Lawsuit settled after Salt Lake City bar denied Polynesian men service

Posted at 4:45 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 09:52:55-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Two Polynesian men who sued a Salt Lake City bar after they said they were refused service because of their ethnicity have agreed to settle the case.

Frank Maea and Stephen Wily said in February of this year that they were denied service at Willie’s Lounge because they are Polynesian.

“She looked up and said, ‘I can’t serve Polynesians’ and I was like… ‘You can’t what?’” Frank Maea told FOX 13 News February 17.

The owner of the establishment has since apologized and promised policy changes.

According to court documents, the men have agreed to settle their lawsuit for about $2,500 each and an additional $2,500 to cover legal fees.

The bar has also agreed to post their non-discrimination policy in a public place and to issue a public apology to both men.

Members of the Pacific Islander community in Utah said they’re happy the case is resolved, but noted that it highlights a larger issue.

“It was an unfortunate event, because it just reminds us that discrimination, racism, still exist, and is very relevant in today’s world,” said Margarita Satini, chair of the Utah Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Coalition.