A Grosse Pointe Farms restaurant is under the microscope after several patrons alleged that staff discriminated against them. Customer TaNisha Prater says she and her dining companions were sitting at the bar at Blufin Sushi finishing their meal and drinks, when the restaurant manager Katherine Fiscelli asked them to leave and make space for new customers, BLAC Detroit reports.
In a 16-minute Facebook Live video, Prater alleges that she and her party were the only black customers at the bar at the time of the incident and were the only patrons approached by Fiscelli. The confrontation continues outside the bar with the Blufin manager reporting Prater’s group to the police and suggesting that they’re drunk. “I’m not drunk. I had sushi, I had sliders, I had one drink, and the rest of the time I’ve been here I’ve had water,” Prater says.
Posted by TaNisha D. Prater on Saturday, February 18, 2017
“You didn’t ask anybody else to get up from the bar. I thought the bar was first come first serve,” she continues. Prater further alleges that the management withheld the owner’s information when she requested it. Later, the video records the women as they discuss the incident with police officers, noting that no customers were seated at the bar after they left. Fiscelli allegedly told the police that she had believed that Prater and her friends had already cashed out when she approached them.
Take a good look at this card...Katherine Fiscelli is the General Manager at @blufinsushi in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI on Mack Ave. My friends and I were at the bar patronizing the restaurant when the general manager approached one of my friend's requesting that we get up from the bar to allow others to be seated. She did not ask anyone else to leave. We were the only black people in the bar. When we called her out on it she told us that we were free to leave. When we asked for the owner's contact information she refused to give it to us, when I asked for her card from another waiter she tried to snatch her card out of my hand, when I refused to leave, STOOD my ground and started recording the events she called the police and lied and told the operator that there were drunk disgruntled women refusing to leave. When the police arrived they only asked for us to present our IDs. The officer did not require Katherine to present hers...we were discriminated against and our rights were violated. I am devastated to say the least! Shame on you @blufinsushi shame on you Katherine and shame on you officer.
The video has since been viewed more than 47,000 times and shared more than 1,500 times. The restaurant’s official Facebook page appears to have been suspended, while BluFin’s Yelp page have received numerous negative reviews referencing the incident. The restaurant was closed on Sunday, citing computer problems, according to WDIV.
Meanwhile, Daniel Carlisle, a former general manager for BluFin Sushi in Grosse Pointe Farms tells BLAC Detroit that the restaurant owner frequently used racial slurs. Carlisle says that after only a few months of working at the restaurant he grew uncomfortable with the management’s treatment of black customers.
There were plenty of times that black patrons would come in and (the owner) would tell me or other people, “make sure you watch those people. Make sure they don’t walk out of my restaurant. Be ready to call the police.”
Police are reportedly investigating the incident. BluFin’s phone lines continue to be busy as of Monday morning. Stay tuned for updates.
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