BOSTON, Aug. 16 (UPI) — The state of Massachusetts says a Boston bar refused to allow black and Hispanic friends to enter to celebrate a white friend’s birthday.
The attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit Monday against Peggy O’Neil’s Bar and Grille in Dorchester, a neighborhood once mostly white that has become increasingly diverse over the years, The Boston Globe reported. In legal documents, lawyers say the friends, including blacks, Hispanics and immigrants from the Cape Verde Islands off Africa, were denied admission even when the birthday honoree came out and talked to the bouncer.
Caron O’Neil, described by the state as the bar’s owner, denied any discrimination.
“We’re a Dorchester neighborhood bar,” she said. “That’s our customer base.”
But the lawsuit says she talked differently on Dec. 17.
“We don’t want any trouble tonight,” she allegedly told two of the birthday guests, the suit alleged. “I don’t know you guys, and you should try to find another place to go.”
Peggy O’Neil’s has been owned by the O’Neil family for more than half a century. It was named after Margaret “Peggy” O’Neil, who died recently.