South Asian man denied club reservation based on names


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – “All the names speak for itself [sic].” That is the response a South Asian man in Surrey got when he was denied a reservation from the Republic nightclub in downtown Vancouver in April 2008.

These accusations appear to go against a statement the Donnelly Group submitted to News1130 after it was accused of racial profiling at the Library Square Pub earlier this month. The company writes it does not condone prejudice of any kind, yet an email exchange may state otherwise.

Twenty South Asian names were included on a list, which was denied after a conversation between the Operations Manager and a VIP host. That conversation was somehow cc’d to the man planning his birthday.

The email exchange has been posted below. Further down, you can find the original statement the Donnelly Group submitted to us.

The head of the Donnelly Group is out of town, but a media relations person says they take all such allegations seriously. That said, the Group says the emails may be old, and it’s difficult to determine the authenticity.

The company says it’s looking into the allegations and working hard to understand exactly what happened. The Donnelly Group maintains it doesn’t condone discrimination of any kind and would have welcomed feedback from the customer.  It’s asking for emails from anyone who feels they’ve faced discrimination by The Donnelly Group. The email is

If you think you have experienced discrimination at a nightclub in the Lower Mainland, we want to hear from you. If you are a club owner, we want to know how you balance potential prejudice and safety.

Email exchange:


Thank you for your interest in visiting Republic. Unfortunately due to current reservations we are unable to accommodate your group. Please feel free to re-apply for another night in the future.


***** *****
Operations Manager

—–Original Message—–
From: ****** [mailto:******]
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 3:15 PM
To: ***** *****
Subject: Re: Donnelly website contact form message

Yup. All the names speak for itself.

—–Original Message—–
From: “******” **
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 14:56:13
Subject: RE: Donnelly website contact form message

Is that a no?

****** *****
Operations Manager

—–Original Message—–
From: ***** [mailto:******]
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 11:52 AM
To: **********
Subject: Re: Donnelly website contact form message

Nice response. Wish I could help them out.

—–Original Message—–
From: “*****” **
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 09:23:32
Subject: FW: Donnelly website contact form message

Can you see the below response.


****** *****
Operations Manager

From: *********
To: **
Subject: RE: Donnelly website contact form message
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 19:33:04 -0700


I do not understand the need for names as I have stated the information regarding our group below. Wouldn’t I provide this after approval?

Anyways here you go…

Full names are as follows:


**** Saran – 29
**** Sandhu – 29
***** Dhothar – 27
***** Grewal – 27
***** Sandhar – 28
***** Grewal – 28
***** Sian – 28


***** Malhi – 27
***** Dhillon – 26
***** Sandhar – 28
***** Gill – 26
***** Gill – 25
***** Karaul – 25
***** Johal – 25
***** Deol – 25
***** Cheema – 25
***** Bains – 26
***** Johal – 28
***** Janda – 26
***** Gill – 26

The group is +/- 5 people. You have to understand that at this stage with no confirmation or pricing/seating I am unable to guarantee the names nor exact amount of people. I have been to many venues (miami/vegas/ny/montreal) and never have I been asked to do this… but hey this is vancouver.. and I understand reputations have been built. Part of the reason of getting VIP service is to come to the club from dinner. Straight in… party… and go straight home. The majority of the people in my group are not regular party go-ers. I’m just the one stuck on trying to plan all this…

We are all a group of professionally employed mature people. I can guarantee a clean criminal history if that is your concern.


From: **
To: *********
Subject: RE: Donnelly website contact form message
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 12:10:04 -0700


Thank you for your interest in visiting Republic. Can you please send me some more information about your group including everyone’s full names and ages.

Approval still pending


—–Original Message—–
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 11:07 PM
To: **; **; **; **
Subject: Donnelly website contact form message

A new message has been posted on the contact form of the Donnelly Nightclubs website. The details are as follows –

Email: *********
Name First: ****
Name Last: Saran
Tel: 604.***.****
Date: Sat.04.12.08
Number in Group: 20-25
Msg: Venue: Republic

I apologize for the short notice:

Event: Birthday Party.

Our Group: Mature fun crowd. 20 or so ladies; 5 or so gentlemen. Ages 25-29.

1. Would you be able to accommodate us?

2. What are my options (ie bottles/tables/location)?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. If it is not possible please kindly let me know as well.

Thank you,


Original statement from the Donnelly Group to News1130 after an incident at Library Square:

Hello ******,
Please see the statement below from the Donnelly Group, outlining what can be confirmed at this time.

Regards, ********

Statement regarding incident at Library Square:

The Donnelly Group is a Vancouver based company that has operated in our diversely multicultural City since 1999.

Based on our employee’s incident report, two of the patrons making these allegations were asked to leave the premises for intoxication and aggressive behaviour.  The employee was then threatened and physically accosted by the patrons prior to these allegations. 

The Donnelly Group does not condone violence or prejudice of any kind. According to the incident report submitted on the night of the incident, it is our understanding that our employee did not say anything or act in any manner that does not represent these important company values.”

**** *******


The Donnelly Group

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