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'Rogue' employee at Grand Forks bar fired for denying drinks to Trump supporters

Brick & Barley Bar & Restaurant in downtown Grand Forks.

A North Dakota man took to social media on Friday evening to complain he and his friends were denied drinks at a Grand Forks restaurant after a waitress—who has since been fired—asked which presidential candidate they voted for in November.

The Facebook post, shared more than 80 times by Saturday morning, was made by Lucas Mondry, a Minto, N.D., native who was at Brick and Barley restaurant in downtown Grand Forks. According to his social media profile, he lives in Fargo and appears to be a student or recent graduate of North Dakota State University.

"We were asked who we voted for, and because of our response we were denied our drinks," Mondry wrote in his post. "I understand people can have their opinions, but I felt this was extremely unprofessional. I respect everyone's right as a citizen to vote for whomever they choose and I expect the same. Extremely disappointed on how I was treated."

Mondry couldn't be reached for comment on Saturday morning by the Herald.

Sarah Horak, one of the restaurant's owners, offered an apology in a comment on Mondry's post.

"Coming in should be fun and relaxing, which was definitely not what occurred this evening. When we were made aware of what happened, I immediately drove downtown and fired the employee. That was completely unacceptable behavior and I am so sorry," Horak wrote.

In a separate comment, she called it "one of the shortest firing conversations of my career."

Reached for comment on Saturday, Horak indicated that Mondry's group indicated their preference for Donald Trump. She said the group then complained to staff at the bar, who apologized and alerted her. "We're a small business. We can't afford for all these people to believe that's who we are as individuals or that we would allow that in our business."

"It was an employee who went rogue and made her own choices, and unfortunately that has consequences," Horak said, expressing her hope that customers don't view the bar by the dismissed employee's actions.

Friday’s Cinco de Mayo incident at the Brick and Barley happened on the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s now-infamous tweet from the campaign trail about taco bowls. “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” Trump tweeted.

In addition to last year’s May 5 tweet, Trump’s immigration policies, border wall project and rhetoric towards Mexico have all drawn varying degrees criticism.

Horak stressed that she doesn’t care about the political preferences of her restaurant’s patrons.

“I care that you wanted to enjoy your time,” she said.

Sam Easter

Sam Easter is a City Government reporter for the Grand Forks Herald. You can reach him with story tips, comments and ideas at 701-330-3441.

(701) 780-1108
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