Richmond Brewpub Shuts out Turban Wearer

November 26, 2006

Author: Paige Mudd

Source: Times-Dispatch

A Sikh software executive visiting family in the Richmond area was denied entry Friday night to a popular Shockoe Slip restaurant because he refused to remove his turban.

Hansdip Singh Bindra, 37, was shocked when management at Richbrau Brewing Co. told him he had to remove his "hat."

"It was incredibly embarrassing. It's not a hat. When I wear a turban, it's a part of my body. It's a gift from God," said Bindra, who lives in Long Valley, N.J. "It's like asking a Jewish person to take off his yarmulke."

Richbrau owner Mike Byrne said yesterday that the restaurant's policy forbids head coverings.

"We have a policy where no bandanas or headgear is allowed, and we enforce it," he said. "I think the issue is he's quite clear on what our policy is. It's not a discrimination policy. It's simply no headgear."

Bindra was out with his two male cousins who live in Chester and a male friend, all of whom are Sikh but do not wear turbans.