On Thursday morning following the flash fire created by former Bookies co-owner Mark Jerant’s Facebook insensitive comments related to yet another highly questionable police shooting of an unarmed black man, this time in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Bookies issued the following press release. In short? Jerant is gone. I’m guessing Bookies wanted to put this fire out quick before the fire got too hot around Bookies.
Bookies Bar and Grille, a Detroit establishment since 2003, has severed ties with Mark Jerant, a minority partner in the business, effective immediately.
Jay Lambrecht, founder and majority owner of Bookies Bar and Grille, will now be the sole owner.
“Bookies Bar and Grille has always been a welcoming place for all patrons from Detroit to the suburbs, regardless of race, color or creed,” said Lambrecht. “To reiterate my comments early this week, I do not condone or agree with the comments made on social media by my former business partner. Those comments go against the culture of inclusion, diversity and respect for my patrons and employees I have worked hard to establish at Bookies Bar and Grille. Thus, I felt it best that Bookies move in a direction that shows our commitment to continue to offer a welcoming environment for all in Detroit.”
Bookies opened in 2003 on Washington Boulevard in the Book Building in downtown, much different than today, when few restaurants or bars were open in the city. Bookies developed a reputation for serving many populations – from game day sports enthusiasts, to local residents, as well as city workers and business people. In 2009, Bookies continued to bet on Detroit’s future, when we decided to invest and build from the ground up a bigger and better Bookies located at our current location on Cass Avenue near Comerica Park.
“One of my proudest accomplishments is knowing Bookie Bar and Grille has a diverse clientele that interacts together,” Lambrecht said. “This is why I chose to open a bar in Detroit, when others laughed at my idea. No matter who you were, how you looked, you felt welcomed at Bookies. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from attending high school in Detroit is to accept and appreciate people for who they are, and to celebrate our differences. We make that lesson come to life at Bookies.
“Mark’s comments in no way reflect what I believe, or that of our hard working employees. People are upset, and rightfully so. I decided we needed to move forward with this change to make sure that Bookies remains a place where all people feel welcome. I am truly sorry, and offer my apology and commitment to earn your trust, respect and business at Bookies Bar and Grille, ” Lambracht added.