Skip to main content

Minnesota restaurant: We banned man for being disruptive, not because of Trump hat

The customer has claimed he was banned because he wore a MAGA hat and supports President Donald Trump.

A restaurantgoer says he was banned from a Burnsville restaurant for being a supporter of President Donald Trump, but the restaurant claims it's actually because he has been an "extremely difficult guest" over the past few years. 

Greg Aberle spoke with Alpha News, a conservative website, about how Porter Creek Hardwood Grill in Burnsville banned him because he supports Trump and was wearing a MAGA (make America great again) hat, noting that he's gone to the restaurant 2-3 times per week for nine years, bringing the restaurant about $90,000 of business.

He also wrote a one-star review on the restaurant's TripAdvisor page about the incident, which apparently happened in June, saying a Porter Creek manager pulled him aside "some time ago" and made it clear restaurant management doesn't like Trump. When Aberle pushed back about the comment, the manager said he could have him kicked out whenever he wanted. 

Aberle said in the review that he kept wearing the Trump hat on later visits and a few weeks ago, management "got in my face" for an 8-minute "unprofessional argument" that others could hear. Aberle then wrote a letter of complaint to John Sheehan, part-owner of the restaurant, about what happened, who responded saying it would be best that he never come back to the restaurant. 

Restaurant calls him an 'extremely difficult guest'

Hours after the Alpha News story was published on July 9, Porter Creek Hardwood Grill took to its Facebook page to deny Aberle's accusations, saying he was banned "for his actions and behavior in the restaurant over a period of years, which resulted in several conversations and subsequent warnings."

"While we have appreciated his patronage over the years, there has been a clear stress on the restaurant due to his presence," the post, signed by Sheehan, said. "When asked recently, our staff and management felt Mr. Aberle was an extremely difficult guest that affected their work life and the dining experience of guests in our restaurant, and most felt he should not be welcomed back."

The restaurant said Aberle has "frequently been disruptive," including by not wearing shoes in the restaurant or restroom; bringing in food from other restaurants or from home; repeatedly demonstrating behaviors that don't respect other guests' space or COVID-19 safety policies; and attempting to bend the rules in his favor at the expense of other guests. 

The post did say the restaurant company is not political in "any shape and guests of all political views are welcome."

In a second Facebook post on July 9, the restaurant stressed that people can wear any hat or political attire they desire to the restaurant, so long as it is respectful.

Lawyers get involved

In the days following the Alpha News story and Facebook posts, lawyers have apparently gotten involved, according to Aberle's Facebook page. 

In separate Facebook posts, he shared the text of letters he says he has sent and received. The first is the text of a letter he said he sent to Porter Creek Hardwood Grill's corporate office in August 2019 about the manager's anti-Trump remarks and threats to have him removed.

Then, he says Porter Creek's attorney sent him a letter on July 10 threatening to sue for defamation if he didn't issue a retraction. A third letter was his attorney's apparent response to the restaurant's letter, which says "Sufficed to say, my client disagrees with that outline and objects to your client’s attempts to hijack the actual facts."

BMTN has reached out to the restaurant for further comment.

Next Up


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.


State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.


Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.


COVID levels rising in wastewater; BQ.1 now dominant

BQ.1 is the new dominant subvariant in Twin Cities wastewater.

Screen Shot 2022-12-02 at 11.43.05 AM

Keith Ellison, other AGs settle with CarMax over recall disclosures

As part of the settlement, CarMax now must disclosure open recalls online and on the lot.

police lights squad car

Man kidnaps 2-year-old daughter in St. Paul, crashes after pursuit in Minneapolis

The incident involved both police departments in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

police lights

Boys aged 15, 16 arrested after shooting of teen in Woodbury

The victim suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.


President Donald Trump

GOPers met with President Trump while in MN, some will quarantine or get tested

President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 a day after visiting with Republicans in Minnesota.

gandhi mahal destroyed

Destroyed in the riots, Gandhi Mahal will open temporary restaurant

The day after the restaurant burned, owner Ruhel Islam said "let my building burn" and called for justice for George Floyd.


2 MN restaurants make New York Times' 2021 favorite restaurant list

The list features places the paper is most excited about right now.

Screen Shot 2020-09-21 at 8.23.17 AM

Minneapolis restaurant Bardo closes for good

The restaurant switched from fine dining to a casual concept in hopes of surviving the pandemic.

Duane Waldriff

Man cited for alleged assault of journalist covering President Trump's Duluth rally

He's accused of hitting a WCCO photojournalist's phone out of his hand as he recorded a confrontation between the suspect and Joe Biden supporters.

SARS-CoV-2, novel coronavirus

U of M study finds hydroxychloroquine drug doesn't prevent COVID-19

President Donald Trump has touted the drug and said he takes it.

Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 10.31.25 AM

Drive-in restaurant reopens in St. Louis Park

The Galaxy Drive-In is now Clays Galaxy Drive-In.