Indian-Sikh Man In New York “Hurt And Embarrassed” After Being Denied An Entry In A Restaurant For Wearing Sacred Turban

Gurvinder Grewal, a 23-year-old Indian-Sikh man was “Hurt And Embarrassed” after he was not allowed to enter a restaurant in New York for wearing the sacred Turban that is required in the Sikh religion.

The 23-year-old man went to the Harbor Grill, which is located in Port Jefferson, on Saturday. But the security of the Grill did not let him go inside as he was wearing his Turban, the security also cited a new policy of their restaurant.

During an interview, Gurvinder said, “I felt shocked, embarrassed and hurt. I never encountered a situation where I was refused a service or entry into an establishment for wearing a turban.”

Gurvinder tried to explain that he wears the turban as part of their practice in the Sikh religion, and added that he wanted to spend time with his friends for the night.

But the manager of the Harbor Grill did not allow him access to their grill restaurant and cited out a new rule that states no headwear is allowed to be worn inside the restaurant after 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

In a Facebook post, the restaurant said, “[He was] wearing what would be more widely perceived as the slang term ‘dew rag’ or a ‘stocking cap’ and not a traditional turban. We do not allow hats or headwear in order to more capably identify people inside the establishment.”

The restaurant also added that it “embraces people of all races and religions” and does not discriminate anyone for their color or race.

The restaurant added, “We sincerely apologize for any distress that this incident may have caused. Please know that our weekend dress code policy is in place for the safety of all of our patrons.  Anyone wearing any type of hat is welcome during normal restaurant hours.”

Gurvinder Grewal said that Mayor Margot Garant apologized for the incident and has advised him to take on actions on the issue.

When a police report was asked, the Suffolk County said that “it was a civil matter, not a criminal matter.”

Gurvinder added, “The officer recommended I contact a civil attorney or the ACLU. I plan to reach out to them today or tomorrow. Throughout my life, I’ve faced verbal abuse and bullying about my appearance, mostly throughout the school. However, my basic freedom of entering public accommodations was never infringed upon.”


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