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Restaurants / Bars

Fighting Racist Bar “Dress Codes” in Dallas

New Incident Brings Attention to a Lingering Problem

BY // 07.06.17

Uptown bar Trophy Room is under investigation by the City of Dallas after three local women filed a complaint accusing the bar of having racially discriminatory door policies. Traci Burst, Stephanie Tavares and Ashley Jordan were denied entry to the club on June 17, when a bouncer told the women — who say they were dressed in skirts, blouses and heels – that their attire was too casual for Trophy Room’s dress code.

Burst watched the bouncer admit several “non minorities” in T-shirts and sneakers, while selectively denying entry to other people of color, according to the Dallas Morning News, .

The bar has no publicly posted dress code, which violates Dallas’ anti-discrimination ordinance which requires that one must be clearly displayed outside each public entrance.

Owner Jeremiah Miranda was not present at the time of the incident, but later challenged the women’s story, saying that they arrived shortly after a fight broke out in the bar, requiring a door closure per TABC rules.

This is not an isolated incident in the nightlife driven neighborhood of Uptown. Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice had to force Kung Fu Saloon to straighten out its sketchy door policy after several complaints of racism. One man, DeAndré Upshaw, brought attention to the problem when the bouncer turned him away for wearing Converse – after letting in his white friends wearing similar sneakers. City officials investigated and found a recurring problem with the bar using their dress code to disguise racist door policies.

Other people have taken to Yelp or Facebook to voice their frustration about discrimination in Uptown bars. Scroll through the reviews of Kung Fu, Clutch, Concrete Cowboy, or Trophy Room and you will find several stories like Burst’s and Upshaw’s.

The evening of the incident at Trophy Room, Tracy Burst documented her experience via Facebook Live. Dallas City Council member Casey Thomas saw the story on the local news, and encouraged the women to come to City Hall and speak with the Fair Housing department.

Whether the bar will face legal consequences is yet to be seen.

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