On March 13, Jefferson Circuit Judge Olu A. Stevens dismissed with prejudice Andre Mulligan's lawsuit against Fourth Street Live's Maker's Mark Bourbon House and Lounge and Cordish Operating Ventures. In the suit, filed on Dec. 19, 2012, Mulligan alleged that "officials from Maker's Mark [Lounge] demanded to know the 'ratio' of 'black people' to 'white people'" attending an event Mulligan was preparing to hold in the restaurant.
A dismissal with prejudice means Mulligan cannot file another lawsuit about the same claim. Based on the agreed order of dismissal filed in this case, it most likely also means the case was settled, according to an attorney not involved in this case. Settlement details between private entities, however, are not a matter of public record and often are bound by nondisclosure agreements.
The case drew national media attention after Alternet.org ran an article about it with the headline "The Most Racist Restaurant in America?"
View the case history (p. 1), original civil action (pp. 2-6) and agreed order of dismissal (p. 7) at the end of this article. Or download a .pdf here.
According to the order of dismissal,
Plaintiff, Andre Mulligan, and Defendant Cordish Operating Ventures, LLC, being in agreement and the Court being otherwise sufficiently advised; IT IS ORDERED that all claims against both Defendants are hereby DISMISSED, WITH PREJUDICE, each party to bear its own costs. Messages seeking comment have been left for
·Kurt A. Scharfenberger, Mulligan's attorney
·Candice Coolahan, who handles media inquiries with Cordish Companies
·R. Kenyon Meyer, a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, which represented Cordish Operating Ventures in this case
This article will be updated should they respond.
As distillers Bill Samuels, Jr. and Rob Samuels were quick to point out when this lawsuit was filed, "Maker's Mark licenses its name and trademark to a third party appointed by Cordish Operating Ventures, LLC, which is solely responsible for the ownership, operation and management of the Maker's Mark Bourbon House and Lounge in Louisville Kentucky. Maker's Mark has no ownership or involvement in the Lounge whatsoever."
·Cordish division named in Louisville, Ky., lawsuit alleging discrimination [The Baltimore Sun]
·Fourth Street Live changes dress code after complaints [WRDB 41]
[Photo: Courtesy Facebook/Maker's Mark Bourbon House and Lounge]