‘Knucklehead’ sues to halt drink specials for the ladies

‘Knucklehead’ sues to halt drink specials for the ladies
Photo by Celeste Hunt

Nightclub owners in Brooklyn have a message for an antifeminist Manhattan lawyer who claims that “ladies’ night” discounts discriminate against men: You’re out of your mind, sir.

After all, bar owners say, ladies’ night discounts are — uh, duh! — designed for men, too. Sure, they may not benefit from reduced prices on booze, but they invariably benefit from the way women behave when they have taken advantage of reduced prices on booze.

“It’s common sense,” said Junior, a manager at Club Temptations, a Caribbean club on Church Avenue in Flatbush. “If there are women at a club, it’s good for guys.”

That argument appears to be lost on Roy Den Hollander, a Manhattanite who keeps filing discrimination suits claiming that the events treat men like “the disposable sex.”

Hollander first filed a class-action suit in 2007 claiming that his rights under the 14th Amendment — which guarantees equal protection — are being trashed because girls get reduced bar prices while he and his male cohorts must pay full price for the same product.

“Men these days get treated like second-class citizens,” he told The Brooklyn Paper. “Even a dog has more rights.”

A federal judge tossed out his case — no doubt because part of Den Hollander’s argument is that feminism is “a religion” — and a couple weeks ago, the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.

That put Brooklyn club owners in unfamiliar territory — toasting a bunch of judges in Washington.

Den Hollander is an “attention seeker” and “a knucklehead,” said Greg Yerman, general manager of Burrito Bar and Kitchen on Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights, whose surfer-themed ladies’ night on Thursday is better attended by neighborhood gay chicks than single men looking to score.

“It’s just one of those things that bars do for women,” Yerman said, touting the half-priced drinks for drinkers from the distaff side. “Guys get other perks. Life’s not fair.”

The other ladies’ nights in this borough include a “tongue-in-cheek” celebration of “fake trashiness” on Sundays at Daddy’s on Graham Avenue Williamsburg; a kitschy and intimate hipster night that seems like feminist rite of passage every Wednesday at The Woods on S. Fourth Street; and an evening of hip hop for “urban black professionals” that Crossroads on Third Avenue in Gowanus hails because “more women means less fights.”

And don’t get the females at those bars started on the subject of nightlife sexism.

“Girls still make 70 cents to every man’s dollar; we deserve a freaking Budweiser,” said Laura Rogers, co-owner of Daddy’s.

The vibe at her cozy Christmas light-illuminated bar was anything but serious when this reporter — a lady — swung by on a recent chilly night. A hand-drawn sign, posted next to an image a kitten drinking whiskey, beckoned ladies to come in for a “buy one get one” deal.

In total, there were three females at the bar and, even so, conversation was flowing faster than those microbrew IPAs.

“This lawyer sounds like a bit of a prick,” said Sophie Wright, a 21-year-old Australia-to-Williamsburg transplant whose curly blond hair was pulled into a tidy bun as she sipped her half-price red wine. “He’s certainly not helping himself get women. Wait, is he gay?” (No, but more on his love life later.)

A thin fellow sitting next to her introduced himself as “Nick,” took a sip from a hot toddy and explained that ladies’ nights are fun when they’re set up like a novelty.

“I don’t go out ‘hunting,’” he said, gesturing towards his female friend. “[But] here we are, and she’s getting free drinks. I’m actually quite happy for her.”

Across the bar, two 50-something men said Den Hollander should chose from one of the real injustices on planet earth and fight that instead.

“He’s thinking too much,” said David Whitmer, who usually avoids gimmicky nightlife events because he prefers quiet, little bars.

But Den Hollander isn’t the only bloke who has been perturbed by nightlife privileges for the opposite sex. In 1998, a drinker named David Gillespie alleged sex discrimination at a beachside restaurant in New Jersey because owners charged him a $5 entrance fee while letting women in free.

After reviewing the case — for six long years — the state court banned ladies’ nights as discriminatory. Then-Gov. James McGreevey later denounced the ruling as “bureaucratic nonsense.”

Den Hollander doesn’t think so. The lawyer, who said he grew disillusioned with women after accidentally marrying a Russian prostitute, is still trying to rid the world of wrongdoing one sticky, pink drink at a time.

He lost a court battle, but said the fight isn’t over. “Now we take it to the streets,” he proclaimed.