Williamsburg’s Macri Park closed quietly last week, but has already reopened as a gay bar. The owner, who also runs the very popular gay bar Metropolitan, previously tried to turn Greenpoint’s now-defunct Lulu’s into a gay club, but ran into issues with the landlord. From what we hear, many of the former staff at Macri Park are pretty pissed about the way things went down:
According to Polaroid photographer Nick McManus, a longtime regular who documented the Macri staff in the bar’s final hours, all bartenders, managers, and bouncers were informed yesterday at 3:00 p.m. that their jobs were about to be nullified. “Some of the staff was a little peeved,” he said. “Just because they’re changing the tone of the bar, why do they have to be fired?” He says that his friend Cheylene Sharkeye, who hosted her monthly Le Noize karaoke party at Macri, is also out of a gig.
A former employee who wishes to remains anonymous says the staff was wrongly fired “for being straight”:
Macri Park, a bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, just fired its entire staff for being straight and changed the concept to a gay bar. This is completely unacceptable.
The staff was given no notice or warning whatsoever. They were given the information at 3 p.m. Thursday, August 20th, that, that same night would be the last in Macri’s current existence and the last shift for any of them to work.
None of the staff were sighted [sic] with any wrong doing as their reason for termination. They were told point blank that they were being replaced by gay staff. The bar opened yesterday, Friday, August 21st, with the same name, same look, but a new gay staff and gay theme.
This is the clearest case of work-place discrimination possible. It is equivalent to firing someone for being gay at a straight bar, black at a white bar, etc.. What has happened here is flagrantly illegal.
Beyond that it is immoral and without a trace of heart. Macri serves as the main office for the bar owners who own several spots in the city. They know their staff at Macri very well. Most of whom have worked for the company for years, and objectively, have been dedicated, loyal employees. True, transience is the nature of the bar industry, but all this implies intent to disguise and mislead their staff and leave them in the worst possible position. For all the years of hard work this staff put in, when given the opportunity to be forthright and give their ill-fated employees a shot to find work elsewhere before the bottom fell out, they did not. They hid this from them until the last possible moment and then threw them to the streets for their sexual orientation.
… what the fuck is a “Straight bar?” in Williamsburg in this day and age. The place had drag bingo, gay themed nights and a steady gay clientele that was made to feel just as comfortable as anyone else… They still believe that there is such a big difference between gays and straights that they have to be separated, have their own bars, have a staff only of similar sexual orientation.
Ouch. And we cut out some of the more incendiary parts. Feel free contact us if you know more about what happened at Macri Park or let us know what you think in comments.