Bar owner agrees to remove fake lynching scene protesting police

Published: Apr. 20, 2017 at 4:57 PM CDT
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A fake lynching scene staged on Main Street in Green Bay will be removed by the owner Friday after a request from a city alderman who received complaints that the scene is disturbing and offensive.

Dave Nichols staged the fake lynching scene to get attention with the goal of changing how frequently his establishment Nic's Bar and Grill is visited and subsequently fined Green Bay Police—something he believes is not happening to other bars, specifically near the Stadium District.

“They're big and powerful, and they got the money the city leaves them alone,” Nichols lamented. “I'm just a little mom and pop business and just keep throwing me fines and try to push me down the road.”

Nichols has a history with bar trouble in Green Bay. "I did some rowdy things; I brought in the bikini dancers, which they didn't agree with,” he admitted to Action 2 News, talking about his former bar—Press Box Tavern.

In 2011, investigators raided Press Box Tavern for operating as an illegal strip club. The bar was shut down.

Now— Nic's Bar and Grill was recently slapped with two fines for maintaining a public nuisance and handed a 30-day suspension because a bartender was drinking alcohol there after hours. Nichols thinks the city wants to shut down this bar, too—and wrote on his display that he is "not going down without a fight."

"I feel bad for the kids that ride by in their cars and stuff, but the fact of the matter is I’m going to feel worse for them if this government continues to do what they're doing and no one steps up to stop it,” said Nichols.

Green Bay Police Captain Kevin Warych responded our request for comment saying, “We do not target establishments and officers respond to calls for service or self-initiate calls for service at all residences, business or public property and later decide if enforcement action is necessary.”

Nichols brought his complaints about the police to his district's Alderman David Nennig, who says it will be taken up at next week's Green Bay City Council Meeting.

In the meantime, Alderman Nennig asked Nichols to take down his fake lynching scene which was scaring people in the neighborhood. "I think that he understood the perspective. Mr Nichols is a former alderman himself. He served on the city council many years ago,” Nennig told Action 2 News Thursday.

"But he also understands it from a businessman's point of view, that if you get people too upset than they're not going to come in and patronize your business,” Nennig continued.

Nichols told us the fake lynching scene would be removed sometime Friday, and his bar will re-open for business Saturday at midnight.