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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Three Local Restaurants Resolve Access Complaints Under the American with Disabilities Act

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The U.S. Attorney’s Office recently settled access complaints against three local restaurants under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  The Hacienda Las Glorias, Lone Star Steakhouse, and The Irish Democrat, all covered under Title III of the ADA, agreed to comply with the Act’s provisions ensuring equal access within the restaurants.

United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa Kevin W. Techau stated, “This office is committed to the full and fair enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  These agreements demonstrate the vital importance of the Act so that people with disabilities can enjoy access to restaurants and businesses.”

The Hacienda Las Glorias, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, agreed to address several access issues including agreeing to install a first floor bathroom in its restaurant by August 15, 2016, which previously was only provided in its basement. Hacienda Las Glorias will also ensure accessibility to its parking, restaurant entrances, waiting area, bar area, and dining areas by June 15, 2017.

Delaine Petersen, a longtime ADA advocate and former Executive Director at The Arc of East Central Iowa, stated she “Appreciates the perseverance that the Justice Department exerted to gain ADA compliance at Hacienda Las Glorias.  The result of the department’s efforts will allow all citizens with disabilities or without the right to fully access and patronize this establishment. The settlement is a strong statement that all citizens can and should be able to fully utilize the community.”

Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, agreed to correct certain features of the restaurant that prevented persons with disabilities from accessing portions of the restaurant. Lone Star agreed to bring ramps, dining areas, and bathrooms into compliance with the Act.  Lone Star will submit reports to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for three years or until all barriers to access are resolved.   

The Irish Democrat Pub & Grill, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, agreed to remove barriers that prevented persons with disabilities from accessing portions of the restaurant.  The Irish Democrat agreed to make the front entrance, dining areas (including free standing tables, bars and booths) and its toilet rooms accessible to persons with disabilities. The Irish Democrat will submit reports to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for three years or until all barriers to access are resolved. 

David Thielen, Executive Director of The ARC of East Central Iowa offered, “The mission at The Arc is to empower people with intellectual and related disabilities to engage in lifelong opportunities to live, learn, work and play with dignity, freedom, and full inclusion in their communities.  This settlement will now afford the freedom of so many people with disabilities of full inclusion in our community, especially at these dining facilities.  We are pleased at the outcome of this decision and pleased to see these restaurants will remedy the issues.” 

The settlement documents detailing the terms of the agreements are attached to this release.

These matters were handled by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Wright and the Disabilities Rights Section of the United States Department of Justice.

The public may access the U.S. Attorney’s website to file an ADA complaint at www.justice.gov/usao/ian.  After completing the form, it may be sent by mail, fax, or e mail.  You may learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act by going to the Department of Justice web page at www.ada.gov.

Today is the 26th anniversary of the signing of the ADA.     

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Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Component(s): 
Updated July 27, 2016