The partners of Main Street Public House in South Carolina have put co-owner Jimmy Latulipe on an "indefinite leave of absence" without pay after claims surfaced that he racial discriminated against black bar-goers attempting to come into the establishment.
Charleston musician Don Merckle, wrote on his Facebook page that Latulipe told him his goal was to keep "n*gs" out of the restaurant.
"Jimmy then began to tell us about the new plans he had for Main Street. " Merckle wrote on Facebook. "It was at this point that Jimmy let me know that I shouldn’t worry about playing there because he is going to keep the 'n--s' out of his place."
Merckle, a white man told Latulipe that members of his band are black. "I honestly felt like I was doing something wrong,” Merckel said. “Why would he think that I was OK with this? And that I was part of the club? So it just took me a while trying to process it, trying to think about it, what was I doing? Or was I doing anything?"
Merckle, went on to say that another bartender tried to defend Latulipe's words.
"You guys have it all wrong. Jimmy's cool with n*gs. He just wants n*gs out of his place. You know, with a hard R," the bartender said.
According to The State, Main Street Public House released this statement.
"We, the staff at Main Street Public House, are dismayed to learn of an incident recently brought to our attention involving one of our 'part' owners and are currently looking into the matter," the statement read. "Everyone at Main Street Public House was shocked by the recent accusations against one of our owners. In the meantime, we would please ask for the privacy of our staff, none of whom were involved, to be respected. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may cause to our guests."
Latulipe did not respond to a request for comment. The stores general manager John Stubing, was unable to be reached.