The staff of a country-musician saloon franchise in Arizona has formerly apologized to a USMC veteran who was turned away from having a neck tattoo.
The new Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row saloon -located in the town of Gilbert- has apologized to two-time Iraq War veteran Brandon Andrus, who was denied entry and service due to a supposed “gang tattoo” on his neck.
The tattoo in question -the number “22”- represents the commonly-cited (though technically erroneous) statistic of 22 veteran suicides per day.
“I was excited to check out a new bar in town,” Andrus wrote on Facebook. “I served my country with 2 tours in the Marine Corps, contribute to society, work full time, married and raising 2 kids in Gilbert.”
Andrus was turned away after those responsible for security and enforcing the dress code thought he had a gang-related tattoo. According to AZCentral, the general manager told Andrus that it was general policy -recommended by law enforcement officers- to deny anyone with a neck tattoo.
Following outrage in the wake of Andrus’ Facebook post, Whiskey Row has reconsidered their neck tattoo policy and released a statement formerly apologizing to Andrus.
It is most unfortunate that on the heels of the grand opening of our newest Whiskey Row location that we failed to welcome one of our most loyal and celebrated patrons: a military veteran. While our company celebrates veterans and active military, because of a misunderstanding, we let one of our most cherished guests down,” The company wrote.
“Our Company’s goal is always to provide our guests with the best experience possible when coming to our restaurants. On Wednesday March 15, 2017, we fell short and since then, we’ve attempted to reach out with a proper apology and an invitation to the guest that was turned away and his family to give our establishment a chance to make amends,” Whiskey Row continued. “We take this situation very seriously. The leaders in our company wish to make this right. As such, we will be hosting a veterans and active military appreciation event in the coming weeks. In addition and as a result of this incident, we are actively working with the local police department to educate our staff on the difference between gang and non-gang related tattoos. While we will continue to strive to keep our patrons safe while in our establishments, further education of our staff will allow us to make exceptions to our dress code and tattoo policy moving forward.”
Andrus accepted the apology, took to Facebook and wrote, “Given the chance they decided to make it right.”
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