I have known for months I wanted to write a blog but have been stuck on how to start.
Then, I celebrated my 40th Birthday in Blue Mountain Village with my best friends and we were asked to provide a credit card before placing our meal order in case we left without paying. For real, I cannot make this stuff up; shit like this happens on the regular. This is what it’s like to be Black and live in Simcoe County. Of course, I was furious, but the reality is I had to brush it off and continue with the night, celebrate anyways.
To make matters worse, when we asked the tables around us if they had to provide credit cards, they did not. You could see that they were mortified for us, one table of about 10 guys even asked their server if they needed to provide a credit card, his response was ‘Nah, don’t worry about it!’
We did what you are supposed to do: ask for the manager. Except that when he came over, he caused a scene just short of yelling at us, told us to pay for our drinks, and leave—all because we wanted an explanation as to why we were the only table that had to provide a credit card. We waited almost 30 minutes to get in and they were the only restaurant that we could find serving food at that hour so as much as they did not deserve our business, we had no other choice.
Yes, the obvious choice was to leave, it felt demoralizing and infuriating at the same time, but this is part of lived Black experience, sometimes you just have to keep it moving. We got nowhere with the manager, he was rude, disrespectful, and insisted we had to leave a credit card. Believe me, as the only Black people in the restaurant we kept it real nice, we were not trying to stand out any more than we already did.
I will never go back to MJ Byrnes Irish Pub. Happy Birthday to me!