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Press Release

Justice Department Settles Discrimination Lawsuit Against Texas-Based Kung Fu Saloon Restaurant and Bar

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department announced today that it has reached a settlement resolving allegations of race, color and national origin discrimination with the owners and operators of Kung Fu Saloon, a bar and restaurant with locations in Dallas, Houston and Austin, Texas.  The Justice Department alleged that Kung Fu Saloon discriminated against African-American and Asian-American patrons by denying them admission at its area locations.  The settlement requires Kung Fu Saloon to implement changes to policies and practices in order to prevent such discrimination.

The Justice Department’s complaint alleges that the defendants – Routh Guys LLC doing business as Kung Fu Saloon; Washington Guys LLC doing business as Kung Fu Saloon; and Grand Guys LLC doing business as Kung Fu Saloon – violated Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against African-American and Asian-American patrons because of their race, color and national origin.  Specifically, the suit alleges that in dozens of instances, the defendants denied African-American patrons entry into Kung Fu Saloon locations based on a dress code when similarly dressed white patrons were permitted to enter.  The complaint also alleged that the defendants engaged in other practices to limit the number of African-American and Asian-American patrons at Kung Fu Saloon’s locations.

The consent decree submitted to the court today will resolve this matter.  The terms of the decree require the defendants to comply with federal law by not discriminating against patrons on the basis of race, color or national origin; to post and enforce a non-discriminatory dress code policy; to implement a system for receiving and investigating complaints of discrimination; and to conduct monitoring to ensure that Kung Fu Saloon’s employees are acting in a non-discriminatory manner consistent with federal law.

“Places of public accommodations, such as bars and restaurants like Kung Fu Saloon, should be open to all persons, regardless of race or national origin,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “The Justice Department will continue to work vigorously to protect the rights of persons of all races and national origins to be free from discrimination in public accommodations across the country.”

“This settlement resolves serious allegations of racial and national origin discrimination at Kung Fu Saloon locations in Texas, and it should make clear that any illegal discrimination in places of public accommodations will not be tolerated,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John R. Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin in places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, nightclubs, stadiums and other places of exhibition or entertainment.  Under Title II, the Civil Rights Division can obtain injunctive relief that changes policies and practices to remedy customer discrimination.  Title II does not authorize the division to obtain specific relief, such as monetary damages, for individual customers who are victims of discrimination.

More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at  Persons who believe they have experienced or witnessed unlawful discrimination in public accommodations may contact the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section at (202) 514-4713.

Updated August 4, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-827