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Group Wants Boycott Of Cafes

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Group wants boycott of cafes

Protesters claim bias against blacks, Latinos.


Monday's protest was part of a boycott effort against the Full Moon Cafe and the Quality Bar

About 40 people gathered in front of the Full Moon Cafe in downtown Ann Arbor Monday to protest what they claimed are practices that discriminate against blacks and Latinos at that restaurant and the nearby Quality Bar.

Concerned Citizens of Ann Arbor, an informal group made up of University of Michigan students and others, last week called for a boycott of the two popular South Main Street eateries. The move stems from two incidents that involved blacks and Latinos.

"In 1990 on Main Street, racism will not be tolerated," Roderick Linzie said Monday as he addressed the racially mixed crowd.

Linzie, a U-M graduate student, said he was one of eight people who was refused service at the Full Moon and was eventually ejected from the restaurant during last month's street art fairs.

Full Moon owner Andy Gulvezan could not be reached for comment.

In the Quality Bar incident, Cameron and Corey Moody were ejected from the bar for alleged intoxication and disorderly conduct. The Moody's, sons of U-M Vice Provost Charles Moody, claim they weren't even served and that Corey doesn't drink alcohol.

According to the Quality Bar management the Moodys joined a table with three Latino men, who apparently caused problems and were slated to be ejected from the bar. As a result, all at the table were ejected from the bar.

Members of the group distributed fliers to pedestrians Monday urging them not to patronize the Full Moon or Quality Bar.

According to a press release issued by the group, it will also boycott other downtown restaurants that are controlled by the owners of the Full Moon and Quality Bar. Those restaurants are: the City Grill, the Monkey Bar, the Flame, Gratzi's, the Real Seafood Co., and Maude's. 

Mike Gibbons, co-owner of the Quality Bar which is owned by Main Street Ventures, said he thinks the whole thing is unfortunate. He believes those involved in both incidents should have contacted him and Gulvezan before calling a boycott.

"All these people that are boycotting have not contacted me or Andy to find out the other side of the story," Gibbons said.

"The Latino community will take all necessary actions to see that all racism is eliminated in Ann Arbor," said Ivan de la Rosa, who also addressed the rally.

Leticia Diaz Perez, an Ann Arbor resident, said she was motivated to attend the protest after her friend from Chile had a bad experience at the Real Seafood Co. Perez claimed that because she spoke Spanish and had a dark complexion, they weren't immediately accommodated even though they had made a prior reservation. Other white patrons were seated ahead of their party and they said they got subpar service.

In addition to those affiliated with Concerned Citizens, others such as Rickey Evans came out to support the protesters. Evans, who is black and has worked as a chef in Ann Arbor for 15 years, said he can't understand why any restaurant would want to discriminate against customers.

"If you've got any kind of business, money is just the same no matter who it comes from," he said.