photo from Yelp
Downtown Sports Bar and Grill on Glenwood South is getting a lot of heat on the internet for a handful of complaints that it unfairly treats black customers, including kicking them out of the bar for no apparent reason. It seems that the bar, known for all you can eat wings, big televisions and college night is in deep water from a handful of customers who claim they were recently kicked out of the bar for, seemingly, no other reason than their race.
Over at a NCCU instructor Philip Christman's blog, he points the public to a letter from one of his former students who claims that he was kicked out of the Downtown Sports Bar and Grill (still can't get over this name) over the weekend for what was seemingly racist reasons. A cop outside stated that she had seen similar things happened at this bar and that the bartender has covered up his story in the past with witnesses. Sure enough, it happened again and the accuser, 21 year old Jonathan Wall, details the aftermath below.
Just then, the man who threw me out came to the front door. I pointed him out to the officer, and she approached him to talk about the incident. They talked for about 3 minutes before she came back to me and said, “I knew this was going to happen. Now, I don’t believe him one bit, but he says that he has three people who witnessed you throw an elbow at him before he restrained you.” Shocked is an understatement. As I said earlier, I talked in a non-confrontational, clam and respectful tone, and didn’t even gesture when talking. There is no way that he could have perceived me as having thrown an elbow and I didn’t understand how three people would lie and say that I did. I asked the officer about video camera footage. If the club used cameras, they would show the conversation, and his aggressiveness in constraining me despite me posing no threat and remaining calm throughout the conversation and his constraining me. She said that it would require a search warrant and that there was “No telling” how the video could be edited, tampered with, or even done away with before it would be required to be handed over to the investigators. What troubled me about my conversation with the officer was that she seemed to assume the worst case scenario in every possible solution to my encounter. She kept talking about how much paper work would be involved, as if that were going to deter me from seeking justice.
We won't get into more detail but will send you over to Christman's blog where you can read Wall's full account and the comments (over 100), many of which are claiming similar racist treatment at the bar. We also won't republish another person's email without their knowledge or permission, but can say that there is a very passionate person in the comments section trying to take action if you are interested in tagging along and helping them out.
We spoke with Mr. Wall tonight and he told us that he has "received over 50 emails and messages, about half from people who've been in situations similar to mine. The only unique aspect of my story is that I didn't let the request for "membership" at the door stop me from going in. A few others were kicked out, but most were just refused entry at the door, as the bouncer tried to refuse entry to my two friends and I."
The sad part about this is the bar seems to be trying to enforce a "you don't belong here" policy relative to multiple factors, including race and dress. Unfortunately, when you look through the photos of the bar, there's nothing upscale about the place and it's basically a glorified sports bar trying to weed out customers based on petty, and possibly illegal, factors. Living in the progressive city that Raleigh has become over the past few years, it's very unfortunate to see this narrow-minded behavior happening in our city. Pretty sure it's 2012, not 1812.
Have you had the same thing happen to you at the Downtown Sports Bar and Grill? Let us know in the comments.
You can find Johnathan Wall on Twitter at @imfromraleigh