Local man suing downtown tavern for discrimination

Posted at 11:04 AM, Sep 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-11 11:05:21-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids man has filed a civil rights lawsuit against a local business.

Under the heading “Marcel Price Files and Serves Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Tavern on the Square and Its Parent Company,” the law firm Witte Law of Grand Rapids released the following statement:

“Marcel Price through his attorneys at Witte Law PLLC, served a civil rights complaint on a representative of Tavern on the Square Grand Rapids, who took service on behalf of Kristopher Elliott. The Complaint alleges that Marcel Price was denied entry to Tavern on the Square Grand Rapids because he is a black man… Mr. Elliott owns Urban Feast, Inc., which manages Tavern on the Square Grand Rapids, Tavern Lansing, and the Woods. The lawsuit seeks damages for constitutional violations, assault and defamation.”

Price previously told FOX 17 that on July 30 he and four friends were attempting to enter Tavern on the Square, located at 100 Ionia Ave. SW, when they were stopped by a bouncer at the door. Price said when he asked the bouncer why he and his friends couldn’t come in, the man replied “you know why,” to which Price said he asked if it was because he and his friends were black.

Price says the man then replied it was “because you are black.”

Responding to the allegations, Tavern on the Square released a statement saying Price and his friends were turned away because the business had closed for the evening.