Bad news for Brooklyn's Brits: a Welsh pub in Bay Ridge that got in trouble for posting a Brits-preferred want ad are giving up their fight with the state's Commission of Human Rights, and they'll be paying a hefty $2,500 fine as penance.
Last year, the owners of the Longbow Pub and Pantry posted a Craigslist ad for a new bartender. In keeping with the bar's British theme, they noted they were looking for “energetic and enthusiastic men and women with an appreciation of craft beer, good food, whisky and real football (a k a soccer).” Unfortunately, the ad also made clear that "[b]eing British definitely works in your favor," and when the Commission of Human Rights caught wind of the specification, they fined owners Michael and Jennifer Colbert $2,500 for discrimination.
When we talked to Jennifer Colbert last month, she made it clear they were going to fight the charge: "To me, you're applying this very specific letter of one little piece of law without looking at law in general and the bigger picture, the principle of the matter." On Thursday, though, they agreed to pay the fine, and will be undergoing "anti-discrimination training," which in their case we assume will include removing the letter "u" from words like "neighborhood" and learning to appreciate the art of the fake Customer Service Smile. The Colberts maintain that they didn't require the new employee be British and that it was just a bonus, but the HRC says they still violated city code prohibiting employers from putting out ads specifying any particular nationality. So so much for that Revolution: "Free speech is not so free after all it seems," the owners said in a statement today.
On the bright side, though, they did end up finding a new bartender: "She's Irish, supports Manchester United, is very much into football and is ideal," Jennifer Colbert told BBC, so cheers to that, mate, and come on, you reds!