There's a controversy going down in Louisville right now over a lawsuit claiming Fourth Street Live's Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge violated the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. According to Courthouse News Service, a man named Andre Mulligan has filed a complaint after a meeting with the restaurant to discuss hosting an event there, claiming that officials "demanded to know the ratio of 'black people' to 'white people' attending the event." And that's not it. The complaint goes on:
"Plaintiff informed the Maker's Mark officials that the party would be 100 percent African American. And the Maker's Mark officials responded by informing the plaintiff that he and other African Americans would not be allowed to hold an event at the Maker's Mark Lounge. ... On Aug. 18, 2012 Maker's Mark officials refused service to all African Americans (in the event) who attempted to gain access to the lounge (just as they had promised)."
Needless to say, a lot of people are angry at the Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge right now and spreading the word, especially Alternet.org with a salacious headline reading, "The Most Racist Restaurant in America?" And what does the restaurant have to say? Eater Louisville checks in with the various parties reportedly named in the lawsuit. Cordish, which operates the Fourth Street Live venue connected to the restaurant, says it is not a party in the lawsuit. Meanwhile, Maker's Mark the bourbon (not the restaurant) released a statement claiming to be unaware of the complaint and adding that the allegations "are extremely serious and, if true, reflect behavior that is abhorrent and unacceptable." Developing?
UPDATE: A Cordish spokesperson sends along this statement from Fourth Street Live spokesperson Mike Leonard: "This is a matter between a third party tenant and an individual. Neither Fourth Street Live! nor The Cordish Company nor any of their employees were involved in the alleged situation. The tenant has vigorously denied the allegations and stated they are totally false. In addition, we have conducted an independent investigation of the allegations and believe them to be without merit."
· Blatant Racism [Courthouse News Service]
· So, Is Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge 'The Most Racist Restaurant In America?' [Eater Louisville]
· All Lawsuits Coverage on Eater [-E-]