uptown Minneapolis, color us impressed. This story has had so many twists and turns, we’d forgive you for being a little confused about where things stand.

A quick recap: Cheers, owned by Red Star Group, was supposed to take over the old Rudolph’s BBQ building on Franklin and Lyndale. First, a Gofundme page created by Cheers management flummoxed the queer community by asking for a million or two to buy and “preserve” the building.

Then people stumbled on some allegedly wildly anti-Semitic posts on Red Star manager Emad Yousef Abed’s Facebook profile. Abed has since denied they were his and blamed the posts on possible hackers.

The plot thickened. The queer community planned a protest during the bar’s grand opening on Pride weekend, which never came about because Cheers never opened. The bar seemingly began a rebranding effort and started calling itself an “alternative bar” rather than a gay bar on its website.

The property owner then slapped Cheers with an eviction notice in mid-June, alleging Red Star was $21,000 behind in rent and fees. A hearing is supposed to take place Tuesday.

Turns out, the Cheers story isn’t done yet, because Red Star is suing the building representative, Charlie Theros.

A complaint filed last week claims Red Star’s owner did a walkthrough of the bar in November and asked Theros about the condition of the property. It says Theros only mentioned that the dishwashing room needed “minor repairs” and the HVAC system needed a tune-up for the summer heat.

But a health inspection performed in January supposedly found a few glaring problems Theros left out: that the walk-in coolers were rusty and in bad shape, the foundation was leaky, and the roof needed repair, Red Star asserts.

“The total cost of repairs to bring all items in the report up to City of Minneapolis Health Code exceeds $100,000,” the complaint says. Red Star “would not have signed this lease” if it had been aware of the issues, and because of them, the business “has not been able to open.”

Abed—who has told City Pages not to contact him again—could not be reached to comment on this story. Patrick Boyle, who’s representing Red Star in the suit, declined to comment. Theros didn’t respond to interview requests.

Things continue to get weirder on the Queers against Cheers Facebook page, which has been waiting with bells on for a protest that seems less and less likely to happen. A member of the page posted a few screenshots supposedly from a conversation with Facebook user Imad Abid, who, a while back, posted an out-of-the-blue announcement about Cheers’ “alternative” rebranding.

“I have already a group of sophisticated gay businessmen interested in buying cheers for $3 million dollars,” Abid allegedly wrote. “I think you should welcome the buyers as they help you get rid of me.”

“Go figure out how to pay the rent loser,” a commenter responded.

The comments have reportedly been deleted since then, but not before some of the Queers against Cheers folks had a good laugh about the phrase “sophisticated gay businessmen” and called Abid a “nasty bitch ass.”