Jason Aldean’s Nashville Bar Responds to Claims of Racial Profiling: ‘We Are Horrified By These Reports’
TC Restaurant Group, which owns Jason Aldean's Kitchen + Rooftop Bar, has released a statement in response to allegations of racial profiling by its security staff. The company is "horrified" by allegations that the downtown Nashville hotspot has turned away black men on the basis of race.
"We strive to be one of the most welcoming establishments in Nashville and are horrified by these reports," a statement reads (via Fox 17 News). "Our leadership team is investigating this situation and will take action should we find that any of our employees or third-party security contractors violated our policies. We appreciate those who have brought this to our attention."
On Saturday (Nov. 2), in a public Facebook post, a would-be customer named Laura Murphy, who is white, shared her story about encountering racism at Jason Aldean's Kitchen + Rooftop Bar, located on Nashville's Lower Broadway. Murphy says that she and her group waited in line to get into the venue around midnight on Friday evening (Nov. 1), and her husband, who is black, was the first of the group to reach the door.
"[He] was stopped by a bouncer and told he couldn't come in because he was wearing a hoodie," Murphy recounts. "He asked if he could just take it off, and was told no, that he had to leave."
After later double-checking the venue's website, Murphy says, she was confident that no dress code was posted; furthermore, Murphy and her group saw white patrons inside who were wearing the allegedly prohibited article of clothing. Additionally, as the group was leaving the bar on Friday night, they saw three other black men who had been denied entry to the bar and restaurant. Murphy says it wasn't clear which dress code rule they violated, as not all of them were wearing hoodies.
The situation further escalated when Murphy's group asked the bouncer why he'd let others wearing hooded sweatshirts inside, but had barred Murphy's husband from entry. The bouncer didn't provide a clear information, according to Murphy's Facebook post, but he did call a manager, who then "ran after one of our friends screaming."
Murphy's post went viral, and she subsequently updated the story to say that she had been contacted by the owner of a third-party security service that staffs Jason Aldean's Kitchen + Rooftop Bar. "He did say that he's taking care of it with his associates," Murphy writes. "He himself is a black man married to a white woman, and completely understood the situation. He was very cordial, and I'm confident that he will do everything in his power to make sure this doesn't happen again."
Meanwhile, Yahoo! Lifestyle reports, a spokesperson has confirmed that hooded sweatshirts are, indeed, permitted in the venue.
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