On Friday night about 30 people demonstrated outside Continental, the bar on Third Avenue near St. Mark's Place that used to be a grungy music venue and is now just another bar. Protesters carried signs blasting the bar for a racist door policy, and one demonstrator, Shaniqua Pippen, told the Local, "This is the first protest. And I feel like if we continue more people will come, and something will change." Pippen claims that when she tried to patronize Continental in June, a bouncer, who is also black, told her "Your kind don’t know how to act." And this isn't the first allegation of racism leveled at the bar.
One former waitress who worked in the East Village tells us, "A few coworkers went there after work a couple of times, but they always seemed to give the black guys in the group a harder time, especially if they didn't arrive with cute, young girls. Even our manager had a hard time getting in, and he was a 40-year-old black guy frequently dressed in khakis and button down shirts." Last year a LiveJournal user described his experience of getting ejected from the club by the owner after the bouncer let him in.
The owner, a white man named Trigger Smith, defends his door policy, which "creates a certain vibe" by rejecting patrons based on an unwritten dress code prohibiting saggy jeans, open-laced sneakers, and "blingy" necklaces or sideways caps. "I’m not going to be politically correct and just let anybody in," Smith told The Local. "I look at things in the long run — my bar’s been here 19 years — and I’ll turn away people if they don’t meet my dress code. It just so happens that more people of a certain minority wear these things than others. But I don’t want white trash either, or Jersey Shore boys." Finally, the East Village has a place where the frat boys can get drunk in peace!