Allegations of racism at Terrasses Bonsecours have prompted members of the Montreal community to share their own stories about discrimination at the popular Old Port club. In response, the club's owners said that the establishment "does not discriminate" against anyone based on race or cultural heritage in a widely-shared Facebook post. The allegations stem from an incident that occurred on July 4, where a Black woman and her group of friends were allegedly denied entry to the club while "all non-Black people" were able to enter.
MTL Blog reached out to representatives from Terrasses Bonsecours regarding these allegations.
A representative from the company tells us that all these allegations "are blown way out of proportion."
"It's a very sensitive issue. Here at Terrasses, we're very devoted and passionate about what we do."
"To have a whole bunch of people comment on the idea that we're racist is hurtful in the sense that we don't select our clientele based on culture."
According to Terrasses, a huge influx of customers coupled with the government's regulations is making accommodations difficult.
"We're playing a Tetris game trying to accommodate everybody."
The bar posted a statement to its "followers and fans" on July 6.
The company claims that while the door staff did their best to accommodate the group on July 4, the group arrived two and a half hours late for their reservation — showing up at 9 p.m. as opposed to 6:30 p.m., according to the club's owners.
"We're totally blown away by the reaction they had, using the race card. We don't choose our clientele based on cultural background," said Terrasses representatives.
With a large police presence in the area to enforce the government's guidelines, the owners have been forced to "triple" their security in recent days.
The club employs a mix of in-house security staff and contractors. At any given time, up to 30 security guards can be on the premises.
According to the club's representatives, customers tend to get "out-of-hand" and often refuse to respect the rules.
"Of course, this isn't directly addressing that one situation on Saturday," said Terrasse representatives.
"The reality is that what's going on is causing us to refuse people. And at this point, it's not even a question of business and making money, it's a matter of survival and staying open."
Not only did they silence the black community in taking away access to commenting and exchanging stories but to add… https://t.co/JzqXI0AEhQ— Rayon de Soleil☀️ (@Rayon de Soleil☀️) 1594087753.0
The representatives acknowledge that so far, the club's owners are unclear about how to proceed in the face of all these allegations.
"It looks like whatever we do, whatever we say, we're gonna get destroyed. We're in a position where we have to let it happen and let people say what they have to say."
"[The allegations] are blown way out of proportion. They're definitely unfounded. It's unreal to see and hear that we choose our clientele due to their cultural backgrounds," concluded the representatives.