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Sat May 25, 2019, 07:49 AM

Racist rant with bar owner prompts official to resign, but 'sex on the lawn' is why bar shut down

An alternate member of the Kenilworth Planning Board said he was resigning from the volunteer position after part of a phone conversation was posted on Instagram by a local bar owner who says language he used reflected a racial bias among residents and local officials against her mostly black clientele.

The bar, Gavelstone Bar & Grill, has no business before the planning board, and the alternate member, Anthony Cuppari, denied having any racist intent in his conversation with the bar owner, who called him Wednesday morning to discuss a noise complaint he had filed as a private citizen on behalf of tenants in an apartment building he manages across the street.

But the bar, located in a mainly residential neighborhood on the corner of South Michigan and Fairfield avenues, was issued a 30-day suspension of its liquor license by the Kenilworth Borough Council as a condition of its annual license renewal on Wednesday night, only hours after the taped phone conversation that morning. An excerpt of the call was posted on the barís Instagram page by the owner on Thursday.

The barís owner and its manager told NJ Advance Media they suspected the suspension may have been influenced by Cuppari, a 37-year-old native of the borough, or by the councilís desire to appease neighbors of the bar whose racist attitudes were reflected in Cuppariís remarks.

Read more: https://www.nj.com/union/2019/05/racist-rant-with-bar-owner-prompts-official-to-resign-but-sex-on-the-lawn-is-why-bar-shut-down.html

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