There are a lot of things that don’t mix well with alcohol. And politics is definitely one of them. This past week, a bartender at Jake’s Dilemma refused service to a patron because he was wearing a MAGA hat, and the internet has since exploded.
The owners of the Upper West Side bar have issued a statement on their Facebook page, clarifying that this bartender’s actions were at his own will, and that he’ll be disciplined for them.
Here’s the statement they made (it was posted on late Saturday, March 9th):
The ownership and management of Jake’s Dilemma would like to directly address an incident which occurred at the bar this past week and has been making its way around social media. We would like everyone to know that we strive to remain completely apolitical and welcome customers with all beliefs and affiliations with the same first-rate level of customer service. Jake’s Dilemma is not a place promoting any specific political ideology nor a place where we want anyone to feel unwelcome. Rather, we encourage all to eat, drink, socialize and enjoy themselves at our bar. Our staff and management team include people from all walks of life and beliefs. There is no singular or any defining character of Jake’s Dilemma.
With all this in mind, we do fully acknowledge that one of our employees took it upon himself to wrongly promote his political views. We can assure everyone that this employee has been disciplined and will be retrained before being allowed to serve at Jake’s Dilemma. We hope to see you at Jake’s Dilemma next time you are in the neighborhood.
Here’s the video of the incident, which was posted on March 7th.
It’s important to note that, at least as of now, political affiliations are not a legally protected class. So the bartender didn’t do anything illegal.
A similar situation occurred in the West Village about two years ago. A man wearing a MAGA hat was refused service at The Happiest Hour, and he tried to sue them but was denied by the judge presiding over the case.
But regardless of the laws, the owners of Jake’s Dilemma clearly didn’t want to isolate any of their patrons nor lose business over the lone bartender’s actions.Join our newsletter for more UWS food + drink news!