‘Even as a joke, it’s not funny’; Lynnwood bar in hot water over viral post

A Lynnwood bar is under fire after a viral post. Vessel Taphouse’s social media called for proof of positive COVID-19 test to give customers a discount.

The bar is struggling as it sits with an open door, waiting for customers to walk in, and an empty parking lot.

We spoke with an employee off-camera who says, like many local businesses, they just can not catch a break.

Now the staff is hurting trying to make ends meet.

The Vessel Taphouse in Lynnwood putting themselves on the map after their latest social media post.

READ MORE: Lynnwood bar advertised ‘catch the virus’ show

Their Instagram post read: “Omicron and Vessel present the ‘I’m too sick to attend‘show !! Come see the show maybe catch the virus or just stay home and whine. Tickets 10 bucks or 6 with proof of Omicron positive test !! “

We shared the post with Yasmine Chase, who works next door to the bar.

“Just wow… wow,” Chase said as she read the post herself. “That’s not the most responsible thing to do.”

COVID protocols, including mask and vaccine mandates, are now a hot-button issue dividing communities across the country, including our own.

Mike, a new customer of Vessel Taphouse, says he has never been to the pirate-themed bar and music venue, but did hear of the controversy surrounding the local business.

“There’s no reason not to show up,” Mike said. “I’m here to support this Vessel Taphouse.”

Vessel Taphouse has since deleted the post from its accounts which called for positive results for a discount. Despite the alarming request, Mike says he feels safe going in.

“I do 110%, because, again, it’s clearly a joke,” Mike said.

However, Chase says the post just did not sit well with her.

“I do not really see myself going into a business like that, at least not during COVID times,” Chase said.

Off-camera we spoke with an employee who says since the post went viral, things have been tougher.

Getting customers in the door has been slow, their opening hour has since been pushed back and staff are struggling to make ends meet.

We spoke with Bret Allen of the Bret Allen and The Northern Rebels who says they support the local business.

“It’s cancel culture at its worst,” Allen said.

The band is one of many who plays at Vessel Taphouse, their latest show was held virtually, Thursday.

Allen says things blew out of proportion – now directly impacting families.

“They’re costing servers, their tip money they’re costing a business owner his business, when he did not do anything wrong,” Allen said.

But while some bands say ‘X marks the spot,’ others like Atrocity Girl, are taking a step back.

“We certainly did not want to be a part of that at all, because not only does it look bad, but it’s that would just make it look like we accept that behavior, and that’s not what we do, that’s not who we are , “said Johnny Angel, lead vocalist for the band.

Atrocity Girl was scheduled to perform at the venue on January 22, but say as soon as they saw the post, they canceled their show despite the economic hardship it would cost them.

“Even if the post was meant as a joke, it’s not funny.” said Atrocity Girl’s drummer, Angie Dane.

“It definitely hits a nerve — it’s not a joke, and there’s a lot of people even close to home that are they dying from this,” Angel said.

FOX 13 tried reaching out to Vessel Taphouse several times, but we have yet to hear back.

Tonight, both bands and the community remain divided some want to support the local business others are asking for an apology.

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