Warren bar cancels ‘alt-right’ gathering

George Hunter
The Detroit News

A Warren bar, Tipsy McStaggers, and the Carpathia Club in Sterling Heights canceled gatherings of a group called the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas.

The Clinton Township-based organization in January announced it would host a “Michigan Alt Right” conference on March 4-5. The conference was to coincide with Monday’s scheduled speech at Michigan State University by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

“The private conference will be an opportunity for identitarian and ‘alt-right’ activists and leaders to discuss the future of their movement and to coordinate their activities at this fun and inspirational extravaganza,” a Jan. 27 message on the Foundation’s website said. “No more than 300 people will be permitted to register to attend the conference, which will cost $40 per person to attend so that some costs can be recovered.

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“The location of the conference and itinerary will not be publicly disclosed,” the message said. “After a prospective attendee is vetted and pays the $40 attendance fee after being approved to participate, they will be provided the name and address of the hotel at which attendees are encouraged to stay. The evening before the conference, the itinerary will be emailed to the registered attendees.”

One of the planned meeting spots was Tipsy McStaggers, a neighborhood Warren bar on 12 Mile Road. Bar owner John Vostoris said he canceled the event after learning about the “alt-right” group.

“A couple weeks ago, a group called and requested a reservation for a party at Tipsy McStaggers,” Vostoris said in a statement. “The specific date was Monday, March 5. After learning this group represents a position that is not consistent with our establishment’s core values, we have canceled their request for a gathering. Tipsy’s is and always will be a destination for diversity and enjoyment.”

The Carpathia Club in Sterling Heights canceled its event set for Sunday after the Police Department “received information about potential security issues” involving the event, according to the Sterling Heights community relations director Bridget Kozlowski.

The hall manager of the Carpathia Club, “Not previously aware of potential safety issues, decided to cancel the event,” Kozlowski said.

According to the website for the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas, its mission statement is “to educate the public about the freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and people who and organizations which strive to usurp said freedoms.”


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