Clubhouse Jäger is back.
The North Loop Minneapolis bar had been dark for almost five months, since the public learned its owner, Julius DeRoma, had donated to David Duke's U.S. Senate campaign. Staff quit en masse, and the century-old building sat empty. (DeRoma did not regret or even explain his support of Duke, at one point saying it was just "free speech.")
Rumors that Club Jäger might reopen swirled back in October. DeRoma demurred, saying only that the reporter who'd called him was a "skank."
This week, with the Super Bowl in town and the eyes of the pop culture world briefly alighting on Minneapolis, the rumors came true. Liquor was delivered to the Washington Avenue bar several times, and people were seen coming and going.
Wednesday evening, the "OPEN" sign went on.
A call to the bar confirmed it's back in business. A man identifying himself as Josh Portwood, and the on-duty manager, said today was its first day back since the closure. Asked if DeRoma was still the owner, Portwood said: "Yes, he is."
As to whether any of DeRoma's former workers had come back to work for the since-disgraced owner, the manager avoided a direct answer.
"I have work to do, regardless," he said. "This is the first day we're open."
And are there any customers there?
He didn't answer that one, either.