Two men of Polynesian descent were shocked when a bar in Salt Lake City refused to serve them based on their race. Although it sounds like an incident from a different era or another part of the world, a bartender at Willies Lounge in Utah refused to serve the men just last week after checking their IDs. Why? Because they were Polynesian.
“She looked up and said, 'I can't serve Polynesians' and I was like... 'You can't what?'” victim Frank Maea told the local Fox News station.
Others at the bar allegedly spoke up, accusing the owners of racism. The bartender said it was simply their policy, but the bar’s owner has since called the incident a “misunderstanding.”
“I've told all my bartenders if groups of unknown people, including Polynesians but not limited to, that we don't know come in late at night: They don't have to serve them,” Geremy Cloyd, Owner of Willies and Big Willies in Salt Lake City, told Fox News 13.
The two victims have shared a video of the incident on social media that’s been reposted hundreds of times. A response from Willie’s Lounge was posted on the bar’s Facebook page that has since been deleted. It read:
"Due to many issues we’ve had with certain groups of people we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. We don’t do this without just cause. We want our business to be a place where anyone can come and have drinks in a SAFE ENVIRONMENT. We do everything we can to make sure our CUSTOMERS and EMPLOYEES ARE SAFE."