Until yesterday, media across Dallas mostly ignored One Nostalgia Tavern, a Lake Highlands tradition since 1973. That was until Buzzfeed posted a video that shows alt-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos singing karaoke at the Abrams Road bar, which ended with a group of people, including notorious white supremacist Richard Spencer, raising one hand in a Nazi salute.
What the video doesn’t show is owner Kent Smith and his staff throwing the hate mongers out of his watering hole. As soon as he saw the racist signal of hands flying into the air, he told Yiannopoulos to “get his ass off the stage and out of his bar.” When the crowd didn’t immediately disperse, bartender Amiti Perry headed on stage, grabbed the mic and told the group in curse-laden terms to get out of the bar.
Smith walked the unwelcome group out the door, where they stood outside and yelled “Trump, Trump, Trump.”
That was in April 2016. At the time, Smith assumed it was just rowdy frat boys. It wasn’t until Buzzfeed broke the story that he learned two of the most notorious voices in the alt-right/white supremacist community were involved.
“Before yesterday, I had never heard of Richard Spencer or Milo whats-his-name,” Smith says. “If I had known who they were, I would have thrown them out sooner.”
Unfortunately for the bar, the video prominently featured the its hand-painted logo in the background. When the Buzzfeed article published, every media in town showed up to hear the bar’s side of the story.
While the Neo-Nazi crowd was drunk and disorderly, it’s not the most unruly Smith has experienced at the dive bar. A few months back, he asked an overly intoxicated woman to leave, and was cold clocked in the face by her male friend after he walked them out the door. The hit broke Smith’s nose. As a former cop, he was able to identify the attacker quickly, and turned the information, and surveillance tapes, over to Dallas police.
“I got to be there when they arrested him at his chiropractic office,” Smith smiles.