In-Depth: Dan’s Taphouse in Boonsboro Subject of Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit

Dan’s Tap House has issued a statement on 2/28/2023 which is available here.

BOONSBORO, MD News (2/15/2023) – Local resident and business owner Neal Glessner has filed a Federal civil rights lawsuit against CharDan, LLC, the owner and operator of Dan’s Taphouse in Boonsboro, Maryland. Glessner claims that he was the victim of discrimination based on his race and age.

During the alleged incident on February 18, 2022, Glessner visited Dan’s Taphouse for dinner. Glessner states that he ordered two burgers and a salad “to go” and approximately 45 minutes after placing his order, claims he commented to his friend, Judge Joseph Michael, about the long wait time. Glessner then states that the server overheard his comment and responded with anger, insisting that Glessner be patient because they were very busy.

According to Glessner, a few minutes later, the server returned with his order and he left the restaurant. However, shortly after his departure, the manager, Mike Skinner, approached Michael and told him that both he and Glessner were banned from the premises. When the police were called, Michael described the incident to the police officer, which is available through the bodycam footage below.

According to the Glessner, the manager exclaimed to Michael, “You old, white people act like you own everything. Get the [explicative] out of here!” Both Glessner and Michael are Caucasian males over the age of 50.

Glessner states he reached out to Daniel N. Aufdem-Brinke, one of the owners of CharDan, LLC, through Dan’s Facebook page to discuss the situation, and despite Aufdem-Brinke’s promise to look into the matter, Glessner claims that he never received a response.

Glessner alleges that CharDan, LLC, and its employees violated Glessner’s rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, he claims that the company and its employees discriminated against him on the basis of his race and age.

Glessner is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorney’s fees and costs. He also seeks a permanent injunction against CharDan, LLC, and its employees, prohibiting them from engaging in any further discriminatory practices.

Radio Free Hub City sat down with Glessner and his attorney Adam Greivell, to discuss the incident.

This incident raises important questions about the protections afforded to individuals under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title II of the Act prohibits discrimination in places of public accommodation based on race, color, religion, or national origin. Title III of the Act extends the protections of Title II to places of public accommodation operated by private entities.

Discrimination in places of public accommodation is a serious issue and can have a significant impact on individuals and communities. This incident highlights the need for businesses to be vigilant in ensuring that their employees are trained in fair and equal treatment of all customers, regardless of race, color, religion, or national origin.

It is also important to note that discrimination on the basis of age is prohibited under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. This law prohibits discrimination in employment and in places of public accommodation based on age.

Dan’s Taphouse did not answer our requests for comment, but did respond in Federal court with the following in a motion to dismiss: “[the Complaint] involved an incident on February 18, 2022, when the Plaintiff dined at Defendant’s restaurant and got into an altercation with the staff. Following the altercation, the Plaintiff was banned from the restaurant.”

The response then continues: “the Complaint fails to allege that the Plaintiff was denied service on the basis of his age or race, and the Complaint does not demonstrate that any alleged refusal of services by the Defendant was motivated by discriminatory animus.”

This isn’t the first accusation of discrimination against Dan’s Taphouse. Also in 2022, a former employee of Dan’s Taphouse named Melvin Hall filed a discrimination suit against CharDan, LLC. Hall, an African-American, claimed that he was repeatedly stalked, harassed, taunted, and racially mocked at his residence, places of employment, and online by his former co-workers. However, that case was found in favor for CharDan, LLC through summary judgement after Mr. Hall represented himself in court.

Community reactions to this story were mixed, with several people reaching out to us to share their negative experiences with Dan’s Taphouse.

Local resident Shaun Porter shared with us “We went there in April … the staff was rude as [explicative] punk kids … we drank our overpriced beer and told the waiter we were no longer hungry and went [somewhere else]” Editor’s note: RFHC accepts relevant comments from anyone regardless of political views. As such, since Mr. Porter is a local resident and as such his opinion is still relevant in this story.

Two additional Boonsboro residents reached out and reported similar experiences with Dan’s Taphouse, including one resident who claims he was also discriminated against due to being an “old white person”. The additional residents requested personally identifiable information be withheld from this story at this time, due to fear of retaliation from Dan’s Taphouse employees, and Radio Free Hub City is unable to further describe these interviews, without the express permission of the persons interviewed.

While no members of the community reached out to us in support of Dan’s, reviews of the establishment on Google were mostly positive with a 4.3 star rating, and recent negative reviews were mostly complaints regarding food and service. Dan’s Taphouse also maintains a 4.3 star rating on Facebook, with mostly positive reviews and only a few complaints about the service. None of the negative reviews we viewed online mentioned discrimination of any kind.

Since the original story, Dan’s Tap House has issued a statement on 2/28/2023 which is available here.

Story by multiple RFHC contributors.

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