After dealing with a number of hostile and harassing visitors over the past month, Uprising Bakery and Cafe received a surprise visit Friday afternoon from someone offering enthusiastic support: Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker.
Pritzker stopped into the Lake in the Hills cafe in support of an upcoming drag brunch show, an event for which initial marketing drew animosity from vocal individuals and anti-LGBTQ+ groups, culminating in vandalism at the cafe July 23.
A man from Alsip has been charged with a hate crime and criminal damage to property for allegedly smashing out the bakery’s windows and writing epithets on its wall. The windows later were boarded up, and the cafe reopened to long lines July 25.
The original drag brunch was postponed. In the interim, the village briefly expressed opposition to the cafe’s continuing to host events, but it backed down Thursday. The bakery subsequently rescheduled the show for 11 a.m. Sunday.
“It was an honor to sit down with Gov. Pritzker this afternoon,” UpRising owner Corinna Bendel-Sac said. “What happened here in July was horrible, but the path forward is paved with light and love from our surrounding community.”
Pritzker even signed the boarded-up window, which has been filled in recent weeks with artwork and messages of support from community members.
“We must come together to combat the rising tide of hate against our LGBTQ+ neighbors and friends,” Pritzker said in a Twitter post Friday afternoon. “Hate has no home here.”