(USDOJ.Today) United States Attorney Drew H. Wrigley announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota completed its investigation and entered into settlement agreements with Joe Black’s Bar and Grill and the Hub Pub to resolve allegations that these restaurants violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”). Both restaurants are owned and operated by Dennis Blackmun and Joe Schneider and are popular establishments in downtown Grand Forks.
The settlement agreements resolve ADA complaints alleging that Joe Black’s Bar and Grill and the Hub Pub were not fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. During its investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office found that neither establishment offered dining spaces or black jack gaming spaces to accommodate wheelchairs. As part of the settlement agreements, Joe Black’s Bar and Grill and the Hub Pub will provide accessible dining tables in both restaurant facilities, and both restaurants will also provide an accessible black jack gaming space to accommodate customers using wheelchairs. The Hub Pub, which created an accessible entrance during its 2016 renovations, will provide signage to patrons communicating the location of its accessible entrance.
Under federal law, private entities that own or operate places of “public accommodation,” including restaurants and bars, are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of disability. The ADA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate complaints and undertake reviews of compliance of covered entities. The Justice Department is also authorized to commence a civil lawsuit in federal court in any case that involves a pattern or practice of discrimination or raises issue of general public importance, and to seek injunctive relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties.
U.S. Attorney Wrigley noted the owners of Joe Black’s Bar and Grill and the Hub Pub cooperated throughout this investigation and he commended their commitment to the ADA. “The corrective measures agreed to by Joe Black’s Bar and Grill and the Hub Pub will give individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to enjoy two prominent downtown Grand Forks restaurants, as is required by the ADA. We hope other proprietors will proactively comply with this important civil rights law. Our Office remains committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities will have full and equal access to places of public accommodation in North Dakota.”
This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa H. Burkland of the District of North Dakota.
2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Justice Department plays a central role in advancing the nation’s goal of equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. The Justice Department will continue to use its enforcement and technical assistance tools to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
Any member of the public who wishes to file a complaint alleging that any place of public accommodation or public entity in North Dakota is not accessible to persons with disabilities may file a complaint online at www.ada.gov or contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 701-297-7400.