A Toronto man claims a restaurant discriminated against him for wearing a turban. In a sarcasm-laced post to Reddit, the man — identified as Darshan Dorka by Global News— recounts a lengthy tale of heading to America Restaurant at Trump Hotel Toronto to attend a friend's birthday party.
Dorka says the staff working the door first tried to tell him and his friends that they were in the wrong place, and then asserted the venue was at capacity and couldn't let them in. He notes there was no line, though he says the doorman told him that it was "because they had been sending any new guests back down[stairs]." Dorka disputes this, saying they didn't see anyone leaving on their way in, and also says a couple of his friends had gained entry just minutes before.
Dorka says it was clear he and his friends were denied entry based on their turbans, claiming this kind of treatment is par for the course in the Toronto nightlife scene:
We've been out and about in the "trendy" parts of Toronto before — I actually live in King West, the Mecca of pretentiousness — and this script is used verbatim unless you plan to pay the ethnic tax by spending an exuberant amount of money on bottles or cover, or show up extremely early and/or with a 3 to 1 ratio of half-naked girls to well-dressed guys. Outside of the unsightly headgear 3 out of the 4 of us were wearing, we were all definitely dressed to code and our lady friends were already inside.
The restaurant says it was simply a matter of safety, telling Global News, "At the time that Mr. Dorka and his friends arrived at America on Saturday evening, which was close to 1:00 a.m., the venue was close to capacity and therefore not allowing any walk-in guests, with the exception of the confirmed bottle service reservations and hotel guest list. ... We are always vigilant in maintaining our capacity levels in the interest of public safety."
It seems like exclusivity might be a point of pride for America: Its website boasts in all caps, "Everyone wants in." Watch Dorka state his case on Global News, below: