Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh manager reinstated after allegations of racism stemming from craft beer festival | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh manager reinstated after allegations of racism stemming from craft beer festival

click to enlarge Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh on the South Side - CP PHOTO: RYAN DETO
CP Photo: Ryan Deto
Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh on the South Side
In September, allegations of racism were made against the manager at Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh in relation to the Barrel & Flow craft beer festival, one of the nation’s few Black beer festivals, which was held outside of the SouthSide Works restaurant on Sept. 12. As reported by Pittsburgh City Paper, Barrel & Flow Fest founder Day Bracey accused the general manager of Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh of using racial slurs while complaining about Black musicians. In response, Hofbräuhaus then suspended the manager and launched an investigation into the matter.

On Thu., Oct. 28, Hofbräuhaus announced that after completing an independent investigation that didn’t turn up corroborating evidence of the allegations, it has provisionally reinstated the manager.

“The investigation included interviewing all available witnesses, reviewing video tapes, inspecting communications, and reviewing pertinent documents,” reads an Oct. 28 statement from Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh posted on social media. “While the investigation is ongoing, in the absence of evidence corroborating the allegations, the Hofbräuhaus has decided to provisionally reinstate its manager. We hope to finalize the investigation shortly.”

In Bracey’s original posts about the incident during the beer fest in September, Bracey said Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh general manager Vincent Quinzio made several complaints regarding the music played at the festival, despite the event having a permit, and allegedly called the artists and Hearcorp staff racial slurs. Bracey also said on social media back in September that the festival dealt with "unexplainable power issues" on its stage throughout the day, noting that the breaker for the festival resided in the Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh restaurant.

When contacted by City Paper on Sept. 17, Hofbräuhaus of America said it was in contact with Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh to “ensure this situation is addressed and to ensure that the non-discriminatory standards of Hofbräuhaus are met.” That same day, Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh announced on social media that it had a virtual meeting with Bracey, and that the restaurant was retaining an outside and independent law firm to continue the investigation into the allegations.

When reached for comment, Bracey says he is disappointed with Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh's decision to reinstate its manager, and says their statement was "lukewarm."

"It's sad, but not surprising. They didn't seem to express much interest in having a thorough investigation," says Bracey. He adds that he has yet to speak with the lawyers retained by Hofbräuhaus, and that he is scheduled to meet with them the first week of November.

Bracey believes the company was not taking the investigation very seriously, and was hopeful Hofbräuhaus would have interviewed current and former employees to talk about the alleged work culture at the Pittsburgh restaurant.

"I wonder what that says to their Black employees, and any Black customers," says Bracey. "They had the chance to do the right thing and instead, they took the corporate playbook. There is a lot of more work to do in Pittsburgh."

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