Saturday, July 25, 2009

Turtle Gays of our lives

Hi Nick & friends,

My name is Kristi Paris, and I'm the Marketing, PR, & Events Manager at Turtle Bay.  We have received a large response regarding an issue that arose last night-  it is really important to me to address this concern.  I think it is really great that you have such a supportive network of friends...I would absolutely do the same thing for any one of my friends if I felt they had been mistreated.  I have included everyone who left a valid email with their website submission, but please do pass this along to those who could not be reached, as I do want them to know our position but had no way of reaching them.

I am truly upset by what I have read from the website submissions.  It is extremely important to us at Turtle Bay, and to me personally, to have a great relationship with all patrons and be supportive of our community- the gay community absolutely included.  I know I speak on behalf of the entire staff and management here when I say that the last thing we'd ever want would be for someone to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable here because of their sexual orientation, or any other personal factor.

I did not witness the incident last night; I asked the staff members working last night and no one recalls the incident, so I cannot speak to what happened.  However, I can assure you it is not Turtle Bay's policy nor wish to exclude any member of the gay community (I have many gay friends who come here frequently), and we would never, under any circumstance, refuse entry to someone based on their sexual orientation. We refuse entry to people with expired IDs, inadequate forms of ID, and if they are obviously intoxicated or violating the dress code.  We ask people to wait in line if we are at our legal capacity, which we were at for most of the night, so I'm not sure if this was the case when you arrived...

I feel terrible about this impression/misconception and want to do everything I can to rectify the situation as soon as possible.  May I please invite you and your friends in as my guests for lunch/dinner and drinks on us?  I'd love to meet you and your friends and have the chance to personally apologize for any negativity you experienced here.  I'd love the opportunity to show you all what a friendly, neighborhood establishment Turtle Bay is, and hopefully we can become a place that you and your friends of all backgrounds come to enjoy and frequent.

I welcome your thoughts and responses.

Thank you,

Kristi Paris
Director of Marketing & Events
Turtle Bay New York
52nd & 2nd


  1. Hi Nick,

    So sorry to read about this situation happening to you. I read your other entry and I thought I'd post here to suggest an alternative approach for handling the situation. Firing the bouncer without management personally witnessing the interaction would be problematic. However, you could agree to accept the PR person's invitation on the condition that the bouncer in question is also there to explain the reasons for his actions. If they agree to this, you can see how sincere they are about their apology by how they handle the situation. If they don't agree, then you also have an answer about their sincerity (or lack thereof). Just a thought to ponder. Best wishes to you in life and much future success in your career.

  2. Did you guys see the tacky comment left by "Thomas" the general manager on the other post? He negates any goodwill that Kristi attempted in her deflection earlier. Amazing arrogance.

  3. I say we get as many gays to go as possible. Turn it into a gay bar for the night. We'd have a lot more fun. And order a lot of tap water.

  4. And to add to Paul's comments, let all gays wear white t-shirts!

  5. Kristi, What I can't understand is why you and your manager continue to claim that the bar would "never" discriminate against anyone based on their sexual orientation, when the facts here seem to indicate you did exactly that.

    I'd have a lot more respect for you if you just did what any sensible restaurant/bar person would do: tell Nick - "we did the wrong thing, we apologize, we want to make it up to you, how can we do that?"

    You'd be surprised what happens.

  6. Too little too late!

    I will spread the word on my New York site and yelp!

    michael & derrick