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.
Nellie's has long had a problem with catering to the Black queer community on U St, it was an issue when I lived there a decade ago. This is so awful and I hope that woman has a strong network around her. https://t.co/srhaWBICtU
— Comorienne 🇰🇲 (@_ShamGod) June 14, 2021
“We’re tired of Nellie’s only caring about Black dollars but not Black bodies. We’re fed up. None of this is new”
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) June 14, 2021
There are more cops here protecting the home of Nellies owner than there were at the actual SHOOTING earlier tonight up the street. COPS DO NOT KEEP US SAFE! COPS PROTECT PROPERTY AND THE RULING CLASS! pic.twitter.com/VNBzuBpPIB
— Your Work Is Not Done (@nknapper) June 14, 2021