Metro Weekly

Nellie’s issues a statement in response to continued protests. Read it here.

Bar hires Ruby Corado as the Director of Community Engagement and pledges "to do better"

Nellie's Sports Bar
Nellie’s Sports Bar — Photo: Ted Eytan

Nellie’s Sports Bar has issued a full statement in response to recent protests against the bar, following an incident caught on video on June 13, 2021, depicting a female patron, Keisha Young, being dragged down the stairs by a security guard.

As a result of an investigation into the incident, D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration has referred Nellie’s Sports Bar to the office of Attorney General Karl Racine, setting into motion an investigation that could lead to the LGBTQ sports bar being fined or losing its license.

Nellie’s attempted to reopen to the public on Tuesday, July 13, but the effort was blocked by protestors, who formed a human chain, blocking the entrance.

Nellie’s full statement follows:

For 14 years we’ve opened our doors at Nellie’s to welcome everyone — and we always will.
On June 12 (sic), Keisha Young, one of our customers, was treated inappropriately, unsafely and disrespectfully by a security vendor. As previously stated, the individual and his company responsible for that incident were terminated with immediate effect.  The regulatory and possible legal matters surrounding the incident with Ms. Young are still evolving, and we will share additional information if and when we are able. To be clear, we are very sorry that this horrible incident occurred, and we are sorry for what happened to Ms. Young, and we apologize to her for how she was treated.
In addition to the termination of the security vendor, Nellie’s temporarily paused operations to allow for a thorough review of the incident to be conducted. We also used the time to add additional resources so that nothing like this happens in the future. We are committed to restoring our customers’ and community’s faith in Nellie’s to always be a safe and welcoming space for all of our guests
To that end, we want to inform our customers and community of the following actions:
    • Nellie’s has named Ruby Corado as our new manager and Director of Community Engagement. Ms. Corado, who also serves as the executive director of Casa Ruby, has a 29-year career as a passionate advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ bilingual and multicultural community in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. She will assist in ensuring that all of Nellie’s staff receive ongoing diversity sensitivity and inclusion training — with a focus on the concerns of LGBTQ+ people of color.
    • Since our opening more than a decade ago, Nellie’s has given more than $1 million dollars to the community in direct and in-kind support to a wide array of organizations. We will continue to proactively support diverse organizations – especially those nonprofits aiding marginalized neighbors and residents.  
    • We have created a customer feedback page on our website, and any concerns reported will be acted upon within 72 hours.
    • All of our managers and staff have completed professional conflict de-escalation training, and regular and routine training of this nature is now a part of our onboarding process for any employee.
    • During the ongoing pandemic, Nellie’s was forced to close like many other businesses, but dedicated itself to being a vital part of the community by using its own resources to provide free meals to first responders and other workers involved in serving the community during the health crisis. This work will continue.
Nellie’s staff is racially, ethnically and gender-identity diverse. It always has and always will. As we reopen to serve the community and ensure continued employment of our team of 50 employees — all of us at Nellie’s renew our mission to be an inclusive, welcoming and safe space for women, for all people of color, for the entire LGBTQ+ community and for all our neighbors and friends. We also recognize that being an inclusive business is an ongoing process, and we pledge to continue to investigate ways to do better.
We promise to see you, to listen to you, to embrace you and to welcome you each night.
Doug Schantz and the Nellie’s Family
This is a developing story.

RelatedCommunity organizers react to Nellie’s statement in response to protests

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