Customers, BluFin remain at odds over racial mistreatment claims

Three black women who say they were discriminated against at a Grosse Pointe Farms sushi bar are standing firm in the wake of an apology from the restaurant’s owner, who also released video of the women’s time at the establishment to media outlets this week.

During a “Let it Rip” segment on Fox 2 Thursday night, TaNisha Prater and Adrienne Savage – the third woman, Kimberly Hudson, was off-camera due to Fox 2’s rule of not having more than two representatives on opposing sides — re-iterated that they were forced out of BluFin Sushi on Saturday night. In past reports and social media posts, the women named BluFin’s general manager Katherine Fiscelli as the woman who asked them to leave.

But David Draper, an attorney for the restaurant and its owner, Joel Radu, countered with video evidence that he says shows the women paying their bill.

At issue are two factors: BluFin’s policy on time spent by patrons in the restaurant, and where that policy applies.

At the bottom of the restaurant’s menus is a policy that states customers can spend no longer than an hour and forty-five minutes there. Draper says the women spent two hours at BluFin.


But Prater and Savage say the time limit applies to dining tables and not the bar. In earlier reports, the women say that the bartender serving them was confused as to why they were asked to leave.

The video also shows other black patrons at BluFin, but the women say they were the only black customers at the bar. The women maintain that they were singled out because they were the only black customers at the bar.

Draper says that Radu offered an apology. “The restaurant would like to issue an apology for all three women for the night they had that night,” he says.

But Prater countered, saying that Radu “apologized to ‘anyone who may have been offended.’”

During the broadcast, Greg Bowens, a public relations consultant who also co-founded the Grosse Ponite branch of the NAACP, was invited to offer his thoughts – though Prater says BluFin hired him as a crisis PR manager, which she believes is a conflict of interest.

“(Bowens) never reached out to us personally. I have an issue with that. He never reached out to get a story or a side from us,” Prater says.

Prater had re-iterated her stance in a Facebook post prior to the “Let it Rip” appareance.

“Truth will eventually prevail. If we have a chance to speak to the "video" you will see a different story. Unfortunately, this is why people don't speak up because you have to fight a machine that is willing to do whatever it takes to cover the truth. This is too important to allow their rhetoric to cloud the issue. Trust me, we will keep fighting until our voices are heard,” she writes.

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