Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Michael Stone Online

Hofbrauhaus, Munich Beer Hall, Discriminates Against People of Asian Appearance

I couldn’t believe it either.

Hannah and I recently visited the south German city of Munich, and sadly, our most memorable experience is one of prejudice.

One afternoon, we stopped by the Hofbrauhaus, perhaps the most well-known and historically intertwined beer hall in the world.

Sitting at a vacant long table next to the main entrance, we had our orders taken with no problems. Shortly after, a young couple of Asian appearance sat at the end opposite of us.

When the waiter came back with our order, he told the couple—plus a whole group of at least eight people of Asian appearance at the table directly next to us—that the tables are reserved and that they can’t sit there.

This seemed unusual. Spontaneously stopping at the business, we certainly hadn’t reserved the table but were allowed to stay.

As we sat there for maybe 30 more minutes, we watched several other individuals and groups of people of Asian appearance being asked to move under the guise of table reservations. Meanwhile, other customers, all of whom were of Caucasian appearance, weren’t asked to get up.

I finally decided to record the waiter telling someone that the table we were sitting at without reservations was reserved (see above video).

Next, a couple with U.S.-sounding accents asked if we wouldn’t mind them sitting at our table, showing that they certainly didn’t have reservations. We told them no problem, and while the man ran to the restroom, the waiter tried to politely take the woman’s order and didn’t ask her to leave (see above video).

I wouldn’t normally address an issue like this based solely on first-hand observational evidence. But it was so overly blatant and repeated with literally every customer of Asian appearance that even a child could come to the same conclusion.

Granted, there were tables full of customers of Asian appearance in other areas of the beer hall. But I don’t believe in our allegedly progressive 21st century and in such an accepting country as present-day Germany that seating availability—even just one chair—should be decided based on appearance.

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