A restaurant in Cincinnati, Ohio, is feeling social media’s fury after claims from a group of Black women that they were discriminated against went viral. These young Black women went to COPA Lounge in downtown Cincinnati, a Black-owned restaurant, but never made it inside for a planned brunch. The reason? The owner apparently found issues with the women’s hair.
One of the women, Kennedy Mayes – aka @KennedyMayes1 on social media – used her platform to expose the restaurant along with her friends. Copa Lounge is said to be a Black-owned business, which made the situation that much sadder.
Kennedy and her friends shared the owner of the establishment’s name, Jay Rodg. The women claimed that they were discriminated against, “Because of the way HE wants us to look. Not as women, Black beautiful women and how we want to look, but how HE wants us to look,” one of the friends said.
Continuing in more detail, the women shared that the reason they were denied entry was due to the lace on one of their wigs showing. “He said that our cousin’s lace was visible and he did not want us to come in,” added Kennedy. “Look how good this girl looks. And our other cousin, her wig cap was showing because the wind was blowing. Look how good SHE looks. Y’all it’s her birthday and we came from out of town. That’s crazy.”
She dives further into the story in a series of TikTok videos, which The Neighborhood Talk compiled and shared together.
Blow this up copa/ treehouse in Cincinnati Ohio. Ridiculous♬ original sound – kennedy mayes
After the young women shared their side of the story, the owner came on to Facebook to seemingly poke fun at their experience. “Wanna send [a] shoutout to my city for making #BrunchOnTheLow/ #BrunchClub at Copa the #1 destination for tristate each and every Sunday,” wrote Rodg. “Shoutout to all the out of towners who pull up…Side note, as of April 1st #FreshCode will be strictly enforced. We understand this won’t make everybody happy but Copa ain’t for everybody.”
Rodg was shortly entered into a back and forth with social media users, while his business swiftly took a hit. COPA Lounge was inundated with negative reviews all over the Internet. Some continued to shine a light on the discrimination the women faced while trying to enter the bar, highlighting that they indeed had reservations. Various claims of “roaches in the food” to “bad customer service” and the owner’s “nasty attitude” plagued and continue to haunt the restaurant.
Someone said they serviced kangaroo meat 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/eEOAEmtive— bombbaejay (@ohshesjessy) March 30, 2021
Others chose to jokingly troll the establishment with claims that they seen “Harriet Tubman’s ghost” to being served “kangaroo meat” when they initially asked for chicken.
IT GETS WORSE pic.twitter.com/ThVeiNU9Qw— Gabby Dennis (Wildlife Nerd) (@GabrielleD2003) March 30, 2021
Still, Rodg was adamant in his stance, while not seeming to care about the feelings of the women.
The story is reminiscent of a past incident at a Dallas restaurant where a group of people who began to twerk at True Kitchen + Kocktails were berated by the owner. The establishment and its owner went viral after he cussed the group out for disrespecting his place of business.
Restaurant SUICIDE on camera. pic.twitter.com/9Bkr6q3lyF— DJ Green Villain (@DJGreenVillain) November 30, 2020