Dorchester Bar Agrees To Settle Discrimination Suit

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A Boston bar accused of refusing to admit black, Latino or Cape Verdean customers has agreed to pay up to $100,000 to resolve a civil rights enforcement action, the state attorney general's office announced Friday.

The consent judgment, entered Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court, resolves a lawsuit filed in 2011 against Peggy O'Neil's Bar & Grille and owner Caron O'Neil, officials said.

The suit alleged that when minorities attempted to enter the bar in the city's Dorchester neighborhood, O'Neil or her staff told them they could not come in because they did not "know the owner" and that the bar did not want any "trouble."

"Massachusetts businesses should not subject individuals to discrimination of any kind, including decisions that are based on prejudice or stereotypes," Attorney General Martha Coakley said.

According to the terms of the settlement, Peggy O'Neil's and Caron O'Neil must pay $80,000, which will be used to compensate the victims and to reimburse the state attorneys' fees. The remaining $20,000 is suspended pending compliance with the terms of the judgment.

The bar's owner previously denied any discrimination, saying the establishment founded in 1963 had a diverse customer base, and the people denied entry were drunk. A woman who answered the phone at the bar Friday said there was no one there authorized to comment.