The Chongqing Chinese restaurant has been shut down.
A Chinese restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya has been shut down and its owners questioned by immigration authorities following public complaints that it was barring black patrons from entering after a certain time, Huanqiu News reported on March 25.
The Chongqing Chinese restaurant, located in the commercial district of Kilimani, triggered online outrage after residents revealed on social media that it wasn’t allowing African customers to eat there after 5:00 p.m.
It’s reported that the restaurant was operating without proper licenses, and after investigation, authorities had no choice but to shut it down anyways, according to the Associated Press.
“The owners of the restaurant have no change of user from residential to commercial which is a requirement to operate a business in Nairobi,” Nairobi governor Evans Kidero said in the report. The owners also failed to produce a valid liquor license.
Governor Evans Kidero also said in a statement that “all business and service providers must ensure that all customers and clients are treated with respect and dignity, irrespective of race, color, sex, tribe and religion.”
The owners of the restaurant apologized to local residents and explained that they implemented the policy after a robbery in 2013. They said it also aimed at keeping out members of Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-affliated Shebab militants.
“We don’t admit Africans that we don’t know because you never know who is Al-Shebab and who isn’t,” Esther Zhao, one of the restaurants managers, was quoted as saying.
The Chinese owners and managers have since been summoned by Kenya’s immigration authorities and further investigation is underway.
A city official said that the incident “has nothing to do with the friendship and diplomatic relations Kenya enjoys with China.”
Last August, a café owner from Shanghai had closed his shop down in Sydney after he faced public criticism for refusing to hire a Brazilian-born Australian citizen as a barista because he was black.
By Lucy Liu
[Image via Yahoo]