The incident that has caused problems for the pub took place last winter when a group of friends went to Peggy O'Neil's to celebrate a birthday. The celebrant, who was white, was welcomed in without much problem, but many of the people in the group were minorities (African American, Hispanic, and Cape Verdean) and they were refused entry.
The birthday girl went back outside to try to intervene, but to no avail, as owner Caron O'Neil stood firm.
O'Neil denies these allegations saying, "Absolutely, we do not discriminate against anybody. We’re a Dorchester neighborhood bar. That’s our customer base.’’
Now that Attorney General Coakley is involved though, it could mean trouble for the bar. A similar allegation in Boston recently cost an establishment a $30,000 fine, plus a public apology, and anti-discriminatory training for the staff.