Epicenter night spot in hotseat for alleged discrimination

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Kandy Bar, an Epicenter night spot, is facing discrimination allegations in a viral Facebook post and NAACP says this isn't an isolated incident.  

Corinne Mack, President of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP chapter, says she has received numerous complaints of discrimination since the post on social media this weekend.

"A white young lady who says she was with her African-American boyfriend and she was allowed entry and he was not, we just can't tolerate this kind of thing," Mack declared.

The Kandy Bar's management says they have a zero tolerance policy towards discrimination. 

They released surveillance video from Saturday night. They believe the video shows The Kandy Bar catering to a diverse clientele. 

A long line of club goers is seen in the video, waiting to get into the club, which opened its doors in May. 

The video shows people of all races getting into the establishment. 

However, Ashley Ellis-Sico did not get in.  

In her Sunday evening Facebook post, she says she and her friends were asked if they had a membership and when they said no, they were not allowed to enter. 

She says that white patrons were not asked if they had membership and were allowed to enter the club. 

Management says Sisco and her friends were denied entry because they did not meet the dress code policy, claiming they were wearing athletic gear. The ladies dispute this claim, saying they were dressed up for the night and wearing heels. They added that the dress code was never mentioned by the bouncers, who they say turned away several African Americans.

Mack says the club management has given conflicting reports. 

"Some say we have a membership, some say we have a dress code," she said. "Our white counterparts who have been a blessing to us tell us, that is a lie, I don't have a membership, I've never had a membership and I'm always included," she said.

Mack plans to file city and state complaints against the club, but says HB2 overturned Charlotte's non-discrimination ordinance. She says this makes it difficult for the city to do anything about these allegations.

"Prior to HB2, the city did have the responsibility to do investigatory process around discrimination, since HB2 they lost that responsibility and all the onus is on the state," she said.

The ladies at the center of this discrimination allegations plan to file complaints of their own and have sought legal counsel.

The NAACP plans to hold a press conference Friday at 5pm at the EpiCentre. 

Kandy Bars says they are investigating Saturday's incident.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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