AG: Dorchester bar wouldn’t let in ‘customers of color’

Peggy O'Neil's Pub & Grill in Dorchester has been sued by the state Attorney's General's office for civil rights violations which allege the pub kept minorities.

A Dorchester bar owner is denying allegations made by the Attorney General in a lawsuit that claims the bar refused to let in minorities.

“There is absolutely no way we’re a discriminating bar. No way. Absolutely no way. I can’t believe this is even happening,” said Caron O’Neil, the owner of Peggy O’Neil’s Pub & Grille.

The lawsuit announced yesterday alleges O’Neil and bar staff “engaged in a pattern of not allowing customers of color to enter and use the bar,” according to AG Martha Coakley’s office.

According to the lawsuit, two men of Cape Verdean and African-American descent went to the bar in December 2010 and waited in line with numerous white customers. The men were there for a birthday party for their friend, a white woman already inside.

“Staff allowed numerous Caucasian customers to enter the bar in front of them,” Coakley’s office said.

The suit also alleges that O’Neil told the group that they should find somewhere else to go.

It is alleged the discrimination also happened to a second group that night.

“Ms. O’Neil made several statements to them about why they could not enter the bar,” according to the lawsuit, which said O’Neil told the group: “I’m not letting you people in.”

Other people came forward about a similar alleged discrimination incident in April, the suit said.


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