Jon Neidich, the owner of the Happiest Hour bar, claimed he is now receiving death threats after he kicked out a Trump supporter wearing a MAGA hat.
Neidich said he has gotten over 25 violent threats since he refused to serve Greg Piatek in early 2017.
“We've been trolled on social media pretty intensely,” he told the New York Post. He also said he was shocked at the “of hate that seems to be harbored” against him.
The bar owner has reported the threats to the police.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice, David Cohen, just Made America Great Again after a bar threw out a customer for wearing a MAGA hat!! He stood with the bar and ruled that only religious beliefs, not political ones, were protected under state and local discrimination laws. #Resist pic.twitter.com/K3JVtvd4Mx— ?? ???????????????? ?????????? ?? (@ItsMeCathi) April 26, 2018
A man who sued a bar in New York for throwing him out over his “Make America Great Again” hat lost his case.
The apparent President Donald Trump supporter and Philadelphia accountant Greg Piatek, claimed that after he complained about the service, he and his friends were told that Trump supporters weren’t welcome at The Happiest Hour in Manhattan.
Guy gets tossed from West Village bar for wearing a MAGA hat. Guy sues bar. Judge tells guy there's no law against tossing Trump supporters from your bar. Guy claims religious discrimination. Judge laughs. https://t.co/2b1ts36FMo— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) April 26, 2018
Bu, the bar’s owners said no such incident happened, and that Piatek “was sufficiently pleased with his service at the bar that he added” a $36 tip to his $186 check.
Still, the lawsuit alleged that the accountant was discriminated against because of his political views. It also stated that the incident “offended his sense of being an American.”
But the bar’s attorney, Elizabeth Conway, said that only religious, and not political, beliefs are protected by law.
Doubling down, Piatek’s attorney, Paul Liggieri, said that his client’s choice to wear the hat could be seen as a religious ritual.
“The purpose of the hat is that he wore it because he was visiting the 9/11 Memorial,” he said.
“He was paying spiritual tribute to the victims of 9/11. The Make America Great Again hat was part of his spiritual belief,” Liggieri claimed. "Rather than remove his hat, instead he held true to his spiritual belief and was forced from the bar.”
Justice David Cohen wasn’t having any of it.
“How many members are in this spiritual program that your client is engaged in,” Cohen asked.
“Your Honor, we don’t allege the amount of individuals,” Liggieri responded, to which the judge asked if his client was a “creed of one.”
“Yes, Your Honor,” Liggieri replied.
Trump supporter sues NY bar after getting kicked out for wearing MAGA hat. Defense argued political beliefs are not protected under state and city discrimination laws, saying, "supporting Trump is not a religion". His lawyer then tried to argue MAGA is a "spiritual belief" pic.twitter.com/7ZGdG3CTD9— Ian Nawalinski (@ian_nawa) April 26, 2018
In his ruling, Cohen said that it was clear that kind of religion-based claim simply could not stand.
“Plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates,” he said. “Here the claim that plaintiff was not served and eventually escorted out of the bar because of his perceived support for President Trump is not outrageous conduct.”
It isn't unconstitutional for the government to NOT force private business owners to do business with people they don't want to.— BSmith (@BSmithTweet) April 26, 2018
MAGA hats aren't a protected class. I thought Republicans generally SUPPORT the right of private business owners to refuse service...? ?? pic.twitter.com/hLhjtJe3aZ
The Happiest Hour’s owners said that this entire suit was nothing but a “publicity stunt.”
Probably worth noting that the guy who suing the bar for kicking him out because he was wearing a Trump hat argued his case on religious grounds, which explains the verdict in that case: political affiliation doesn't count.— Grand Moff Duke???? (@shaunduke) April 26, 2018
Legally, he didn't really have a case, which isn't to say that I agree that he should be kicked out simply for having a political belief. I don't. I do think a business is free to create the environment it prefers for its chosen clients.— Grand Moff Duke???? (@shaunduke) April 26, 2018
While it seems that nothing serious happened, and that, perhaps, the man wasn’t even thrown out at all, it’s obvious that any establishment has the right to refuse service, even if the decision is based on having opposing views on politics.
As for this man, although he lost his case, hopefully he will decide to just leave the MAGA hat at home when he goes out from now on.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque