Filter drummer: Brother’s Bar in Denver barred me due to neck tattoo

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Filter Drummer Jeff Fabb said he was denied entrance to Brother's Bar & Grill in Denver after a show on Oct. 9, 2013, due to his neck tattoo. (Photo: Twitter / @shirleyhalperin)

Filter Drummer Jeff Fabb said he was denied entrance to Brother’s Bar & Grill in Denver after a show on Oct. 9, 2013, due to his neck tattoo. (Photo: Twitter / @shirleyhalperin)

DENVER — The drummer of a popular rock band said he was denied entrance into a popular Denver bar and grill because of his tattoos.

Jeff Fabb and his band Filter were in Denver’s LoDo neighborhood for a Wednesday night show at The Summit. The band said they had eaten at Brother’s Bar & Grill, which is just up the street from the music venue, earlier in the day. But when the group went to join fans at the bar and grill after the show, the group says Fabb was denied entrance.

The reason? His neck tattoo, the group claims.

“The door guy … wouldn’t let me in,” Fabb told the Hollywood Reporter. “I went to speak with the manager, and he was confrontational from the moment he saw me. He really didn’t care that we’d been there earlier. I was kind of hurt, since most of the people who were in there at the time were from our show and we wanted to join them.

“I was calm the whole time, though, and when we were walking out, he yelled at the door guy not to let us in.”

Richard Patrick, Filter’s lead singer, said he wasn’t as calm after hearing Fabb had been turned away.

“I got a little heated, but this is ridiculous,” Patrick told the Reporter. “I had wings at noon over there — they were good wings, too. The crew was there all day, eating. This is prejudice, pure and simple.”

Filter posted a video of an exchange with the bar and grill’s doorman on YouTube that had been viewed over 2,500 times as of Friday morning. The band also posted the video on its Facebook page, where it has been shared over 2,200 times and drawn over 800 comments.

Click here to watch the video, but be warned: It contains explicit language.

Several media outlets reached out to the management at the Denver eatery as well as the Brother’s Bar & Grill corporate offices in LaCrosse, Wisc and 16 other locations across the country. Shortly after its initial efforts to contact management were unsuccessful, The Hollywood Reporter said the Denver location posted this response on its Facebook wall:

“We are NOT against tattoos. We are NOT against visible tattoos. Our employees have and display tattoos. Our guests have and display tattoos. That has always been the case. What the tattoo represents or symbolizes and where the tattoo is located is a criteria to entering our location.”

That post has since been deleted.

The Reporter stated that during calls placed to all of the Brother’s Bar & Grill branches, management was asked to explain the company’s dress code. According to the Reporter, only the Denver location maintained that “above-the-neck tattoos” were not allowed and would not specify why.

Neither the restaurant nor the band has elaborated about the content of Fabb’s neck tattoo, but there are several photos of the tattoo available online, none of which appear to show anything overtly offensive about the body art.

Patrick is calling for a boycott of the restaurant until it changes its policies.

Filter rose to prominence with two platinum-selling albums in the 90s, but the group’s record sales have faded since then. Filter is currently headlining the “Self-Inflicted” tour, with bands Red, Otherwise and We As Human.

The Brother’s Bar & Grill’s franchise in Denver is one of newer establishments on Blake Street in LoDo, having opened in May 2010.

14 comments

  • NN

    There are a lot of bars that ban neck tattoos and its not fair. Neck tattoos are the same as tattoos on arms or legs or whatever. Bars don’t ban people for those. I have a friend that dresses very nicely, is very polite, far from a trouble maker and just an awesome guy. He can’t get in almost anywhere because of neck tattoos and the rings in his ears-which are smaller than a quarter size. Totally UNFAIR!

  • Michael

    As a fellow door guy at another Lodos location that does not allow tattoos above the collar line I think filter is acting childish and immature. It’s not that we are discriminating against tattoos, it’s the fact that if I let this guy in with his kneel tat and then the next guy walks up with a ms13 tat on his kneck and I say no to him there’s going to be an issue. In the last couples of years we have made great strides to keeping our side of the neighborhood safe. Yes there may be the occasional drunken bar fight but it’s nothing like the way it use to be where cops would have to set off tear as every weekend to clear out unruly guest. Last year as a company we stepped back and asked our self as door guys who have to break these fights up what needs to be put in place to keep our guests safe. We saw that a lot of our fight where gang related and most if not all had some kind of gang affiliated tattoo on there upper body whether it was their kneck or head or face. So we put in place this rule and in the last year we are lucky too see a single fight! So if Filter needs to act like children and try to hurt the business of a fellow company by fighting against a rule that in place to protect the masses and not the few I will never buy another one of there albums again!!

  • Turk

    Quite simply, its a private business, they can refuse service to anyone for any reason; it’s their business to run, no one else’s. If you don’t like it, don’t go! Get over your sense of entitlement and sense of your right to everything. If you were running a business that only allowed admittance for ages 61 – 63, must be from Fiji and no admittance unless you have a Pacific Islander facial tatoo….. you could!! It’s your business!

  • Random

    It’s really sad that this happened. And it’s really sad about lodos too (well the one downtown at the very least). Just because a person has visible tattoos doesn’t make them a bad person. Where’s the logic?

  • Mel

    Bummer! I liked this place too! I won’t be returning. Kudos to Filter for standing up for themselves. Denver does not have a gang problem, and this area is not infiltrated with gangs. Is this a control trip on the part of management perhaps? I don’t have any neck tattoos, but I like his! I guess they are trying to keep a yuppie image, but that’s not why I spent money there. It was for the food. Awe well, it’s not like there isn’t plenty of competition in this area.

  • amanda

    a tattoo is a tattoo no mater where it is,…..you either ban all that have visible ones or you ban none, you can’t pick and choose, some might have been from a younger age and they thought it was cool. thats like calling the kettle black isn’t it???

  • boulder native

    The fact that he was allowed in there earlier and then not allowed in that night is what bothers me.

  • Mick

    Bob Dylan protests against Vietnam. Bob Marley his country’s civil unrest. FILTER…the chicken wing place on the corner.

  • Matthew Carothers

    To the guy ranting on and on about a business having the right to refuse service, you are right about that. BUT people ALSO have the right to speak up and voice their opinion that it isn’t the right thing to do. People also have the RIGHT to encourage others not to patronize that business as well. It’s called FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT LEAVE THE COUNTRY!!!

    This restaurant is right by the venue where bands play, and I’m sure that ALOT of their business comes from events held in those venues. If the manager wants to cut his own throat by antagonizing the band members who are putting on the concerts which bring that restaurants customers then he is just showing his own stupidity. If the bands don’t eat there neither will the fans. He is only driving his own business away.

    You don’t have to ban all tattoos or none. You can simply ban GANG related tattoos. You also need to enforce your own rules like this consistantly. Decide on a standard, communicate that standard, and stick to that standard.

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