A Black millionaire and celebrity jewelry consultant has claimed that he was denied entry into a popular London bar, because of his colour Independent reported. Notably, 30-year-old Lamar Berko who has worked with some of the world’s biggest stars including David Beckham, Burna Boy, Steff London, Wizkid, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Joey Essex, accused the establishment of racially profiling him.
The incident happened last week when the entrepreneur, who runs LB Jewellery, showed up at 100 Wardour Street in Soho, West End, with eight Black friends, but wasn’t allowed to enter. He said that the restaurant gave them conflicting reasons, with one door attendant saying things like there were ”too many men” among them. The group was later told the venue was packed, even though he said the bar was nowhere near capacity.
However, as they stood outside the restaurant, they noted several white people being admitted.
When he told the employee he felt racially profiled, he was told, ”I don’t judge by the race, just by the person.” Mr. Berko even offered to purchase tables worth 10,000 pounds, however, his request was still denied.
”I didn’t even ask the price of the tables – but this was turned down. What reason would they really have to say no? I wasn’t causing trouble or shouting; I didn’t flare up or swear,” Mr Berko explained.
Speaking of his brush with racism, he said, ”In my field, I’m used to dealing with racism. In this country, it’s always indirect and never direct. For example, I’ve been stopped by the police so many times for no reason other than the car I drive.”
”But I could not believe my eyes when the staff member took my friends and out of the queue – making everyone look at us as if we were troublemakers – then let in all white people and not us. I haven’t slept; I felt so violated,” Mr Berko added.
After Mr. Berko’s allegations went viral, several people thronged 100 Wardour Street’s Instagram page and criticised them. The restaurant later posted photographs of Black women in their stories, which many including Lamar Berko felt was making a ”mockery” of the issue.
A user on one of their posts wrote, ”Racism in 2023! This is extremely disappointing!!! And it seems whoever is running this account fails to see the severity of the issue. Posting black people on your story is a complete mockery.”