In Today's #BLANKSTARENEW a blind woman and her guide dog were refused service at a Guilderland restaurant. According to Times Union here is how it all went down.

A Latham woman who is blind said she was refused a table at Hana Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar in Guilderland because she had her guide dog, Foster, with her.

"The manager kept saying, 'No dogs,' " said Mary Beth Metzger, who tried to dine at Hana with her friend Phyllis Mullaney on Jan. 28. It was the first visit for either. They chose Hana, they said, because they were driving past at lunchtime and decided they were in the mood for sushi.

In the manager's defense he offered to seat her and her guide dog in a separate area. Despite that being his resolution what he did was against the law.

The Americans with Disabilities Act "requires ... businesses to allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises in whatever areas customers are generally allowed," according to a federal publication about the ADA.

I get both sides this woman shouldn't be discriminated against just because she is blind, also the restaurant manager was trying to accomadate the majority of his customers who aren't blind and might feel uncomfortable eating around a dog. If I was the woman I wouldn't get lawyers involved or even make a fuss about, I just wouldn't eat there any more. I think that a lot of this was mis communication and a language barrier between the blind woman and the manager. The restaurant offered her a $200.00 gift card and a lengthy apology.

Hana Japanese Steakhouse genuinely apologizes for Ms. Metzger's experience. The manager's actions were not in accordance with company policy and have caused great embarrassment to our establishment. Hana Japanese Steakhouse and the manager have since parted ways. Since Hana opened in 2009, the company's policy has prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and disability. Prior to the article, Hana had been in contact with Ms. Metzger's representative to coordinate a formal training session to further educate our staff about the Americans with Disabilities Act, including how to better serve owners and their service dogs. On behalf of Hana Japanese Steakhouse, we offer our sincerest apologies and we will make an ongoing effort to maintain a welcoming environment for all guests. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

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