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Metro Detroit bar accused of having cover charge for black patrons, but not for white

Posted at 3:52 PM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 09:26:14-04

A man is accusing a Roseville bar and grill of being racist towards African-American customers.

Jonas Grabill says he was waiting to get in at The Spot in Roseville early Saturday morning, when he saw a group of African American being charged a cover fee. But when he got to the door he was allowed in for free.

He says the employee told him he gets in for free because he is white.

He said, "As we walked up, I asked how much the cover (charge) was. He said, 'its free if you're white. Don't tell anybody.'"

Grabill says he couldn't believe his ears when he tried getting into The Spot Bar and Grill in Roseville Saturday around 1:30 am in the morning.

"He just said it with a smirk on his face. Kind of snarky."

Jonas said he saw a group of African-Americans get charged a cover fee to get into Spot, but when he and his girlfriend went in they didn't have to pay.

Once inside, he was surprised that the crowd was very diverse.

He didn't complain to management at the time, instead he posted his experience on Facebook.

"I just put it out there and let them know what happened there and the shares just took off."

Robert Buzar is the owner of The Spot.

"We're not a racist bar in any way, shape, or form. We welcome everybody," Buzar said.

Robert Buzar doesn't believe Jonas Grabill's story. He says he knows the doorman for years and can't imagine him saying something like that.

Robert tells 7 Action News, they charge $10 for men and $5 for women on Fridays and Saturdays but at some point they stop charging, which is why Jonas may have not been charged, even if someone in front was charged minutes earlier.

Buzar explained, "If he came in after 1:30 am, we stopped charging cover after 1:30 am. That's the only explanation I can think of."

Jonas claims there were reviews on The Spot's Facebook page accusing the bar of racism before, but the section was shut off when 7 Action News went to check.

Robert says there were only a few negative reviews before he had to make it private.

"The reason why I did that was because of all the backlash that I was getting from the Facebook thing going viral."

Robert says people have been calling the bar and making threatening comments all because of the Facebook post.

Buzar added, "I pride myself in the fact that we have such a diverse crowd here. We cater to everybody."

But Jonas is sticking with his story.

Jonas added, "The fact that I'm white and I spoke up about it. I think that's why it got a lot of attention. Because I gain nothing from this. It's not my race that I'm accusing of being discriminated against. I just witnessed something that I thought was wrong."

Robert is reviewing surveillance footage now to try and see what exactly happened that night.