An ugly battle between employees of Northeast Portland punk club the Know and its owner has reportedly led to several staff members quitting the bar and multiple show cancellations.
Reports have swirled for weeks that employees of the bar had quit en masse, following disputes over tax withholdings and allegations of aggressive behavior from owner Ryan Stowe.
"Cool bands should stop supporting a dead venue run by scabs," read a comment posted to online local concert calendar PC-PDX on March 17. "There are reasons that the entire staff (including people that worked there for 10 years) all quit at once."
Another commenter claimed Stowe had withheld payments and responded aggressively when confronted.
In response to the growing chatter, screenshots of tax forms belonging to two employees were shared on the Know's Facebook page Friday night, with the employees' Social Security numbers and home addresses clearly visible.
Another post, presumably from Stowe, showed a photo of a fruit basket allegedly sent by the aforementioned employees on his wedding anniversary with a card reading "Sorry for your loss."
The gift was described as an attempt to "ruin my life and marriage with their pitiful lies about not paying my taxes." The post also claims the employees vandalized the bar.
The posts were quickly deleted, but not before stirring further backlash.
"R.I.P. The Know," wrote one Facebook commenter. "What the fuck? Fuck the know, I ain't ever going there," wrote another.
Stowe did not immediately return a request for comment. One of the employees mentioned told WW that the issue is a "long story, but taxes are a factor," but would not comment further.
Other employees reached by WW Saturday declined to comment, but several concerts are being moved to other venues—including tonight's scheduled record release show for Drowse, which will now happen at Black Water.
Last year, WW named the reopened Know one of our Bars of the Year, describing the new location as feeling "like the coolest house show you've ever been to, except in bar form."