NYC restaurant reportedly forbids solo women from sitting at the bar over 'hooker' concerns

A female creative executive claims that management at a star-studded restaurant in New York City recently forbade her from eating alone at their bar over “hooker” concerns, as the establishment allegedly tries to “crack down” on the “free-range escorts” who linger at the swanky eatery in hopes of “hunting prey.”

On Jan. 15, Clementine Crawford published her side of the story in the essay “The Night I Was Mistaken for a Call Girl" on the U.K.-based site Drugstore Culture. Crawford has long split her time between London and NYC for her job at the branding firm Finch & Partners, Page Six reports, and identifies as something of a regular at Nello during her trips to the Big Apple.

Clementine Crawford at a New York City event in February 2017. 

Clementine Crawford at a New York City event in February 2017.  (Getty)

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In the searing essay, the author details that she recently settled in solo at her "favorite spot" at Nello’s bar when a waiter informed her she was "no longer permitted” to have her meal at her usual spot, instead ushering her to a table. She obliged, confused, but spoke up when the same thing happened again at the Upper East Side haunt two days later.

Informed by management that "nobody was able to eat at the bar,” Crawford was again directed to dine at a table — and quickly became outraged when a male customer sauntered in alone, sat down at the bar and enjoyed his whole meal there.

“In general, I’m not someone who seeks out axes to grind – but this really was testing my limits,” Crawford wrote online. “After further interrogation, it transpired that the owner had ordered a crackdown on hookers: the free-range escorts who roamed the Upper East Side, hunting prey in his establishment. I assumed management had decided that upscale escorts working the bar lowered the tone of the place and would be less obvious if escorted behind a table.”

"They had classified me, marginalized me, relegated me to the corner by the loos simply because I was an unaccompanied woman."

— Clementine Crawford

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“At first, I was incensed. Not because I am judgmental about the world’s oldest profession, but because this treatment struck me as outright discrimination. They had classified me, marginalized me, relegated me to the corner by the loos simply because I was an unaccompanied woman,” she opined.

Speaking directly with Nello’s owner in hopes of rectifying the situation, Crawford was horrified when the man informed that he could “run his business as he pleased, and that I was no longer welcome to eat at the bar, only at a table.”

“Things escalated quickly into an explosive argument. I told him what I thought of him in no uncertain terms and departed into the night with a heavy heart,” she concludes.

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Though Crawford did not name the restaurant in her essay, she did confirm to Page Six that the incident indeed occurred at Nello.

The upscale Italian eatery on Madison Avenue, famed for its $275 white truffle pasta dishes, is often frequented by A-listers like Beyoncé and Sarah Jessica Parker, The Daily Meal reports.

Reps for Nello did not immediately return requests for comment from Fox News.

In the heat of the #MeToo era, Crawford concludes her piece by writing that while it’s “easy to focus on the front-page carnage,” in the end, it’s the “demoralizing experiences of the everyday that really count.”

“All these years we have been battling for a room of one’s own; but we are still fighting for a seat at the table (or bar).”