A disgruntled employee at Wharf eatery Velo Cafe screamed at customers, fellow workers, and anyone else who happened by on March 14 after being terminated by management — a hostile separation that has resulted in the former employee being banned from the Southwest waterfront.
“Sir, don’t come in here. They are racist to minorities!” the visibly enraged woman yelled from behind the counter as Eater entered the premises. She continued screaming about drug use, unfair treatment, and other grievances for several minutes as a handful of customers looked on in disbelief.
Velo Cafe co-owner Jarrett Conway tells Eater that the employee, who he said had joined the staff of the combination hardware store, bike shop, and cafe last year, was fired for cause but did not provide specifics. Upon learning she was being let go Conway said she immediately became verbally abusive and threatened coworkers.
“The statements that were made were completely false. We are an equal opportunity employer,” he says, adding that both Wharf security personnel and D.C. police ultimately intervened. The incident has resulted in the filing of a restraining order against the aforementioned individual, and Conway says she has been banned from the Wharf.
With the “very unfortunate incident” behind him, Conway is hoping to move to on to the next phase of Velo’s evolution: opening a seasonal beer garden that would spill out onto the sidewalk next to the cafe. Conway says he’s waiting on the final permitting required to introduce the four to five tables he intends to plant outside from spring through fall. The modest operation will include rolling open Velo’s garage doors to create a natural flow, and serving the beer, wine, and cocktails already available inside.