CHAMPAIGN — After a string of protests, Rogue Barber Co. in downtown Champaign has closed.
Owner Michael Long moved out Thursday from 12 E. Washington St., C, the property’s owner said.
“The lessee, Mr. Long, stopped by my office last week to ask if it was possible to abrogate the lease,” said Michael Markstahler, president of RDI Properties. “I told him, given the circumstances, we would be OK doing that. He moved out and turned in his keys yesterday afternoon. The space is now for lease.”
Long did not return a request for comment.
The barbershop became the target of recent protests. His business announced in a since-deleted post on its Facebook page that it was a “private membership traditional barbershop (not unisex) not open to the general public” and would require prospective members to fill out an application that allegedly asked whether they are a member of any “violent extremist groups” such as antifa or Black Lives Matter.
In late July, a video posted on social media appeared to show a pickup truck driving through a small protest in front of the business, making contact with a protester and running over a bike.
Champaign police are still investigating the incident, spokesman Tom Yelich said.
Activists continued protesting in front of the business, and last week, the city of Champaign issued a release reminding citizens that graffiti is illegal except for chalk art made by children.
The sidewalks in front of Rogue have been covered in chalk messages, as has the side of the building.
No citations have been issued for graffiti, Yelich said.