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Post date: June 3 2003

Settlement With Manhattan Nightclub Ends Investigation Of Discrimination Allegations

State Attorney General Spitzer today announced a settlement that resolves an investigation of a Manhattan restaurant/nightclub's admission policies that were based on race or national origin. The establishment would routinely turn certain patrons away in an effort to maintain what it believed was a racial or ethnic "balance".

Under the terms of the agreement, the restaurant/nightclub, formerly called Remedy Restaurant and Lounge, located at 36 East 20th Street, now doing business as Anju, will reform its admission policies to conform to state and federal civil rights law. In addition, the club's managers will inform the Attorney General's Office of any complaints of discrimination made by patrons or prospective patrons of the nightclub.

"As this agreement makes clear, we will not tolerate any racial or national origin discrimination in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, or any other place of public accommodation," Spitzer said. "This office's efforts to enforce the civil rights law are substantially aided when the victims of discrimination come forward to report their experiences, which can often be painful."

Spitzer's office began its investigation in July of 2002, after receiving complaints that Remedy had refused to admit a group of South Asian persons to the establishment. According to the complaint, more than 300 people had been invited to a party being held at the nightclub by two of the complainants. The party hosts were assured their guests would get into the club, provided they supply a guest list, which they did. While the doorman repeatedly allowed non-South Asian patrons to enter the club, most South-Asians were denied entry. When asked about the guest list for that night's party, the doorman said it did not exist. Later, in a televised news interview, the doorman confirmed the club's discriminatory admission policy by stating: "It's my responsibility to blend this club. There has to be a balance, there has to be."

To ensure compliance with the agreement, representatives of the Attorney General's office may visit the club and inspect its records for two years. The club has also agreed to pay $10,000 to the State for the cost of the investigation.

The case was handled by Assistant Solicitor General Sachin S. Pandya and Assistant Attorney General Brian J. Kreiswirth, under the direction of Deputy Bureau Chief Natalie R. Williams of the AG's Civil Rights Bureau.