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IRVINGTON, Ind. — Two men opening a new business in Irvington say racist notes and other forms of harassment are motivating them to open that business even more.

Sami Ali and Tony Jones plan on opening their business “Lvl Up Bar and Lounge” on the corner of Washington and Johnson streets in Irvington later this year. 

The message highlighted on Ali’s Facebook page says “Close Shop! We don’t support black business owners!” 

Ali goes on to say, “We’ve been under construction for the last two months and I’m happy to say most of the community is happy and excited to have us . But unfortunately we’ve had some hurtful negative feed back.” 

“I’m Puerto Rican and Arabic,” Ali continued. “And some local business owners has approached my self and my business partners with negativity. With letters on our windows saying we don’t want you here . Close your shop while your ahead. We aren’t even open and had several letters from the fire marshal.” 

Jones and Ali want the bar and lounge to be a place where people of all ages can come to play video games.

They also plan to have a section for adults to enjoy beer and wine. 

Both men are happy to see Irvington residents and many other people come to their defense. 

“The outpour of support from the Irvington community has been greatly appreciated,” said Jones. “You can’t block and you can’t stop people’s hate but love can always trump that. We do appreciate the people of Irvington.”

Ali and Jones hope to open their “Lvl Up Bar and Lounge” in September. 


(PHOTO: Sami Ali’s Facebook Page)