MB restaurant combats charges of discrimination

Published: Jun. 4, 2011 at 10:32 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2011 at 10:57 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A restaurant in Myrtle Beach is gearing up to fight back against charges by the NAACP that it discriminated against black bikers during Black Bike Week last year.

The owner at Pan American Pancake and Omelet House in Myrtle Beach, Constantine Leftis, says he is in the process of getting a lawyer to refute the charges. Leftis says he was just served with the lawsuit Saturday morning.

The NAACP filed suit against the restaurant last Friday, alleging employees refused service to black bikers while continuing to serve white customers last Memorial Day weekend.

WMBF News spoke with some customers at the restaurant, who say they're shocked to hear about the allegations.

"The waitress that waited on us, she was pretty nice. In fact she was nice to the point where I even left her a $3 tip," said customer David Thompson.

Thompson, who is black, said he didn't have a problem while eating at the restaurant.

"I didn't feel uncomfortable at all. You know it was a pleasant experience," he said.

Jeanie Weiss-Reynolds owns the Paradise Pancake House just down the street from Pan American and says it's hard to believe anyone would turn away business facing a tough economy.

"My heart bleeds for them. I don't know the extent of the circumstances surrounding it. It could have just been very innocent," said Weiss-Reynolds.

Pan American isn't the only restaurant in hot water. Another lawsuit filed last Friday by the NAACP charges Molly Darcy's Irish Pub in North Myrtle Beach with closing during Black Bike Week, but staying open during the predominantly-white Harley Week last year.

Customers there don't buy the claims of the civil rights organization.

"They closed down for white bike week last year too, so I really doubt there's any discrimination there," said Tyler McIntosh.

WMBF News did speak to one of the plaintiffs in the case against Molly Darcy's, but she did not want to comment.

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