River Café Accused of Anti-Semitism, Is Also Wary of Sweatpants

The River Café.
The River Café. Photo: Carmen Lopez and AJ Wilhelm

Unnamed current and former employees of Brooklyn’s River Café claim the restaurant actively discriminates against “Jews wearing yarmulkes or any sort of religious hat” by telling them there is a per-person minimum that does not in fact apply to other diners. “At the bar,” one employee tells the Post, “the $25 minimum is only enforced for Jews.” River Café manager Teddy Dearie counters that the restaurant has no such policies and in fact imposes a $25 minimum upon all of its guests. The paper asserts that photographs of truncated handwritten notes allegedly added to the restaurant’s reservations book prove that the protocol for guests wearing “religious top hats and string” is discriminatory. Such diners are identified with the code phrase “water bar,” while guests who come in wearing sweatpants are announced with the words “gym bar.” A representative from the Dumbo restaurant declined to comment to Grub Street today, adding that Teddy Dearie’s comment about the $25 minimum is accurate. [NYP]