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Man Who Spewed Violent Racist and Misogynistic Comments Opens Billings Café

The downtown Billings building that houses the Coffee Tavern.

The downtown Billings building that houses the Coffee Tavern.

The Coffee Tavern coffee bar has opened in downtown Billings, Mont., despite recent backlash stemming from a series of hateful, violent, racist, sexist and homophobic public remarks from co-owner Larry Heafner.

According to the Billings Gazette, the shop opened yesterday, approximately two months after a string of sickening Facebook comments written by Heafner in the days prior to the U.S. Presidential election came to light. Heafner soon after deleted his Facebook account, though screenshots were widely circulated in the news media.

Comments from Heafner in early November included references to African-American people as “monkeys” and lynching, a suggestion to violently sexually assault Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and a suggestion that all men who hold liberal viewpoints are homosexuals. In one post, Heafner wrote that “The Coffee Tavern will never recognize a murdering whore for president!! Don’t like it, keep the f*** out!! We don’t tolerate scum!!!”

Heafner has not denied making any of the comments, and soon after apologized, describing the outpouring to Montana’s Last Best News as “the dumbest thing I ever did.”

Publicly shared screenshots of the comments drove a campaign among Billings residents to boycott the shop, which had been scheduled for a November opening.

In interviews with the press following the backlash, Heafner insisted that he is not racist nor misogynistic, despite the patently racist and misogynistic remarks. He told KTVQ that the comment he regretted most was the one in which he discouraged Clinton supporters from visiting the shop.

On whether he intended to abandon ownership of the shop, Haefner told the news station, “I’ve got way too much money in this to back out of it.”

Comment

5 Comments

Juan Salvadar

Disagreeable folks have rights to make a living instead of having some publication pile on hate on those who it deems hateful.

Kurt Fortmeyer

Yes, “Disagreeable folks have rights to make a living”, but folks who are offended by them have just as much right not to support them.
Good luck making a living while spouting hateful and divisive language.
Does he really expect women, people of color, gays, or any men who don’t support the current administration to frequent his establishment?
Apparently, he hasn’t learned his lesson, and continues to put passive aggressive signs in the window of his shop.

Tim

This article kind of upsets me. I visit daily coffee news, well daily. It’s always uplifting and supportive of all shops. It’s sad Larry Heafner said these disgusting things. But, attacking a shop like this is cowardly. I don’t know him and I doubt you do either. How about just not advertise for him instead of trying to tear him apart. I think I’ll stop coming here if it’s going to turn political and the author attacks owners personally. Maybe you should scan every owner’s social media to see if they have posted anything that offends you.

Tionico

So the guy popped off some foul stuff. Let it go. Evaluate his business and offerings on THEIR merit. Seems a bit of a pile on happening here. Not appropriate for this medium. You can do better than that.
After reading four previous articles going in to some depth on a new opening, you dismiss this new opening with a rant on his past stupidity, to which he has admitted and repented.

Did you actually visit the shop, spend time with the new owner, check out its place in the community? Why not? Seems that’s how the previous three of four new shops got that treatment. I personally know Allen Liebowitz, and it was very refreshin to read in such rich detail of his opening in Spring. Next tme through Billings I just might look up this chap and see if he’s got any tangible offerings of quality.

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