New York City’s Tavern on the Green Sued for Refusing to Let War Vet Dine with Her Dog

According to the lawsuit, the dog was not allowed in the restaurant because the veteran was not blind
New York City’s Tavern on the Green Sued for Refusing to Let War Vet Dine with Her Dog

Photo Modified: Flickr/rufus/CC 2.0

After they were turned away, Coley and her family went to Le Bernardin, where the whole party was welcomed, dog and all.

Tavern on the Green, the New York City restaurant perhaps best known in recent years for its inability to keep a chef for more than a few months — and for giving the city’s biggest restaurant critics the chance to write some of their harshest and most legendary pieces — is back in the news for another unfortunate reason.

This time, Tavern is accused of refusing to let Yvette Coley, a veteran of the Iraq War, bring her service dog to dinner.

Coley, who was visiting the ostentatious Central Park restaurant from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, stopped by in August with her mother and two daughters. When the party showed up, they were told that Coley’s service dog, Goldie, could not join them because Coley is not blind.

Coley has now filed a lawsuit against Tavern on the Green. In court papers, a lawyer for the veteran, Michael O'Neill, accused the restaurant of violating New York City’s protections against the disabled, as his client relies on the dog’s presence to help her cope with the stress of her military service. 

In a statement through her lawyer, Coley said that she was “shocked and embarrassed” that the staff of a notable restaurant such as Tavern on the Green would not have trained its staff to understand that service dogs can provide services other than guiding the blind.

After the incident, Coley and her family went to Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin, where the entire party was welcomed “without reservation, in both senses of the word.”
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