City Hall

Dallas Officials Will Probe Alleged Racism at Kung Fu Saloon, and Maybe Go for Happy Hour

After DeAndre Upshaw repeated his story, this time for the Dallas City Council, about the bouncers at Uptown's Kung Fu Saloon who appear to discriminate based on race, the City Council had an idea. They could all meet there for happy hour.

"You mention about no socks," Councilman Dwaine Caraway said to Upshaw in this morning's meeting, referencing one of the dress code violations black people say they've been turned away for. Upshaw told Caraway in particular about a video he posted to YouTube filmed by people refused for that very reason. From the outside of the bar, their footage captures people who made it past the bouncers and onto Kung Fu's patio, all with no socks on.

Well, Caraway said. County Commissioner John Wiley Price should be invited to this happy hour, too.

"We're going to take him with us because he does not wear socks," Caraway said. "We're going to see if they're going to turn him away"

Caraway's probably more likely plan was to ask City Manager A.C. Gonzalez to look into it, which Gonzalez promised to do. He said that the fair housing office has already pursued the issue with the city attorney.

"If needed, legal action will be taken to see about correcting the situation," Gonzalez said.

As we reported recently, minorities who party in Uptown say that bar bouncers in the neighborhood appear to be hiding behind dress codes as a way to limit the amount of non-whites allowed in clubs. While most allegations are anecdotal, Upshaw's activism against Kung Fu sparked a large online outcry last month and brought a former Kung Fu employee named Stephanie Guidry forward. She provided an email to Unfair Park in which her former boss instructed her: "If a request asks for Hennessy or cognac, it could be with a group that we might need to screen a bit more. I'll follow up with more on Monday regarding that."

In today's meeting, Councilman Adam Medrano said that his own black and Hispanic friends told him similar stories about feeling discriminated against by Kung Fu's bouncers.

The bar sits in Councilman Philip Kingston's district. He said that any bar violating city codes would be punished, but he seemed hesitant to accuse this particular bar of anything yet: "However, in this situation I think we also may have a chance for a little bit of learning, maybe some correction here," he said, before proposing plans to meet there with Caraway for happy hour.

He added of the discrimination allegations: "This is an issue that we don't let lie. We just don't do that in Dallas."