Portland’s Lovecraft Bar sold after owner accused of sexual assault

After a post accusing Lovecraft Bar’s owner of sexual assault and sympathizing with white supremacists traveled across Portland social media, the bar made a public post on Dec. 11, indicating soon-to-be former owner Jon Horrid is in the process of selling the bar to its manager, Brooke Moreno, and has stepped away from the bar’s operations.

Lovecraft Bar’s Facebook statement differs from a statement posted on Horrid’s Facebook page, which was cited by Willamette Week, which broke the story, and The Oregonian.

“Accusations of rape have outnumbered how many people I have actually had sex with,” Horrid wrote as part of a longer statement on Facebook. “However, any Survivor/Victim who feels that I have wronged them, I deeply apologize to.”

Lovecraft Bar’s website content, at the time of this article’s publishing, more closely mirrors Horrid’s statement than Lovecraft Bar’s staff statement.

“One thing about press is there is such as thing as bad press, which we have been lucky enough to not experience (that we know of!), but we do experience misleading press,” reads Lovecraft Bar’s press section.

“We are not a nazi bar. We are not white power. We are not racist. We are a nerd bar. So please, stop spreading and believing lies,” reads the first line of Lovecraft Bar’s FAQ section. It is unclear if Lovecraft Bar’s website has been updated since its sale from Horrid to Moreno was announced.

Around Dec. 4, a text image was widely shared in online social networks that frequent the Lovecraft.

Among other things, the post says, “Jon Horrid, the owner of Lovecraft, has many allegations against him as a serial rapist. This has been known by many people for many, many years.” The account to make the original post has not been determined. The Vox Media-owned food news website Eater shared the image in its coverage of Horrid’s resignation.

In the week between the post’s sharing on Facebook and Lovecraft Bar’s statement, several nightlife organizers who regularly host events at Lovecraft Bar, such as LGBTQ dance parties, goth dance parties and burlesque revues, publicly distanced themselves from the venue.

Numerous people interviewed for this story, including event organizers, artists and alleged victims of Horrid, declined to go on record out of fear of legal retaliation.

Lovecraft Bar opened in 2011 and has been featured in local and national press outlets, including Willamette WeekPortland MercuryThe OregonianPortland Monthly, VICE Media, MSN Travel, Thrillist and Men’s Journal MagazinePortland State Vanguard has featured Lovecraft Bar’s events regularly in the off-campus events calendar.

This reporting is ongoing, check back for further coverage.