City bar at centre of row over 'homophobic' remark
A Bath bar is investigating claims that a homophobic remark was made by one of its staff to gay people in a group trying to get into the premises.
A storm of protest has developed on Facebook over an incident at Belushi's, in Green Street, in which the group of eight people were turned away.
The group claims that they were told "This isn't a f...ing homosexual bar anyway" as they were leaving.
The group had decided to move on because not all of the party had the right identification documents to be allowed in.
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Belushi's manager Chris Fox has launched an investigation into the claims, and management from the firm's head office in London were due in Bath today to discuss the issue.
He said: "Belushi's in Bath does not and will never tolerate homophobia. We take any allegations of homophobia very seriously and an investigation is now ongoing. I will be following it up very vigorously."
He said disciplinary action would be taken if the investigation upheld the complaint.
Among the party members was Adam Heimes-Herridge, who complained on the bar's Facebook page.
More than 200 people "liked" his complaint, which was underlined by a number of other comments attacking the bar.
Mr Heimes-Herridge said he was looking for an apology.
"An apology would just be nice from them. It wouldn't have got this far if they had just acknowledged and apologised. I don't want anything more or less from them."
A friend who was in the party, Ed Spencer, said he was reassured by the support they had received on Facebook.
"This isn't the worst experience of homophobia I've encountered, but it is certainly one of the most disturbing. People should not be allowed to behave like this."
Mr Fox has now obtained a statement from Mr Heimes-Herridge and one of the friends that he was with on the night, and is waiting to get one from Mr Spencer.
He has also interviewed the staff member. "The next step in this procedure is to review all of the evidence in partnership with senior Belushi's management.
"After this meeting a decision will be made and we will release a press statement detailing this."
He said they needed "to review all of the evidence and come to a fair conclusion."