Former employee claims reports of racism at Kung Fu Saloon accurate

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by CARLA WADE

Bio | Email | Follow: @CarlaNWade

WFAA

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 8:17 PM

DALLAS -- Kung Fu Saloon in Uptown Dallas is accused of racist business practices, like using its dress code to deny entrance to minority customers and not applying the code to white customers.

“I never saw any white people getting turned away,” said Stephanie Guidry, a former employee.

Guidry was an event coordinator at the bar from September of 2012 to January of 2013. She said managers told employees to screen customers, not only when people came to the bar in person, but over the phone.

“I would have to call them up on the phone and speak to them on the phone,” she said. “And listen to their accent -- listen to see if they sounded ghetto or too Asian.”

"Ghetto," she said, was a code word for black. In those instances, she was supposed to say the bar was booked.

And if she didn’t, “There were comments made to me, like, 'Why is it so dark in here? Why is it so Asian in here? Did you not screen these phone calls?'”

Last month, a social media campaign was launched against the bar when DeAndre Upshaw said he was told he violated unposted dress codes while wearing the same attire as white customers who were allowed in. Back then, managers told News 8 it was investigating and insisted they serve a diverse crowd. They later posted a dress code in compliance with Dallas city codes.

Guidry was terminated over what she said were false claims shortly after she booked a party for Asian friends.

Managers did not return calls for comment.

Guidry said even drink preferences were screened, with the assumptions that some liquor requests were associated with certain ethnic groups.

“Everybody’s money is green,” Guidry said. “They should be able to come in and spend it, just like anybody else. The color of your skin shouldn’t matter."

Wednesday, the Dallas City Council began its own investigation, with council members even paying the bar a visit.

Jeff Hahn, a spokesperson for Kung Fu Saloon, provided News 8 with the following statement:

"Kung Fu Saloon has always been a welcoming establishment, so we have taken this matter seriously. While accounts of what may have taken place vary, the important thing is that our team is fully committed to providing all our patrons an enjoyable time. Several City of Dallas officials dropped in for a short visit just the other day and got to experience this for themselves.”

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

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