Who owns Sing Karaoke Bar? TikToker claims Texas bar charged him $ 350 for being black

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KATY, TEXAS: A Houston bar was forced to turn off social media comments after being accused of racial profiling. On August 28, TikToker Shenise Anderson claimed that she and her friends were forced to fork out $ 350 for a table at the Sing Karaoke Bar and Lounge, allegedly “because we’re black.” These claims led to the bar being bombarded on Yelp and Google before the bar fired back and said cover was given to all major groups.

Over the past year, social media has become a vital source of information on racism and homophobia in the United States. Many users have uploaded videos of Americans behaving in a homophobic manner, which has resulted in many being publicly named and humiliated. In July, Flex Fitness in Hendersonville, North Carolina came under immense pressure for evicting a Mexican family who played Spanish music. On August 10, popular TikToker Aunt Karen revealed she was receiving death threats after speaking out against allegedly racist hiring practices at a Texas company. A few days later, a Dunkin Donuts employee was caught throwing a drink at an eight-year-old child with autism.

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However, racism does not appear to be the case in Anderson’s story. She claims the fees were charged to her because she was black, but the bar explained that it was standard coverage for all major groups and hit back at the critics in a social media statement. This put the bar in the spotlight, prompting us to dig a little deeper into the history of the bar and in particular the owner.

Who owns Sing Karaoke Bar?

A little dig on social media identifies Elvis Nguyen as the owner of the bar. According to his LinkedIn profile, Nguyen is the Promotions Specialist at Concrete Cowboy in Houston. He did not assume this role until July 2021, before which he had numerous establishments in the city. Nguyen is listed as the owner of The Loop Handcrafted Churros, Pho King Noodle Bar, Beard Papa’s and Sing Karaoke Bar.

In an interview 2019, Nguyen says he grew up in Port Arthur and moved to Houston when he was 20. He first enrolled at the University of Houston “to make my parents’ dream of becoming a doctor come true.” However, it didn’t work and he dropped out for a degree in surgical technology at the Academy of Health Care Professions-Northwest. After graduating in 2008, he accepted a job with Stryker Medical. In 2019, after more than seven years at Stryker, Nguyen put his six-figure, 401k salary aside after being offered the opportunity to open a Beard Papa franchise. “I researched the company and quickly decided this was the break I was waiting for on my trip,” he said, and noted: “My friends said that I was crazy. ” The rest, as they say, is history.

Not only did Nguyen manage to turn his dream of being his own boss into reality, but he also managed to spread his wings much further than Beard Papa’s. He spent a few years working as a club promoter, which led him to open Ham Choi Productions in April 2019. This business focuses on celebrations for Asian Americans in Houston, another massive success for Nguyen. In September 2020, Nguyen opened the Sing Bar in Katy, just outside of Houston. Since opening, the bar has been a popular destination for karaoke enthusiasts but was nearly derailed by Anderson’s accusations.

A screenshot from TikTok of Shenise Anderson accusing the bar of racial profiling. (TIC Tac)

Anderson accuses the bar of racism, the bar retaliates

August 28, Anderson posted a video on TikTok from her outside the Sing Bar. “So if you’re ever in Houston, Texas, never go to that restaurant, that karaoke place. Never come, guys,” she said. Anderson adds, “It’s ridiculous: me and my friends because we’re black, we have to pay $ 350.” It came about after Anderson and her party of six were asked to pay $ 350, a charge that another party of six was not asked to pay, she claims.

This video instantly exploded and caused a backlash against the bar. People started criticizing the bar’s Yelp and Google pages, as well as leaving negative comments on its Instagram page. This led to the Sing Bar turning off comments on Instagram and flagging negative reviews to shout. On September 8, the bar finally ruled on the charges in a report posted on Facebook and Instagram. “We charge for all parts, no matter what race or color, a minimum… There is no charge to enter our facility,” he said. The bar added that a sign indicating the charge is displayed in the establishment, which Anderson said was not there.

In a September 9 TikTok, Anderson claimed the policy was not visible when booking through Google. She also added that an official responded that he “didn’t care” when she said she was a popular TikToker. “The main reason I released this video was that I was discriminated against,” she continued. Negative reviews appear to be dead after the bar’s statement, with positive reviews now flooding the establishment’s pages.

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