The River Café in Brooklyn charges Jews with Orthodox clothing or hairstyles a $25 minimum to sit at the bar, a fee that does not apply to other customers, two employees of the establishment told the New York Post.
An instruction manual given to café hosts says “if two religious Jews come in, we call ahead to the maître 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,” one employee said.
The waterfront café is not kosher but is often a site where Brooklyn Jews meet on dates, according to the Post. The employees—one current, one former—told the newspaper that the maître d’ informs the head waiter through a code when customers wearing a kippa or other form of Jewish garb express interest in sitting at the bar.
The employee said Orthodox guests tend to order non-alcoholic drinks and therefore take up a table without spending enough money.