The case of the Wisconsin man who filed a complaint with the NYC Human Rights Commission has come to a close with the commission dropping charges against the restaurant. In the original story, David Lopez, a tourist from Wisconsin, noticed that other (Chinese speaking) customers in the restaurant were given rice with their meals, but when Lopez asked for rice with his dinner he was told that he would be charged $1 extra. “Being Hispanic, we both like rice,” said 46-year-old Lopez. “We saw other customers getting a different menu. We were told we could order from it if we spoke Chinese.” The Chinese menu had prices that were, on average, $1 cheaper per dish.
Soon after the dust-up, Mayor Bloomberg urged a boycott of the shady Chinese restaurant. “It’s unconscionable to use race on any of these things, in terms of what kind of service, or how you charge, or whatever,” Bloomberg told the Daily News. “Go patronize a different [restaurant.] Let capitalism work.”
The lawyer for the restaurant says that the pricing difference was due to a “miscommunication,” and that the Chinese menu was just an older version of the English one, with higher prices for some things and lower ones for others. The Human Rights Commission dropped the charges after the guy from Wisconsin settled with the restaurant for an undisclosed sum and, “a promise to change its menu – by “listing identical prices in English and Chinese for the same dishes,” said Commissioner Patricia Gatling. ” The HRC claims that they will continue to monitor the restaurant to make sure the promise is carried out. —MEGHANN MARCO