Unfortunately, dining while black has always been a thing and despite it being 2018, black people are still facing discrimination at restaurants around the country. The latest incident happened at a Harlem eatery that racially profiled some black customers, but also falsely accused them of not paying.
Earlier this month while attempting to dine at the Angel of Harlem restaurant, Tara Fitzgibbon stated that as she and her friends ordered drinks and prepared to begin their meal, the restaurant manager became belligerent, demanding to know how/when they were going to pay and falsely accusing them of running a previous tab without payment. According to The Root, Fitzgibbon was shocked at the turn of events because she had never been to the restaurant before and clearly couldn’t have run up a tab.
Via The Root:
A Harlem restaurant is coming under fire after multiple black women say they were racially profiled and falsely accused of dining and dashing by staff there, resulting in the suspension of at least one staff member. As [Tara Fitzgibbon and her friends] ordered drinks and got ready to enjoy themselves, a manager reportedly came up to them, demanding to know how they were going to pay for their beverages. “You were here last week, and ran up a tab and left,” the manager insisted, according to Fitzgibbon.
The 45-year-old said that the manager started to act out, snatching a menu from her and banging on the bar, yelling at her that she was lying and that he had video of her dining and dashing just days prior. “We were beyond embarrassed,” Fitzgibbon recalled. “I felt dehumanized.” The manager proceeded to show Fitzgibbon the surveillance footage from his phone, but, of course, the black women seen in the footage looked “nothing” like her, according to Fitzgibbon.
“What, do all black people look alike to you?” Fitzgibbon’s friend Tamara Young chimed in at that point, according to the report. The enraged manager yelled at the group of friends to leave the restaurant, repeatedly pushing Young as they walked out, the police reports that both women filed indicate. “They made us feel as if we were criminals,” Fitzgibbon said.
While Fitzgibbon and Young both are considering legal action against Angel of Harlem, they are not the only ones who say they have experienced racially charged mistreatment at the restaurant. A woman claimed in a Yelp review that during her visit to Angel of Harlem earlier this month, a female bartender tried to overcharge her.
When she attempted to address the issue, she said that the bartender accused her boyfriend of stealing alcohol. “We were told that my boyfriend had been stealing drinks and that’s why we were charged extra. If he had been stealing, why weren’t we kicked out then? This doesn’t make any sense.” She said she then told the bartender that she couldn’t just accuse her boyfriend of stealing, at which point the server retorted, “I’m from Europe, bitch.”
The owner of Angel of Harlem did confirm that a female bartender had recently been suspended for allegations of racial profiling, however it’s unclear if it’s the same woman from this incident.
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