WASHINGTON — The owner of Nellie's Sports Bar has given a look at how the bar spent its time during a one-month closure following ongoing protests sparked by a video showing a security guard dragging a woman out of the establishment by her hair.
According to Doug Schantz, the owner of Nellie's, the sports bar used the time to train all managers and staff in conflict de-escalation and hired Ruby Corado, executive director of Casa Ruby, as the bar's new manager and director of Community Engagement.
Schantz said Corado will help ensure that Nellie's staff receive ongoing diversity sensitivity and inclusion training, that will focus on the concerns of LGBTQ+ people of color.
Nellie's reopened on July 12, nearly a month after a security guard was caught on camera dragging Keisha Young out of the bar by her hair. Video showed Young appearing to throw punches during a fight with security guards and employees before she is yanked down the stairs. However, the 17-second video doesn't show what led up to the brawl.
Nellie's terminated the security company the guard was hired through following the incident.
"To be clear, we are very sorry that this horrible incident occurred, and we are sorry for what happened to Ms. Young, and we apologize to her for how she was treated," said Schantz in a statement sent to WUSA9.
Schantz also claimed in the 14 years that Nellie's has been open, the bar has given more than a million dollars to the community and will continue to "proactively support diverse organizations."
A new customer feedback page is now available on the Nellie's website. Schantz says any concerns reported will be dealt with within 72 hours.
"We are committed to restoring our customers' and community’s faith in Nellie’s to always be a safe and welcoming space for all of our guests," said Schantz in the statement.
Read Doug Schantz full statement below:
For 14 years we've opened our doors at Nellie's to welcome everyone -- and we always will.
On June 12, Keisha Young, one of our customers, was treated inappropriately, unsafely and disrespectfully by a security vendor. As previously stated, the individual and his company responsible for that incident were terminated with immediate effect. The regulatory and possible legal matters surrounding the incident with Ms. Young are still evolving, and we will share additional information if and when we are able. To be clear, we are very sorry that this horrible incident occurred, and we are sorry for what happened to Ms. Young, and we apologize to her for how she was treated.
In addition to the termination of the security vendor, Nellie's temporarily paused operations to allow for a thorough review of the incident to be conducted. We also used the time to add additional resources so that nothing like this happens in the future. We are committed to restoring our customers' and community’s faith in Nellie’s to always be a safe and welcoming space for all of our guests
To that end, we want to inform our customers and community of the following actions:
Nellie’s has named Ruby Corado as our new manager and Director of Community Engagement. Ms. Corado, who also serves as the executive director of Casa Ruby, has a 29-year career as a passionate advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ bilingual and multicultural community in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. She will assist in ensuring that all of Nellie's staff receive ongoing diversity sensitivity and inclusion training -- with a focus on the concerns of LGBTQ+ people of color.
Since our opening more than a decade ago, Nellie’s has given more than $1 million dollars to the community in direct and in-kind support to a wide array of organizations. We will continue to proactively support diverse organizations – especially those nonprofits aiding marginalized neighbors and residents.
We have created a customer feedback page on our website, and any concerns reported will be acted upon within 72 hours.
All of our managers and staff have completed professional conflict de-escalation training, and regular and routine training of this nature is now a part of our onboarding process for any employee.
During the ongoing pandemic, Nellie’s was forced to close like many other businesses, but dedicated itself to being a vital part of the community by using its own resources to provide free meals to first responders and other workers involved in serving the community during the health crisis. This work will continue.
Nellie’s staff is racially, ethnically and gender-identity diverse. It always has and always will. As we reopen to serve the community and ensure continued employment of our team of 50 employees -- all of us at Nellie’s renew our mission to be an inclusive, welcoming and safe space for women, for all people of color, for the entire LGBTQ+ community and for all our neighbors and friends. We also recognize that being an inclusive business is an ongoing process, and we pledge to continue to investigate ways to do better.
We promise to see you, to listen to you, to embrace you and to welcome you each night.
Doug Schantz and the Nellie’s Family