News & Politics

Nellie’s Has Closed for the Week Following a Viral Incident During Pride Weekend

The bar is no longer working with the security vendor it hired over the weekend.

Nellie’s, the venerable U Street gay sports bar, announced on Instagram it will be closed this week following an ugly incident during Pride weekend. Early on Sunday, a video of 22-year-old Keisha Young being dragged down the stairs by security at Nellie’s sparked outrage and a broader conversation about how the bar treats non-white customers.

Nellie’s posted the announcement Monday evening, saying it “has terminated, with immediate effect, the independent security vendor hired” for Pride. The bar will be closed this week, with pay to its non-security employees, to “listen and understand what more we can do to create the safe and friendly atmosphere our guests have come to expect.”

There were protests on Sunday evening outside both the U Street bar and owner Douglas Schantz’s house. Brandon Burrell, who is representing Young, said the family is pursuing a civil claim against Nellie’s and considering filing a police report.

Young started a GoFundMe to raise money for legal fees, medical bills and therapy.