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Jacqueline Baron thought Atlantic City would be the perfect place for Labor Day weekend getaway with a group of friends.
But the Washington, D.C., woman said they ended up encountering discrimination from a business owner. Her social media posts about the incident garnered a lot of attention, including from many residents angered by the view it gave their city.
The Washington, D.C., woman said she had visited before and decided to share the city with her girlfriends.
After checking out Yelp reviews, they decided to go to Constantino’s on Pacific Avenue since it was in walking distance and had a 4½-star rating. There were a few people inside when they went in, but when the group asked if they could put two tables together, the owner told them he was closed for the season.
Outside, the group was confused, and watched as another large group walked in, Baron said.
Baron and friend Trenisha Goslee went back in.
“We asked him, ‘We thought you said you were closed,’” Baron told BreakingAC.
“I’m the owner, I can say whatever I want,” she said he replied.
The man then went on to say he “had a blow out with black people earlier today and supposedly I’m racist.”
Bensimon F19218C52217 CAMEL 0126 Bensimon 0126 Bensimon CAMEL F19218C52217 F19218C52217 It ended, the women said, with the owner saying, “I’m not serving black people today. How about that?”
“He didn’t mean that,” another patron told her.
But Baron said he did. She then went outside and recorded a video that she posted on Instagram and Facebook.
Less than 24 hours after the Facebook post, it had been shared 673, with the video garnering more than 18,000 views.
The owner, who told BreakingAC he didn’t want to have his name printed, said it was the last day the business was opened:
“We’re being evicted.”
He said he heard about the Facebook post, but hadn’t seen it.
he said he’s gone through a lot of issues in the short time he owned the business.
“I’ve had a lot of bad situations with drugs and things,” he said.
The owner said that the group of women brought up the issue of slavery, but the women denied that was them.
Bensimon 0126 CAMEL 0126 Bensimon Bensimon F19218C52217 F19218C52217 F19218C52217 CAMEL He said when he was accused of not serving them because of their color, he said, “Yeah, that’s it.”
He denied being racist.
“I interact with people on case-by-case basis,” he said.
He said he had black people work with him and that his girlfriend is black as well.
As for the women who visited from D.C., it did tarnish the start of their weekend, Baron said.
CAMEL CAMEL 0126 0126 Bensimon F19218C52217 F19218C52217 F19218C52217 Bensimon Bensimon Usually, they like to frequent local establishments when visiting a new city.
“But after that experience, we weren’t going to chance it,” said Ashley Pettway. “Instead we went to big chains.”
Carmine’s, for example, where they said they had wonderful service.
Pettway said she originally didn’t want to come to Atlantic City.
“For me, it was like confirming a lot of the negative ideas I had,” she said.
Mayor Frank Gilliam said he had not heard of the incident, and would not comment based on something posted on Facebook.
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