South Philadelphia Tap Room Slammed by Feds Over ADA-Compliance Issues

The DOJ filed a lawsuit against the restaurant and owner John Longacre on Monday.

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Usually, when the United States Attorney in Philadelphia makes a statement about a case, it’s over murderers, drug traffickers, and multi-million dollar embezzlers. But on Tuesday morning, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger spoke out about ADA-compliance issues at South Philadelphia Tap Room on Mifflin Street.

Memeger’s office filed a lawsuit on Monday against South Philadelphia Tap Room, alleging that the restaurant discriminates against people with disabilities in that it does not comply with ADA-accessibility laws. The suit is the first of its kind filed through the U.S. Attorney’s Philadelphia Restaurants ADA Compliance Review, which began just over one year ago.

“The purpose of the Compliance Review was to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to area restaurants,” said Memeger in a statement. “Such an initiative is important in a city like Philadelphia that is widely known for its vibrant restaurant scene. As alleged, neither the ADA, nor the warnings from this Office were enough to convince the South Philadelphia Tap Room to comply with the law, and the goal of this lawsuit is to see that they finally do.”

Among the many alleged ADA violations at South Philadelphia Tap Room, the main customer entrance is not accessible because it is several inches up from the sidewalk, there is not enough turning space in the bathrooms, mirrors in the rest rooms are too high, and there are no grab bars in any of the bathroom stalls. Prosecutors claim that South Philadelphia Tap Room owner John Longacre, who is personally named in the suit, has received repeated warnings from their office and that he has ignored their requests.

“I just found out about this lawsuit about 10 seconds ago,” Longacre told Foobooz when we reached him on Tuesday afternoon. He says he did make some efforts to respond to the Department of Justice requests. “My guess is that this is all because someone out there has been complaining about us.”

The lawsuit opens the door for civil penalties against the restaurant.

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