turbans at the annex: serious business

Our local lame bar, Pierce Street Annex, has revised their policies to allow turbans in the bar, after a Sikh complained and asked for an apology.

The article says: “Sanjum Paul Singh Samagh, 24, accompanied friends to the Pierce Street Annex bar last year, only to be turned away because his turban was deemed to conflict with a rule prohibiting hats.”

Good, he can enter with his turban now.

What’s not mentioned is why bars ban hats: it’s to keep out black guys. American black guys almost always wear a hat going out at night. It’s an old, known technique for keeping their presence to a minimum. It’s similar to gay bars banning open-toed shoes “for safety” to keep down the number of women who show up to dance with gay guys.

For some time now, Pierce Street has been a destination for black guys from Riverside County who drive out here to be in Newport/Mesa instead of Riverside. I guess the management decided there were too many of them.

Bars are just a disaster in Southern California. Everyone drives home, and a bar can’t make money unless you have at least two drinks, so the entire business relies on drunk driving. And then they make desperate attempts to keep a money-making “demographic” in the bar, which they can only achieve by violating discrimination laws and acting like assholes.

I liked the bars in SF and NY, where you could walk home if you wanted. I bet they have similar issues with the “mix of the crowd” though.

18 thoughts on “turbans at the annex: serious business

  1. I’ve been to a lot of bars all over the country and the next time I see a sikh wearing a turban in one will be the first.
    I also don’t think black guys wear any more hats than white guys, at least not wherever I’ve lived/where I’ve gone.
    That said, and all racial issues aside, I tend to frequent places that should have more of dress code if anything!


      1. What I hear a lot is sports apparel…it’s my understanding that a lot of that is because of gang issues however. I’d venture to guess that most of the places I go to with dress codes have larger demographics of people of color than the other places I go to.
        Again though, most of the places I drink at frequently don’t tend to discriminate on any basis whatsoever as long as you don’t lay your head down upon the bar and go to sleep, and even then it’s generally forgiven, so my view is somewhat limited.


  2. c.f. DNA’s pukey asian nights…
    I was watching an AC/DC concert on VHI, circa 77/78 at a college in England, and the guy having the best time in the crowd was a Sikh, which earned a double take, followed by a WTF?, follwed by THAT’S AWESOME.


  3. Pierce Street. Oh dear.
    People who frequent that place scare me, a lot. I think I told you about how they kept planting new saplings on Karen’s street because the people from that bar would show up drunk at 2 am and break them in half. Like, for fun.
    Also, parking on other people’s lawns is not ok. Not even when you need a drink real bad.


  4. the management reserves the right to refuse service


  5. Wow, alien landscape. I have a dozen great pubs in walking distance and half of those are in staggering distance. I don’t know of any rules in any of them about what you can or can’t wear. But on the other hand there are no true “bars” here at all — the skinny rooms with a bar down one wall and a row of two-seat tables down the other — just pubs — big rooms with a bar and a kitchen.


  6. I find Orange County bars to be universally depressing. It has always mystified me that people like to frequent bars, but over time I’ve come to realize that this is because they are very different in different parts of the world. But here in the OC? They just always seem like the morgue’s waiting room.


  7. I have a friend who perpetually wears a bandana headband, who ran smack dab into a prohibition against such headgear in some bar in the El Centro area. Supposedly the ban was designed to profile Chicano gangsta-looking types. My friend couldn’t be mistaken for a Chicano gangsta in a bazillion years (Caucasian skin with a serious case of studio tan, tie-dye-heavy wardrobe, nearly waist-length red hair–the headband is part of his whole leftover-hippy classic-rock musician persona). But they would not let him into this rinky-dink bar with the headband on. Stupid discriminatory rule, but at least they were applying the stupidity in a (stupidly) equal-opportunity manner? More likely that, in the management’s bigoted worldview, it never occurred to them that anyone other than their stereotype of Chicano ganstas wear those headbands–let alone that, like, discrimination sucks, y’know?
    (What the hell was my friend doing in El Centro in the first place? Playing a gig with his band. Not in the bar that barred his entry, though–too bad, because that would have been a really fun twist to the tale.)


  8. Zhigaag
    I liked the bars in SF and NY, where you could walk home if you wanted. I bet they have similar issues with the “mix of the crowd” though.
    In Chicago: get a bit buzzed, or actually pretty buzzed; go to the El platform
    and sober up a bit from the cold as you’re waiting; and then
    hop on the next El home.  Just try not to nod off (the train rocks you soothingly) and end up missing your stop and/or transfer point.
    Oddly: I never saw anyone, no matter how drunk, puzzling over which El route to take home. 
    Everyone that I saw could navigate the system practically by muscle memory.
    * * *
    However, out in the El-less suburbs, where the street grid is practically tiled with “sports bars”, look out.  They call it “Chicagoland”, but I’d bet that it’s more like a DUI Alphaville.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.