Nashville bar responds to couple's racial profiling allegations: 'We are horrified'

A famous Nashville bar is responding after a couple accused them of intentionally turning away black customers.

The controversy started when Laura Murphy and her husband visited Jason Aldean’s Kitchen and Rooftop Bar, a "three-story entertainment hub" located in the city's popular Broadway strip. 

Murphy's husband, who is black and was wearing a hoodie that night, was attempting to enter the bar when a doorman allegedly turned him away. When the couple asked why, they were told it was due to a ban on hoodies inside the establishment. 

"He asked if he could just take it off, and was told, 'No' — that he had to leave," Murphy wrote in a now-viral Facebook post describing the encounter. 

The post, which has been shared more than 17,000 times since Saturday, alleges that the couple then walked away from the door, where they met three more black men who had been denied entry. Murphy said that the group stood together and saw numerous white men wearing hoodies on their way out. 

"We asked them if they were asked to leave and they all said no, they had been there for hours. We also watched two white men be allowed to enter by removing their hoodies," Murphy wrote. "We tried to ask the bouncer why these other men could remove their hoodies, and why we’d seen multiple men coming out wearing them.

"Of course, we knew why. But nobody would say it," she added. 

Murphy goes on to say that their group demanded to speak with a manager, who escalated the situation "so much so that when she ran after one of our friends screaming, her own associates were yelling at her that she was going to lose her job."

The post ultimately caught the attention of TC Restaurant Group, which owns the bar along with country music star Jason Aldean. The company issued a formal statement to Nashville's WZTV-TV, saying it was looking into the incident. 

"We strive to be one of the most welcoming establishments in Nashville and are horrified by these reports," the statement read. "Our leadership team is investigating this situation and will take action should we find that any of our employees or third-party security contractors violated our policies. We appreciate those who have brought this to our attention."

Murphy also updated her post to state that she'd been contacted personally by a third-party security company, which confirmed that the bar did not have a policy banning hoodies. She went on to add that she was sharing her story to prevent the situation from happening again. 

"We look forward to hearing how they plan to address this so that others don’t experience the same thing my husband and the other men that night have," her post read.