Port Huron’s oldest bar, The Roche, vandalized

IMG_0011You know you’ve had too much to drink when…
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
Managing Editor

Not everyone is nice when they drink, but not all decide to commit malicious destruction of private property either. Jan. 4, a Wednesday, seemed like a normal night to John Roche, 50, and owner of the Roche bar, including cutting off and throwing out two men who had too much to drink. The men had gotten rowdy and were trying to start fights with other patrons of the bar.
The two men were thrown out at around 1 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5, but returned around 3:30 a.m. armed with sledgehammers and dressed in ski masks and snow suits. They proceeded to break and destroy the windows, which had been in place since the 1930’s, and attempted to break down the front door.
The two men were caught by police officers and are looking at a felony charges for malicious destruction and attempted breaking and entering. The trial against them has not yet started.
Roche’s son lives above the bar and, upon hearing the commotion, called the police. According to an article from the Times Herald, “Port Huron police were able to locate and arrest the men.”
While the Roche has insurance, they still need donations to help pay for the deductible and getting the right type of glass, as the glass is from a time now past. They have set up a GoFundMe account (http://www.gofundme.com/1fvfcg) where people can donate money to help fix the damage to the windows. The link is also available through The Roche Facebook page.
They currently have raised $2,295 from the GoFundMe alone.
Roche was taken aback from what happened stating that the incident was “Uncharacteristic” for a Wednesday. Nothing like this has happened to the 166-year-old bar.
While Roche isn’t sure on the exact cost of replacing the windows, he is happy about the backing the bar has gotten, saying, “The people have been great,” Roche added, with a slight frown, “We might have to wait until after Pub Crawl to fix the windows.”
The windows will be fixed once a suitable replacement is found.
Pete Norager, owner of Goodfella’s and friend of Roche, said “When a bar cuts you off, they’re trying to keep you safe. One jerk can ruin it for everyone,” Norager said, and with a smile added, “I wish this was like the old days, where we could take a ball bat to them.”

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