Austin’s LGBT community is up in arms after a popular bar allegedly refused to serve gays after being taken over by new owners. Members of the LGBT community are saying that the new owners of the Red Room have advised staff members to turn away gay customers.
“It's been a gay bar. They opened up on Fourth Street as a gay bar,” said former Red Room bartender Josh Moon.
Not anymore, at least if the new owners have anything to say about it, The Inquisitr reported.
“They pulled all the bartenders in the back and they said, 'Well, we're not going to call this a gay bar anymore, we're going to call it a straight bar,'" Moon said. During an event that the bar’s own Facebook page called the event its “Grand Opening,” gay patrons were kicked out of the bar. The Red Room’s owners claim that the event was private and that it was within the private party’s legal right to kick people out.
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According to Moon, that was a strategic move by ownership. “I think they were going to make it a continued thing and bring these people back every weekend, because that's how they made it sound to us,” he said.
Moon claims the bar’s bouncer was instructed to inform gay visitors, “This is not a gay bar anymore, you’re not welcome. You can’t come in.” That was really the only policy being enforced. “They said no shorts, no hats, no this... But then they were letting people in with shorts and letting people in with hats. They were turning gay people away just for being gay."
That treatment prompted Moon to leave and he was fired the next day. “I can't morally respect myself and be okay with this and stay here and work for you when you're turning all of my people away. You opened up a bar on 4th Street in the gay strip. You can't do this to people."
Red Room’s management says the bar is welcome to all and the events of the night in question were regrettable.