A restaurant in New York is being accused of racially profiling black women after which at least one of the staff members has been suspended.
Tara Fitzgibbon visited the Angel of Harlem restaurant on Frederick Douglass Blvd on Feb. 10. She was accompanied by two friends. None of them had ever visited the restaurant before. As they entered the eatery, they saw it was full of people, so they moved toward the bar.
This is when the problem started. As the women ordered their drinks, a manger reportedly came up to them and asked how they were planning on paying for the drinks.
“You were here last week, and ran up a tab and left,” the manager said aggressively.
Fitzgibbon, who grew up in the Bronx and currently lives in New Rochelle, Westchester County, was naturally confused by the manager’s aggressive tone, and tried explaining that this was for the first time she had visited the restaurant.
“We were beyond embarrassed,” said Fitzgibbon. “I felt dehumanized.”
According to 45-year-old woman, the manager accused her of lying, snatched the menu from her and yelled that he also had a video to prove his claim where Fitzgibbon can apparently be seen dining and dashing at the restaurant a few days earlier.
That didn’t happen.
The manager, who has been described as a white or Hispanic person, took out his cell phone to play the video, but the woman in the footage, who was African American, looked nothing like Fitzgibbon.
“What, do all black people look alike to you?”said Fitzgibbon’s friend Tamara Young.
But the manager didn’t apologize for his mistake; instead he yelled at the group and told them to get out of the restaurant. He also allegedly pushed Young, according to police reports filed by the two women. They plan on taking a legal action against the restaurant.
“They made us feel as if we were criminals,” Fitzgibbon said.
A third woman identified with just one name, Kristina, alleged that her Angel of Harlem visit, also on Feb. 10, turned into a nightmare after a female bartender tried to overcharge her.
According to Kristina, when she questioned the bartender, the woman got “belligerent” and accused her boyfriend of stealing alcohol.
“We were told that my partner had been stealing drinks from the counter and that is why we were charged extra,” Kristina, who lives in Harlem, wrote in the review. “If he had been stealing, why weren’t we kicked out then? This doesn’t make any sense.”
Kristina said she told the employee that she had no right to falsely accuse her boyfriend of a crime, at which point the server responded, “I’m from Europe, b---h.”
“Being from Europe should make no difference in the way patrons are treated or spoken to,” Kristina wrote. “It is eye-opening how establishments are treating locals in Harlem and what they allow their staff to get away with…I’ve never been treated this way in my own neighborhood. I will not be going back nor will I recommend this establishment to anyone again.”
Meanwhile, Anahi Angelone, the owner of the restaurant declined these allegations. However, she mentioned a female bartender was suspended after being accused of racial profiling.
“It’s very sad that it went down the way it went down, but there are two sides to every story,” she said.
But she didn’t clarify what she meant by this statement and referred to the incidents as “unfortunate misunderstandings.”
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