Founders Taproom in Detroit is open again.
That used to be my spot. I enjoyed sitting at bar stools closets to the door laughing with my friends and meeting interesting strangers too. I enjoyed eating the food and sampling the beer.
I know I got on the bartenders’ nerves asking about new beers on the menu. They were patient and told me what I might like.
They hit about 80 percent of the time.
It was my jam.
But Founders closed for three months because of complications surrounding a racial discrimination law suit. A black employee believed he was watched more closely and disciplined differently because he was black.
That was not enough to cause my boycott. I knew this was not the spot for me when a manager told The Metro Times that they did not know whether Michal Jordan or Barack Obama were black because they had not met them.
That told me something was up.
I do not want to give my business to a company that mocks or discriminates against minorities. If you are openly prejudiced I want nothing to do with you. That also applies to companies that treat whites differently.
A white female friend told me about a place in Eastern Market that I absolutely loved. She said she went in there to eat and was treated poorly and called “white girl”. She felt uncomfortable being treated differently.
I have not been there since.
I will eventually forgive Founders and return. I just don’t know when.
I’ve been reading Brian Manzullo in the Free Press who writes columns about breweries and micro brews. He wrote a piece a few weeks ago about Detroit area tap rooms to visit. I am going through his list to see if anybody else sparks the passion I had for Founders.
A friend told me the other day that he has talked to the managers of Founders. He said the company has a new inclusive strategy and that Founders cleaned house and got rid of the previous offenders.
I also know that the company is giving its profits to Detroit area charities for the next three years. That has me inching toward the front doors again. But I just cannot walk in yet.Find Terry Foster Podcast here: