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Friday, September 19, 2008

"Do Not Go to Ortho" Nothing Political Today, Just Supporting a Fellow Twin Cities' Blogger

Do not go to Otho. I'm not talking about the food, the drinks, or the decor. The reason you should not go there is much more serious.Background: My good friend Imran and I threw a party at our building last Friday night. It was 80's themed with costumes, decorations, and a professional DJ. Many people we work with celebrated with us - public defenders, private attorneys, city attorneys, county attorneys... It was a welcoming environment and everyone had a blast. We even worked out a deal with Otho for a late night happy hour special and 80's music for our guests starting at midnight after the party ended.

Background on Otho: It's located in the Skyscape Condominium complex. Considering both Grant Park Condos and Skyscape are full of young professionals adjacent to this restaurant, you would expect it to be constantly crowded. But it's not. Imran and I always tried to support business there.

We had celebrated a birthday there. And Imran and his fiance had their engagement party there. We thought we were doing our local establishment good by bringing them our business.

What happened: At midnight, as we were cleaning up the party room, I received a phone call from one of my guests: "The bartender is saying there aren't any drink specials. He's being really rude about it." I walked over to try and clear up the problem. I walked toward the establishment and many of my other guests were standing outside talking about how rude the bartender was being to them. I walked inside and asked to speak to the manager.

When I found her she indicated to me that now they were honoring the special and playing the music. I thought the problem was solved. I was excited because the wild party-goers had calmed down and now everyone was talking in different groups. No one was boisterous. No one was going nuts. And there were only 4 people in the entire bar that were not with our party.When Imran came, he ordered a few shots for himself and two friends.

The aforementioned bartender poured them and then printed up the bill. Imran was planning on spending more money, so he told him to hang on to it and he'd pay it. That was not good enough for the already angry bartender who continued to wag the bill in front of him to get him to pay immediately. Oblivious, Imran then went to grab the other two shot-takers to come to the bar. The bartender followed him with the bill in hand.

He approached him and said:"Hey, [racial slur] take your fucking shots and pay your bill!"

Imran was so shocked by this statement, he said, "What the fuck did you just say?" As words were exchanged, the bartender said, "If we were out on the street, I'd fucking kill you!" and proceeded to come from behind the bar in an aggressive manner.

Several people were witnesses to the bartenders aggression. The manager grabbed me and told me that Imran had to be kicked out of the establishment. I saw the confrontation and went between everyone and grabbed Imran and said,

"Let's get out of here." Once outside, I found out what happened and came in and told everyone who I brought to Otho that we were leaving and not giving them another cent of our money.That bartender used a racial slur against my friend and threatened his life. The establishment kicked my friend out.

That bartender was back at work at Otho the next night. I would not be surprised if he had a history of such behavior based on how he was acting to the patrons before he served Imran. To this date, no formal apology has been issued to Imran and as far as I know that bartender is still working there.

The service industry is no place for racism or violence; and therefore, should have no place for Otho.

Do not go to Otho.

If they are willing to keep such a person under their employ, they do not deserve your money or your time. And please, tell everyone you know.Update: Both my friend and others have been in touch with management several times since this incident. One individual stayed after we all left that evening to speak with the manager and Imran himself called after he got home. As far as I know, no apology has been issued nor has there been any action taken against the bartender.

link | posted by Jae at 3:02 PM |


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