Less than a year after 11 women accused Seattle nightlife impresario David Meinert of sexual assault, rape, and misconduct in separate incidents, the mogul doesn’t appear to be keeping a low profile. According to reporter Erica Barnett, Meinert is in the process of buying Mecca Cafe and Bar, a longtime late-night neighborhood favorite in Queen Anne that’s 90 years old. (Eater Seattle reached out to Mecca and Meinert for more details, but did not hear back before publication.)
Not long after the report broke, backlash on Twitter and Facebook was swift.
Sex pest David Meinert buys bar in QA— CyberRaptor 2077 ️ (@msalyss85) June 15, 2019
Boycott please https://t.co/mqRsZ5kvoK
I'll never set foot there again if it's owned by that sleazeball— random guy (@theremin_wooooo) June 17, 2019
Already spreading the word for a boycott when he takes over end of summer. Truly a garbage human being.— Jessie May (@PhilanTopic) June 18, 2019
Those sentiments echo the general reaction when the #MeToo allegations first came to light. In July 2018, five women came forward accusing Meinert of separate incidents of rape and sexual assault over a 14-year period between 2001 and 2015. Soon after, posters on utility poles in Capitol Hill called for a boycott of neighborhood bars Lost Lake and Comet Tavern, in which Meinert had an ownership stake. Both establishments announced a split with Meinert on their Facebook pages prominently. The mogul also faced backlash from musicians he represented through his Onto Entertainment management company, while politicians, including Governor Jay Inslee and King County Executive Dow Constantine, announced they were donating campaign contributions they had received from Meinert.
Meinert spoke to KUOW when the initial story was published and subsequently published a lengthy Facebook post — that is no longer publicly visible — in which he apologized for some regrettable behavior but stopped short of admitting to all of the allegations. In August 2018, six more women accused Meinert of sexual assault and misconduct. Meinert did not respond to those subsequent allegations.
The stories made waves across Seattle’s restaurant and nightlife circles last summer in part because of how much influence Meinert once had across the city. In addition to the several popular bars and restaurants he was involved with, Meinert produced the Capitol Hill Block Party, an annual three-day music festival that’s always packed (the party will go on this year without Meinert). He also bought a legal marijuana shop in Tacoma in 2014 and purchased a large area of the mixed-use Gridiron building across from CenturyLink Field in 2016 (but that contract expired this year). He still owns and operates The 5 Point Café in Belltown, one of the oldest continuously running bars in Seattle, along with Mecca.
Barnett reports that Mecca’s sale may be finalized in late September, although that’s not fully confirmed. Will Seattle’s protests against this sale escalate over the coming months? Or will Meinert start going back to business? Time will tell.
UPDATED, June 23, 2019, 7:28 p.m.: An earlier version of this item misstated that Five Point Cafe was the oldest continuously running bars in Seattle, rather than one of the oldest. That has since been corrected.
- Morning Crank: Bike Plan Scaled Back, Meinert Buys Mecca, and a Few Questions About the Mayor’s Junk RV Crackdown [The C Is For Crank]
- Five Women Accuse Seattle’s David Meinert of Sexual Misconduct, Including Rape [KUOW]
- Six More Women Accuse David Meinert of Sexual Misconduct—and Assault [KUOW]
- David Meinert, Accused of Rape, No Longer Owns Lost Lake and Comet Tavern [ESEA]
- Posters Urging a Boycott of David Meinert Restaurants Are All Over Capitol Hill [ESEA]
- Backlash Grows Against Dave Meinert, the Restaurateur Accused of Rape [ESEA]