A restaurant in Harlem has been accused of racially profiling and accusing several Black women of running up a bar tab and skipping out on the bill.
On Feb 10., Tara Fitzgibbon says she visited the Angel of Harlem restaurant on Frederick Douglass Blvd. for the first time, reported New York Daily News.
When Fitzgibbon and her two friends entered the eatery, they realized there was no available tables, so they decided to grab a few drinks at the bar. While they waited for their drinks, a manager reportedly confronted them about not paying for drinks during the previous week.
“You were here last week, and ran up a tab and left,” Fitzgibbon said the manager insisted.
Fitzgibbon tried to explain she had never been to the restaurant, but the angry manager, who Fitzgibbon described as white or Hispanic, allegedly grabbed the menu from Fitzgibbon’s hands, threw it on the bar, and accused her of lying.
Then the manager showed Fitzgibbon surveillance footage of a woman who she said looked “nothing” like her. Eventually the situation escalated and the manager told Fitzgibbon and her friends to get out.
Fitzgibbon and her friend Tamara Young both filed police reports and are considering taking legal action.
Another woman who visited Angel of Harlem on the same date said in a Yelp review that a female bartender tried to overcharge her for drinks. When she questioned the employee, she and her boyfriend were accused of stealing alcohol from the bar.
“We were told that my partner had been stealing drinks from the counter and that is why we were charged extra,” the woman, who goes by Kristina, wrote in the review. “If he had been stealing, why weren’t we kicked out then? This doesn’t make any sense.”
Kristina said she told the employee she could not accuse the couple of stealing, to which the bartender allegedly said, “I’m from Europe, b---h.”
“Being from Europe should make no difference in the way patrons are treated or spoken to,” Kristina wrote. “It is eye-opening how establishments are treating locals in Harlem and what they allow their staff to get away with…I’ve never been treated this way in my own neighborhood. I will not be going back nor will I recommend this establishment to anyone again.”
Anahi Angelone, the owner of Angel of Harlem, said the female bartender had been suspended for a few days amid the accusations.
“It’s very sad that it went down the way it went down, but there are two sides to every story,” Angelone told The Daily News on Monday.
(Photo: Andrew Kolb/Getty)