The Mirror

LAST CALL: Judge Bans Mike Elk From Four Watering Holes In Chattanooga

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
Font Size:

A court in Chattanooga has permanently barred ex-Politico labor reporter Mike Elk from five city establishments, including four yuppie bars and one coffee shop all owned by the same proprietor.

“They are owned by the same asshole developer,” Elk told The Mirror after his trial concluded Thursday.

He also has to pay $900 in legal fees.

Elk, who is Washington Free Beacon‘s 2015 “Man of the Year,” was involved in a barroom incident in early March in which he tried to leave a bar — the Honest Pint — without paying his bill. At the time, his charges included public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and felony bribery.

The bars and coffee shop where Elk is forbidden to enter for the rest of his life include the following: Mean Mug (coffee shop), Honest Pint (where I was arrested), Terminal Brewhouse, Beast & Barrell and Hair of the Dog.

“I mean these are like the places you would go on a bad Tinder date,” Elk cracked. “I am not on probatation. basically, they agreed to dismiss the bribery and public drunkness charges outright. They declined to prosecute Disorderly, Resisting Arrest & Stealing 4 dollars worth of beer.”

The Mirror spoke with an employee who works at The Honest Pint, the bar where Elk was arrested and who was there the night that Elk wandered in for drinks.

“He didn’t get arrested for being a union organizer or while protesting or anything like that,” the employee told The Mirror. “This is not a civil rights or police harassment case. He is no martyr. He is a broke sociopath. This is very simply about Mike Elk trying to walk on a bar tab.”

Here is the letter the employee sent to The Mirror:

“He was on his phone the entire time that he was at the bar (rude, btw) so the bartender had very little interaction with him and certainly made no mention of ‘you northerners.’ He ordered food and drank Miller Lites. He was still there, on the phone, when we rang the bell for last call. The bartender asked if he would like another beer before we closed. He indicated that he would like another. She brought him his last beer and dropped off his tab. He ignored it forever, on the phone. Eventually, he gave her a credit card.

“The payment was declined ($20.74). My bartender waited for him to get off the phone, he did not. She quietly and politely asked if he had cash or another card. He said ‘Can I give you my ID?’ She asked ‘Why? No. I need you to find a way to settle your tab.’ He starts to get shitty, so I waved her off and took over. I could tell he was going to be an asshole. I asked the same question – cash? another card? phone a friend? He then pulls out a Politico business card and writes me and IOU for $20.

“He STATED that he was settling it this way. He told me that that I was going to take his IOU. I told him we do not accept IOUs. ‘Well, then. I’m leaving. You have lost my business.’ (What business?!) Also some stuff about ‘what kind of bar doesn’t take an IOU?!’ and ‘I own a bar in Washington DC!'”  

“At this point, I came out from behind the bar to stand in his way as he is trying to leave. I told him that if he didn’t pay now, I would call the cops. Now I’m an anti-Semite. The cops get there, not good ol’ boy southern cops, just regular cops doing their job. He is throwing a fit. They asked him the usual, any weapons, drugs, things I should know about? Now he says that he was overcharged, at the time he said he thought that last beer was on the house. They had him put his hands on the bar while they searched him. They did not throw him against the bar – that happened when he tried to fight them (lol) when they were starting to put handcuffs on him.

“The entire time, he is yelling all this shit about ‘THE SOUTH’ and he’s Jewish, He’s Irish, He’s a Journalist, He has diplomatic immunity. What’s fucked up, besides the fact that HE IS the offending party, is how obsessed he is about some North v. South thing, or how we’re discriminating against him, when all he can come up with is ignorant, off-base, outdated generalizations about race and class. Chattanooga is relatively progressive in our region. I’m not from here – I moved here 12 years ago and it has become my home.

“Most people I know here moved to Chattanooga within the last 5-10 years as we’ve grown into a community with thriving arts & technology (10 Gig fiber optic internet = hell yeah) – All this to say, I am super proud of Chattanooga and I hate seeing him disparage this awesome little city. Thanks for listening. I don’t know what good this does – Just had to say something. Can’t stand that guy.” 

Politico canned Elk last summer after a lot of back and forth between editors, management and HR over his stories as well as his indefatigable efforts to unionize the newsroom. Politico settled with Elk for an undisclosed amount — money that has since clearly run out since Elk routinely opens GoFundMe pages for all his needs, including emergency medical help and a recent plea for assistance because he was facing eviction.