Monday, August 15, 2011
AG’s office claims Dorchester restaurant barred entry to minorities
By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff
The Massachusetts attorney general’s office has sued a Dorchester restaurant and bar and its owner, alleging that the establishment engaged in a pattern of not allowing minorities to enter.
“We allege that Peggy O’Neil’s engaged in discriminatory and unlawful conduct,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement. “No one who lives, works, or visits Massachusetts should be subjected to discrimination. All businesses must ensure that appropriate anti-discrimination policies are posted and adhered to within their establishments.”
Caron O’Neil, owner of the Dorchester Avenue business, vehemently denied discriminating.
“Absolutely, we do not discriminate against anybody. We’re a Dorchester neighborhood bar. That’s our customer base. You know, it’s a very diverse neighborhood,” she said.
“We’ve been in business since 1963. Not ever have we had a complaint,” she said.
The lawsuit claims that one night in December 2010, two men of Cape Verdean and African descent were turned away from O’Neil’s on Dorchester Avenue. Then later that night, a group of friends of Cape Verdean, Spanish, and African descent were turned away. A third group of minorities was allegedly denied entry in April.
The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages, civil penalties, and a court order requiring the establishment to comply with state and federal antidiscrimination and consumer protection laws, the statement said. The lawsuit also asks the judge to order the owners to impose an antidiscrimination policy and to have the staff to undergo antidiscrimination training.
O’Neil said she was looking to tell “the true side of the story” and that, in the end, “I’m sure it will all clear up.”
Come on! Anyone who has ever been to Peggys knows that this can not be true. Anytime, you are in there it is like the United Nations. If I were a betting man, and I am, I bet these guys were coming in some night after 1 oclock and were too drunk to be let in. Then their friends were coming from the same party and were too drunk to come in. The only place in the city where there is more Jungle fever is the Hong Kong!