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Portland Bar Sparks Debate After Announcing Decision to Stop Serving Two Brands of Cognac

| March 12, 2014


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A Portland bar that’s seen its share of trouble says it will no longer serve two brands of cognac, a ban questioned by some as racially motivated. Police have recommended that Sangillo’s Tavern lose its liquor license, citing 23 calls in less than a year, including a shooting. The City Council will consider the recommendation Monday. The Portland Press Herald reports that Sangillo’s said in a letter to city officials that it will no longer serve Hennessy and Remy Martin because both were “related to detrimental conduct.” Hennessy has a significant African-American customer base. The president of the Portland NAACP called the cognac ban “odd.” A professor who researches stereotyping at Tufts University said it wouldn’t surprise him if the ban was racial. Sangillo’s lawyer denies any racial motive behind the ban.

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