New allegations surface against Mother’s Original

| Managing Editor

According to Alan Griffin, a 27-year-old Chicago native, discrimination is nothing new to Mother’s Bar.

Griffin, who described himself of mixed background, said that he experienced the same treatment as six Washington University students on two different occasions—once six years ago and again two weeks ago.

During Griffin’s first attempt to enter the bar when he was 21 he was refused based on the same dress code that was applied in the case of the University students.  Two weeks ago after hearing that there had been a change in the atmosphere at Chicago bars, Griffin tried to again to enter Mother’s.

Wearing a pair of regular jeans, which Griffin described as the tightest pair of jeans he owns, and a Sean John sweater,  Griffin was turned away as according to the bouncer “that brand [Sean John] doesn’t fit in here.”

While Griffin stood at the door, three white patrons exited the bar wearing Eckō brand jeans. When he questioned the bouncer as to why the three white men had been allowed to enter wearing such clothing,  he was told “We don’t want your business.”

Griffin believes that the difference between him and the other customers was not his clothing, but his race.

“They don’t try to hide it at all. They’re real jerk with it,” Griffin said.

Representatives from Mothers declined to be interviewed this weekend by Student Life but said in a news release that the bar “does not discriminate against guests or patrons on the basis of race, and would never tolerate discriminatory conduct.” Mothers said it is conducting an investigation into the case and will take disciplinary action if necessary.

In reviews of the Bar on ChicagoCitySearch.com, there are multiple allegations of discriminatory conduct by bouncers at Mother’s.

Click here for more information about allegations of discrimination at Mothers Bar

  • Pingback: The Original Mothers Bar Incident « Politiphile

  • kipp

    I’ve been boycotting, not just Mother’s, but the entire area for this exact same thing, for the past few years.

    It’s a lively strip. Most bars have no cover; reasonably priced beer; scores of women; bustling crowds until 5am; and are within a few steps of the greasiest, nastiest, most delicious after a long night of drinking pizza in Chicago. It can be a really good time…or, for black guys, me specifically, it can be the most disappointing and humiliating of times.

    After years of research, I can say with great confidence, that this “rule” started at Shenanigan’s, a bar a few doors down from Mother’s. I say this because when Shenanigan’s started enforcing the “No Negroes” loophole…I mean, no baggy pants rule, I could go to Mother’s and other bars with no problem. Then, over time, the places that didn’t have a problem with the skin…I’m mean, clothes…I was wearing became fewer and fewer. There are still a couple bars in the area that I never had a problem with…one as long as I had two forms of I.D.

    Every pair of jeans in my wardrobe turned out to be too baggy. Then, I tried a pair of expensive, deep-blue, perfectly fitted (slightly too tight for my comfort) jeans I received as gift. And, they worked. The next weekend, those jeans produced the same result. So, I dubbed them my “Shenanigan pants.” Time after time, these jeans worked; and every time I deviated I was denied.

    I’ve been at the door of this bar, being told that my pants were too baggy while white guys walk out the same door wearing cargos and flip-flops. It happened again with jogging suits…almost on cue. I was denied entry wearing khakis and a Bill Cosby sweater. Granted, though, the khakis were baggy, and I knew before hand that my “Shenanigan pants” would’ve done the trick. That said, this outfit would’ve gotten me into a black club with a dress code and a $20 cover…

    But, my boycott started in earnest on my birthday. I was with a fairly large group of siblings, cousins, and childhood friends–mostly, women–all looking to have a good time celebrating my birthday. I was looking forward to a great night, and to ensure that everything flowed smoothly, I wore my “Shenanigan pants,” a button up under a peacoat, and some nice casual shoes. When we got to the door, the bouncer informed me that my pants were too baggy. I was stunned. I turned to my best friend in disbelief, and asked him to tell the bouncer what I called those jeans, and he replied without a second thought, “the shenanigan pants.” THE SHENANIGAN PANTS!

    It wasn’t enough, though. When I mentioned to the bouncer that I had once been turned away in khakis, he replied that he would’ve NEVER turned anyone away in khakis. Needless to say, I was upset…slightly indignant…utterly embarassed…deeply disappointed…nearly as powerless as I’ve ever felt.

    The only other situations that compare have involved cops…but, not in this particular area. Really cool cops on that strip. I’ve only been pulled out of the bar while dancing, and patted down on the sidewalk once. I guess it helps, though…imagine if they’d arrested all the fall down drunk, unruly, bar brawl starting, general public menacing characters they encountered on a nightly basis. Why…our jails would be flooded with white people…

  • http://www.studentlife.com Anonymous Canadian

    News reports are saying that a “settlement is near” in this matter. This probably means offering a few hundred bucks to thje black guys, issuing some anodyne PR statements, then hoping the matter will blow over. Not enough. This Friday and Saturday night there should be a peaceful mass demonstrations outside Mother’s. This is the 21st Century, and this is President Obama’s and Michell Obama’s city. The whole world is reading this story.
    We have to make a visible high profile statement. This is the New America…!!!

  • Not Surprised

    Sean John is the most pompous, overrated brand a youth today can wear… but sounds like it wouldn’t warrant preventing entry.