NAACP, South Carolina Restaurant Settle Biker Lawsuit

A restaurant chain that closed two Myrtle Beach locations during a black biker rally three years ago agreed to settle a discrimination lawsuit, the NAACP said Friday.

Under the agreement, Damon's Grill will pay $125,000 and will remain open during the rally, held each May the week after a predominantly white Harley Davidson rally.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People had sued several businesses and the city of Myrtle Beach in 2004, claiming the black motorcyclists were treated differently during Memorial Day weekend's Atlantic Beach Bikefest.

City police had required traffic to move in only one direction during the black rally while the white bikers could cruise both ways down the city's shorefront Ocean Boulevard.

Dennis Courtland, the NAACP's general counsel, said the lawsuits sent a message that there is no justification for treating black tourists any differently than white tourists.

The restaurant's owner, Bart Buie, has previously said one location was closed during the black rally because it was inaccessible with a one-way traffic pattern.

Buie didn't immediately return phone messages left by The Associated Press.

The NAACP has now settled all of the rally lawsuits. It reached an agreement last month with the city, requiring one-way traffic along the boulevard during the three main evenings of both rallies.