Several female patrons have come forward on social media in the last week alleging their drinks were spiked or they were drugged while at Birmingham cocktail bar Rose Room, located under restaurant 220 Merrill at the Edison building.
The allegations have now reached the Birmingham police department and gained the attention of Michigan State Representative Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham) after Michaela Lillie alleges she lost feeling in her arms and legs and blacked out after consuming two drinks while visiting Rose Room on Thursday, March 13. In a Facebook statement, Manoogian calls the multiple drugging allegations from female patrons of Rose Room “incredibly disturbing” and “downright terrifying.” She asks people to come forward with any information or to provide a report to the Birmingham police.
Drugging claims date as far back as two years on Google reviews for Rose Room, with the most recent dated just two months ago. Multiple similar accounts mention sudden onsets of slurred speech and limbs going completely numb, blacking out, and some people alleging they spent days afterwards vomiting and experiencing dizzy spells after consuming one or two drinks.
Rose Room put out a statement on social media acknowledging the allegations, but appears to deny any employees’ involvement in spiking drinks or the drugging claims made by Lillie from her visit on March 13.
“Although we have not received any direct reports of anything like this ever happening at the Rose Room, we take these claims very seriously,” the statement reads, in part. “There is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our guests, and we condemn all forms of sexual harassment and assault. We have already interviewed all of our employees that were working on that date, and we have no indication that the claims being repeated through social media are true.”
Rose Room has yet to return Eater’s request for comment on the allegations.
Side effects from drugs like Rohypnol — often referred to as the “date rape drug” — include memory loss, dizziness, blackouts, nausea or vomiting, and loss of motor movement. Rohypnol, in particular, has been used to perpetrate sexual crimes by spiking a person’s drink with the drug. Once consumed, a person is typically incapacitated and unaware of their surroundings.
In a social media post, Lillie says she contacted Birmingham police about the March 13 incident and was told “there was nothing they could do about it.” She also says a message was sent to Rose Room on Facebook about the drugging allegations, but “the owner read the message and then blocked who messaged him right away.”
Five women interviewed recently by Detroit Metro Times regarding the drugging claims at Rose Room say they, too, contacted Birmingham police with similar stories and were also told there was nothing to be done. Those interviewed say they contacted Rose Room with their allegations but “management brushed them off.”
“The Birmingham Police Department takes all criminal activity seriously. There are stories circulating on various forms of social media today that female patrons have been drugged while drinking at a restaurant in the City,” a March 22 statement posted to the police department’s Facebook page reads. “If anyone feels they have been a victim of a crime, the Birmingham Police Department encourages you to please come forward and report the incident to us.”
Anyone with information or who wishes to file a report should contact Birmingham police at 248-530-1870.