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October 21, 2012 12:09 pm

Paper: Trendy New York Dating Hotspot Discriminates Against Jews

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The River Cafe on a mostly cloudy midday. Photo: Jim Henderson.

The River Cafe, DUMBO’s scenic restaurant that is popular among dating Jewish couples, discriminates against Jews by enforcing a $25 minimum per guest according to an investigative report by the New York Post.

The Post cites one current and one former employee who make the claim. “The book says that if two religious Jews come in, we call ahead to the maitre d’ and say, ‘Is there space for two at the water bar?’ — in which case a minimum of $25 will be enforced that is just for Jews wearing yarmulkes or any sort of religious hat,” said one staffer.

The New York paper also provides images of the reservation book that appear to back up the claims of the employees. “….Have decided that when people come in for the bar and are A. wearing sweat pants and B. religious top hats and strings, you must say for A. gym bar and for B. water bar. Thanks,” reads a note in the book.

To further back up the claim, the Post sent a Orthodox Jewish couple to the hotspot, followed by two secular looking reporters five minutes later. The reporters were not told about a minimum and their bill totaled $18.51,  but the Jewish couple were instructed that they would need to pay a minimum of $25 each.

A representative of The River Cafe denied the accusation and claimed that the $25 minimum applies to everyone. “The $25 minimum applies to everyone,” Teddy Dearie, assistant manager at The River Café told the Post. “If it wasn’t applied, that is just someone not doing their job. The phrase ‘water bar’ I’ve never heard before. That phrase, or any deviation from the policy that’s been in place for several years, is not condoned by the restaurant and is indicative of an individual not performing the duties for which they have been hired.”

A screenshot of the notes in the reservation book at The River Cafe provided by The Post is below.

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