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Chic La Terrasse 02 pop-up summer terrace accused of racism
La Terrasse 02 in Uccle is defending itself against claims that it is discriminating against people of colour in its admittance policy. A Brussels entrepreneur has filed a complaint with human rights organisation Unia, claiming that black people are routinely turned away from the chic summer terrace and restaurant.
La Terrasse 02 is a summer pop-up restaurant and terrace bar run by the Drohme golf club and leisure park at the southern end of Bois de la Cambre. The terrace is enormous, making for a club-like atmosphere.
Paul Newman, who is black, took to Instagram to talk about his experience. He first became familiar with La Terrasse on business – he deals in cigars. But he claims his black friends couldn’t get in. “They drove into the parking area and were told that it was full, but cars behind them were allowed to drive in. The difference? There were white people in those cars.”
Then, he continued “when they wanted to enter, they suddenly needed a membership card. But white Bruxellois can just walk in.”
It was not the only time, he said, that he saw such discrimination. “Another time, friends of mine had made a reservation. They had dressed according to the dress code and had a QR code for their reservation. But when they wanted to enter, they were refused because the person on the door said that their names weren’t on the list.”
The third time Newman was present and saw what happened with his own eyes. “I was with two friends, and they had dressed super nicely – with a dress shirt and polo and like that. The person on the door let me in but not them. They said that they knew me, so I could get in, but they didn’t know them.”
He managed to get his friends in but was told by the person at the door, he said, that “they” could only get in because they were with him. “I asked him what he meant by ‘they’, did he mean black people? He answered ‘yes’.”
He asked to see the owner, who he said made light of the whole situation. “He said that they just wanted to be selective but that it had nothing to do with racism. Because, he said, ‘there are blacks and Arabs working in the kitchen’.”
Paul Newman shared a video to Instagram and received many responses from people, some of whom felt that La Terrasse 02 has a ‘quota’ of people of colour and sticks to it
“All of my black friends have had trouble getting into La Terrasse 02,” he said. “They start talking about membership cards, but I asked a line of white people waiting to get in once, and none of them had a membership card.”
Newman has filed a complaint with human rights organisation Unia and with the police. “But I don’t think anything much is going to happen,” he said.
As for La Terrasse 02, they strongly deny all of the allegations. “His whole story is simply not true,” a spokesperson told Bruzz. “It’s all lies that do not match up with the reality at all.”
He claims that La Terrasse 02 decided not to buy Newman’s cigars, and that’s where the whole thing started. “People of all kinds of backgrounds have been coming here for 17 years, also black people. We have never had a problem with racism, never.”
Some of the personnel, meanwhile, have left their temporary jobs at the establishment because they say they are being harassed on social media and have even faced death threats.