Downtown tavern responds to discrimination allegations

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The downtown Grand Rapids bar posted a statement on Facebook after a viral video accused one of its staff members of discrimination.

Marcel Price's video - which now has more than 100,000 views - shows Price and his friends trying to enter the bar only to be turned away by security at the door.

“We had a very unfortunate incident at Tavern on the Square early Saturday morning that is very out of the ordinary for us. When a patron attempted to gain access after our closing time, he was denied and the response has generated concern for everyone involved.

At Tavern, we are extremely proud of the diversity of our staff and of our patrons.
We aggressively promote inclusion and diversity. More importantly, we are in the hospitality industry and treat people as people, our customers, not according to their skin color, religion, sex, origin, etc.

When this unfortunate incident occurred, it was after approximately 10 minutes of threatening banter by the patron to our security personnel. Clearly our security person acted poorly and should not have touched the personal property of another person. Internal steps are being taken to deal with this. If anyone felt our staff was being racially insensitive, we sincerely apologize. That is not how we operate our business, nor do we condone or tolerate racial insensitivity, verbal or otherwise.

We are open to working with other establishments in the area, or local organizations to raise the level of discussion and understanding of racial issues in our community and we will continually work with our staff to foster understanding and sensitivity to these sensitive issues."

“In no way do we condone that kind of behavior towards anyone and we will be instituting professional training to ensure our security team maintains the level of courtesy and protection that our patrons have come to expect from our restaurant.”

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