According to WKBW7News, 27-year-old Chris Jarell said security and a manager from the popular restaurant Bada Bing booted him on June 22 because he was wearing a black hoodie, even though a white customer also wearing a hoodie was allowed to stay.
The New York City actor was in Buffalo at the time filming an indie movie. Jarrell went to the restaurant after leaving the gym to pick up some dinner to take back to his hotel room. That’s when security approached him and asked them to leave. “Security guard comes in with a problem, like ‘hey man, you said you wasn’t going to sit down,’” Jarell said.
While security called for a manager, Jarell noticed that a white patron was wearing a similar outfit. When he asked about this discrepancy, Jarell claims the manager cursed at him. “I told the manager if I put this on social media, it’s not a good look man. You’re treating somebody who’s coming in town for the first time like they’ve done something wrong. He was like f’ you and your social media. Don’t come back here. I don’t care who you are,” Jarell told WKBW.
After facing backlash online, the restaurant has tried to remedy the situation with multiple statements. “I feel terrible. Last thing I wanted was people to think I’m a racist. I think both sides caused the situation,” the manager told WKBW.
Read the first statement below:
There are two sides to the story but our employees could have used better judgment. Our social media department was asked to stay silent as we investigated the situation and we are sorry we have ignored the bombardment of accusations and ugly fallacies of racism which grew uglier the longer we did not make a statement. We could not possibly provide any answers to this situation until we had all of the facts. We still are gathering facts and we will take necessary actions internally. We are hoping to reach out to the gentleman today(if he reads this he is welcome to call us.)
Our family business was built on hearing every customer awesome. Employees make mistakes, managers make mistakes and again we will deal with HR issues privately. We wish to own up to the miscue. Our door policy on the weekends is extremely strict at Bada Bing, as Chippewa St. is an active street that has had documented fist fights and all-out brawls. Our dress code is a selection of keeping people in our establishment safe. That is not a “buzzword” for keeping Bada Bing white. The fact that a white person was wearing a hoodie in the restaurant (at a table) was both a reflection of the shift change, as well there is a part of the story missing, this was not selective enforcement, and we are sorry that was not explained to the gentlemen. As a sports bar, we understand that people are wearing their hoodies for FIFA, NFL, NIKE, NBA, NHL etc. In that sense, we are guilty of breaking from the policy for big games or local team games on Sunday afternoons in the Fall or a night game with the Sabres as we are a popular pre-game destination. We do not determine dress code based on skin color. Racism is horrible. We detest it. Everyone is welcome at the BING.
Bada Bing then deleted that statement and replaced it with the following:
The Ownership of Bada Bing has been apprised of the allegations made against one of our employees and we have begun a full investigation into the facts surrounding the incident. We take these allegations very seriously and if proven, we will take all steps necessary to deal with the issue. We value all of our customers and we want the community to know, that we in no way condone racial or ethnic bias of any kind.