Men say bartenders told them they “can’t serve Polynesians”

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Two men in Utah say they were refused service at a bar because of their race.

Frank Maea and Stephen Wily said they had never been to Willis Lounge in Salt Lake City before, and they won't be back.

They told KSTU that the bartender checked their IDs and asked them to leave because of their race.

"She looked up and said, 'I can't serve Polynesians.' And I was like, 'You can't what?" Maea said.

"We were just in awe, everyone in the bar was," Wily said.

At that point, the men said others at the bar spoke up.

"One woman said, 'Wait, did I hear this correctly? Did you just say you can't serve these guys because they're Polynesian," Maea said.

The bartender said it was company policy, but the bar's owner says it was a misunderstanding.

"I've told all my bartenders if groups of unknown people, including Polynesians but not limited to, that we don't know come in late at night, they don't have to serve them," said Geremy Cloyd, the owner of the bar.

The men say that's not what happened to them, adding that they were kicked out of the bar.

"They said, 'You guys got to leave now.' And we left," Maea said. "It's sad. This is 2016. Just the ignorance behind it all, just being approached like that was just mind-blowing."

"We messed up last night, a lot of times we get it right, last night, we didn't," Cloyd said.

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