The controversy surrounding Grosse Pointe Farms restaurant BluFin Sushi continued to spiral on Tuesday. Three women accused the restaurant of racism over the weekend, alleging that they were asked to leave the bar before their meal was finished because they were black. Since then, several former employees have also emerged to accuse the management of using racial slurs and profiling black patrons.
On Monday evening after several days of silence, BluFin owner Joel Radu finally went on the record with WDIV:
"I apologize that anybody would have that experience here, and that's never what I ever want to see happen again," Radu says. "I would like the opportunity to talk to them and hear their experience and learn from it and see how we can make the changes to make sure that doesn't happen again."
The women say they felt racially targeted by general manager Katherine Fiscelli who they claim asked them to leave the bar despite the fact that there were other tables available in the restaurant. Captured on a Facebook Live video, Fiscelli later reported the women to the police.
In the interview, Radu says that the bar does have a policy on its menu stating that bar patrons may be asked to leave after an hour and 45 minutes if there’s a wait. He claims that there was a 35-minute wait on Saturday evening, but says he is reviewing the policy. “I don't know how this situation was handled,” he says.
According to BLAC Detroit, the customers are now planning a protest of the restaurant from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday. “We are demanding answers from Grosse Pointe Farms Public Safety and Blufin. We are demanding fair and equitable treatment of all patrons!” the organizers write in a Facebook event.
Meanwhile, the outrage sparked a flood of negative online reviews — enough to get the attention of the Yelp cleanup crews.
Correction: The original version of this post misstated to the protest date as Tuesday.
• Grosse Pointe Farms Sushi Restaurant Accused of Discrimination [ED]
• 3 Black Women Claim They Were Asked to Leave Grosse Pointe Farms Restaurant to Make Room for Others [WDIV]
• Protest Scheduled Surrounding BluFin Sushi Discrimination Claims [BLAC]
• All Controversies Coverage [ED]