Well I know where I won't be going this summer. We've got some great reporting from Edugaytion who originally first broke this story.
Chelsea, New York - Recently, there has been discussion across social media surrounding Rebar NYC, the new gay bar in Chelsea (situated in the spot where G Lounge once existed). It was not until just this weekend that we noticed a lot of talk about the venue with regard to its admissions policies and practices. On numerous accounts, since the hangout spot has opened, there have been accusations of unfair, prejudice and even racist actions on behalf of the establishment. A bit of investigation lead us to multiple users with similar experiences over the span of a week, since the bar opened for business. According to the ongoing discussion surrounding Rebar NYC, the business is telling POC patrons who are waiting in line that capacity has been reached when, in fact, the bar is nowhere near its full occupancy limit. Many have speculated that, actually, the bar had reached its "black limit." This, on top of mounting discussions surrounding Rebar NYC's marketing strategy (see picture above) and how the new social venue is attempting to white wash out what little POC presence its predecessor, G Lounge, had.
After catching wind of these disturbing allegations against Rebar NYC, we decided to reach out to their management for a statement. A self identified manager of Rebar NYC said over the phone:
"We have no statement. The situation is not real... We're not going to give it credence at all..."
And when asked to expound upon 'the situation':
"We do not want to expand upon that. If we did, we would do it online."
The antiblack sentiment that exists among many business owners is nothing new, and not limited to just white business owners (As at least one of the owners of Rebar NYC, according to patron interviews, are white appearing Latinx). There exists a litany of black experiences in various businesses where owners or employees follow black customers around, harass black buyers to hurry up and buy, flat out ignore black consumers, write dress codes that specifically target "urban clientele", and the list goes on.
We decided that if Rebar NYC wouldn't talk about the accusations lodged against them by multiple sources of varying identities, we would compile the experiences of these patrons and help them tell their stories. All too often, we allow white supremacy (and make no mistake about it, white supremacy and its influence does exist within and between POC communities) to dismiss or erase issues that are deemed unimportant by their own racist standards. In addition to the below screenshots, many more users have expressed their feelings to Rebar NYC via their facebook page reviews:
I was going to wait till Monday but I'm too disgusted!
REBAR NYC will NEVER SEE A DIME FROM ME AND IT SHOULDNT FROM YOU EITHER!
Last night a large group of friends and myself walked over to REBAR after drinks and fare at BBQ's. It was approximately 1:30 AM. We arrived to a already decent line outside the venue. Of course as a new Yorker I expected that at a new place. An employee told myself and TreMajesty A Coleman that the bar was at capacity and they had stopped letting people in. Ok not a issue it happens. We then proceeded to leave only to be recognized by another employee who asked how many people we had. Of course we took advantage of the hook up and went inside. It was then that my excitement turned to confusion. The bar was no where near crowded. In fact if that is what is considered capacity then the bar won't make it very long. We began to walk around the bar and notice that it was pretty dead and empty. Equally we started to notice a pattern of those around us. Not to many blacks ... in fact the majority of blacks inside were club promoters or circuit party attendees. Disgusted and annoyed we left and once we got outside grabbed the entire line made up of about 30 black guys plus two
White ones and explained the situation and told everyone not to give out your money where it's not wanted!! The majority of ppl with me were from out of town who were shocked that something like this would occur in NYC!
Throughout today I have been investigating and asking other people about their rebar experience. I have had confirmation from even the owners boyfriend that they don't want "that element" in their space! With that said I present the following hashtags for use
#rebarsowhite #boycottrebarnyc #whitewashing #rebarnycnotforme#AtBlackCapacityPlease repost and share with EVERYONE!!!
Enough is enough !!!
In an exchange with one user named Xtofer Robin, Alex Arevalo, someone identified by other users as management (possibly the owner or spouse of the owner) of Rebar NYC, combated the accusations via facebook comments.
With all of the uncertainty surrounding this ongoing incident, which has been effecting Rebar NYC's reputation since before its grand opening earlier this month, one thing, for us, will remain: Until Rebar NYC addresses these accusations, we won't be paying them any visits, and we encourage you all, POCs and our Allies to do the same.