Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
La Cascada Taqueria, Berkeley, CA
Re: A very bad experience at La Cascada Taqueria on June 8, 2007.
At approximately 6:30 in the evening, after being hired to play music at a well known establishment in Berkeley, I walked into the La Cascada Taqueria restaurant on Center St. in Berkeley to buy some tacos. I looked at their menus to see what was available and went back outside where our vehicle was parked to ask my wife if she wanted to order something for herself. She told me that she had just eaten, so I decided to go back to order a taco for myself. After, I got in, I wanted to use their restroom first to wash my hands. At that time, one of the two employees told me that the restroom was "OUT OF ORDER". I went back outside again to let my wife know that their restroom was "OUT OF ORDER", but she said that one of the members from our group, who hadn't purchased any food, had just used it and also another person had just used it and left the restaurant.
This time, I went back in the restaurant with my wife (she had just bought food from there). I asked the employees what the truth was about the bathroom being out of order since other people had just been seen coming out from using the restroom. It seems to be that OUT OF ORDER signs are common on this block and in the businesses in the area because not all of the stores, or restaurants have restrooms. The worker whom we were talking to started to use profane words and directed this profanity to us personally and insisted through the use of this profanity that we leave the restaurant. It was done in a very degrading and discriminating way. There were several customers in the store at the time and they had no regard for anyone of us who were present. One customer who had just entered the Taqueria had heard the worker cussing and he immediately left and said, "I don't need this!"
I then asked the two employees what their names were, but they wouldn't tell us. One worker said that they don't have names. I asked for the owner's name, but they also wouldn't tell us that either. I asked for a number to reach the owner and they gave us the number to call, which after dialing rang the phone in that same location on Center St. We found a flyer that had a number for a different La Casada Taqueria Restaurant that was located a short distance away on College Avenue in Berkeley and immediately called the number and spoke with a worker there.
The worker was surprised at what we were telling her about our experience at the Center St. location and told us that she would get a hold of the owner immediately. We spoke with her a few minutes later and she told us that she gave the owner the message and that the owner would call us in a few minutes. After waiting for 35-45 minutes to speak with the owner we made one more attempt to call La Casada on College Ave. to get in contact with the owner and the worker informed us again that she had already given him the message and that he said he would call us in a few minutes.
At around 7:15pm, we noticed that two men came into the Taqueria on Center St. from the back entrance of the restaurant. One of the employees opened the door to let them in. It seemed ironic in the timing that these seeming to be employees had shown up and we naturally assumed that one of them was likely the owner. We went back into the Taqueria and asked the employees and the two men to please tell the owner that if he doesn't get back to us, then we would feel compelled to report this incident of discrimination, improper treatment and unprofessionalism that we encountered from this business to the Better Business Bureau and other media resources, including the property manager. One of the men, who also wouldn't tell us his name, said that he was the brother of the worker there. He seemed somewhat concerned about what we were telling him, but wouldn't tell us his relationship to the establishment, only that he owned a business down the street from the Taqueria.
Customers should never be treated in this way. We were discriminated against. It is not just about not being able to use their bathroom, but it is a form of discrimination. The employees are choosing who they think should be allowed to use their restroom as well as treating the customers in a disrespectful manner. The owners of this restaurant should never have used such profain language towards us and to have disrespected us in the way that they did. It's sad when you receive such treatment from the "employees" , no matter what their positions are and then try to speak rationally and earnestly with the owners and the owners turn out to be just as irresponsible as the employees that they hired.
We believe that what goes around, comes around, and that this is just ONE of the consequences for their poor choice in judgement and poor customer service...
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