Reservists from the Canadian Grenadier Guards were refused entry at Bar Furco at 1 a.m. on Sunday, reports the Gazette. A staff member told the group that their presence in full military dress "was bad for business and that they would intimidate other patrons."
"One reservist says he was told by the doorman that the restaurant did not want more than 10 uniformed members of the military in the restaurant at a time because their male clientele might feel intimidated. Another member of the group wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page that after pleading with management to be let in, the group was told their money was not wanted, and they weren’t the restaurant’s type of patron."
Furco, which is owned by Jean-François Gladu, Éric Belanger, and popular restaurant designer Zébulon Perron, has since posted this statement on Facebook.
We sincerely apologize for the unpleasant events that occurred early Sunday morning at Furco. We feel it is important to clarify that the decision to deny a group access to our premises was taken for operational reasons and not as a means of discrimination against members of the military. We at Furco have nothing but the greatest respect for all members of the Canadian Armed Forces and we are proud to count them as some of our regular patrons. The manager on duty, after having already granted admission to a large group of military patrons less than one hour before closing time, was not in a position to admit yet another large group of any clients shortly before closing and with the premises at capacity. The patrons already inside were always welcome to remain on the premises until closing and were never asked to leave. Following this incident, we will train our staff to manage our patrons’ expectations more effectively and with the sensitivity and respect they deserve.
Captain Corey Anhorn, a public relations officer and witness to the incident, told the Gazette that it "was an unfortunate incident that dampened the night, but they have apologized and we’ve accepted it and so we don’t see a reason to go any further."