DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas city council members didn’t shy away Wednesday from controversy, or the cocktails that came with it. Hours after hearing complaints of discrimination at an uptown bar, a half-dozen council members were there, to see the situation for themselves.
The city attorney’s office and fair housing office are also now looking into the allegations at Kung Fu Saloon. The city manager indicated Wednesday that the city was prepared to enforce anti-discrimination laws if it was necessary.
The complaints found their way to city hall two weeks after DeAndre Upshaw first posted on social media that he believed the bar used an arbitrary dress code to keep him out. Since then, dozens of other similar accounts have surfaced at Kung Fu, and other bars in the area.
No one from the business has addressed the issue publicly, apart from a post on Facebook stating that there was confusion about the bar’s dress code. That code has since been taped in the front window of the Roush St. business.
Wednesday afternoon, council members Philip Kingston, Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano, Dwayne Carraway, Rick Callahan and Lee Kleinman all met at the bar. Kleinman didn’t wear socks, a nod to repeated complaints that bouncers use that as a reason to keep minorities out. Kingston said the goal was to start a conversation first, to try to clear up the issue.
“It should not be a surprise to anybody, but if we need a little bit of education, we need a little correction, that’s what the goal of this happy hour was,” he said.
Upshaw was surprised to hear council members followed through on the casual idea to meet at the bar. Based on the usual speed of government, he said he didn’t have high expectations. If it led to compliance with law though, he said he would be happy with that.
“If another person doesn’t have to go what I went through, that’s a win for me, ” he said. “Everything else, prosecutors trying to prosecute for discrimination, is icing on the cake.”
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