TORONTO: An Indo-Canadian woman has alleged that she faced racism at a bar in Vancouver.
Jas Dhillon alleged that she and her friends – all Indo-Canadian women – arrived at The Charles Bar in the Gastown neighbourhood of Vancouver Oct 19 evening to celebrate her 26th birthday but were greeted with nothing but rude service, the south Asian news portal Vancouver Desi reported on Sunday.
The bar manager allegedly shouted at them, “Surrey’s that way!”, which, according to Dhillon, was a reference to the city in British Columbia that is home to a large population of Indian descent. She said that the manager of the bar shouted at them when they sat at another booth after finding that where they were sitting did not have enough chairs.
The manager allegedly said she would be kicked out if she did not go back to her table. “To be honest, we don’t think that kind of stuff still happens,” Dhillon told Vancouver Desi. “To have that happen in Vancouver, in our own hometown – we were just shocked,” she added.
Dhillon said that the last thing that she wanted to do was leave as it was her birthday, and she did not “want to ruin the party”.
“It’s six in the evening, we’re just sitting there having a good time… why is this guy being so rude to me from the get-go?” she said.
Dhillon alleged that the rudeness continued, when Roop Khangura, a friend of her, on approaching the manager to ask if there was a miscommunication, was told that she and her friends were “the most f…ing annoying table” and they might be asked to leave.
Khangura said she and her friends then decided to find somewhere else to go. She alleged when she was walking down the street, the manager screamed “Surrey’s that way!'”
One of Dhillon’s friends posted the review on Facebook Nov 4 and in less than a day it garnered more than 185 shares, 56 likes and 31 comments.
After the flood of support, Dhillon wrote to Blueprint, the company that owns The Charles Bar, but she was not happy with the response.
In the e-mailed reply, it was stated: “Please accept my sincere apologies for the negative experience that you and your group of friends had at the Charles Bar.” It added that the company has begun looking into the matter and “will be taking action to ensure that our establishments continue to remain up to our standards”.
Dhillon dismissed the response from Blueprint as a generic reply.