Reader Alleges: “No disrespect for your condition,” the bouncer responded, “but this is a bar. Why would you bring that here? It’s weird.”

little_miss_whiskey
1104 H Street, NE

“Dear PoPville,

On Saturday, my friend had one of her first nights out since giving birth to twins in December. We met girlfriends for dinner and then planned to go dancing on H St. Since my friend is nursing, she had to pump milk before we left the restaurant, and she had a small bottle of milk in her bag when we arrived at Little Miss Whiskey’s. When the bouncer looked in her bag, he examined the bottle, and she explained that she was a new mom.

“No disrespect for your condition,” the bouncer responded, “but this is a bar. Why would you bring that here? It’s weird.” He added that Little Miss Whiskey’s doesn’t allow “outside food or drink.” He said he needed to ask his manager whether my friend could enter the bar with milk in her purse–and when he returned, he said she couldn’t.

We asked to talk to the manager, who was surprisingly hostile. He told my friend she could give him her breast milk to keep behind the bar but couldn’t have it in her bag, adding “We don’t allow those devices.” (I assume he was referring to breast pumps?)

To be clear, my friend was not trying to bring a baby to a bar or even discreetly pump milk in the bathroom–she was just trying to hang out with friends while carrying a (small, sealed) container of milk in her (zipped) purse.

We went to Rock & Roll Hotel instead, where they checked my friend’s bag and let her in with no hassle. I’m not sure if Little Miss Whiskey’s thought we had devised a very weird scheme for sneaking liquor into their bar or just doesn’t want moms there on a Saturday night, but they embarrassed my friend.”

Update from Little Miss Whiskey’s:

“* Marc (the “bouncer”) never said “No disrespect for your condition, but this is a bar. Why would you bring that here? It’s weird.” That statement was made by someone on the sidewalk not related to the business (details re: Marc below).

* Gregg (the “manager”) was polite. He was apologetic in his attempts to explain policy. He was never “hostile”. He offered to keep the milk safe behind the bar (yes, “safe”, because contrary to evident suspicions we do not harbor any desire to tamper with someone’s breast milk (details re: Gregg below)).

* Our business licenses are common. Those licenses prohibit outside alcohol being brought in by patrons. Any kind of liquid can have alcohol in it. It is not up to us to interpret either the law or what the contents of any liquid are, and, sadly, there is no end to the nonsense patrons will attempt in order to bring their own alcohol into an establishment (yes, in a shampoo bottle, and that’s exactly why bags are checked, and exactly why we adhere to rigid policy).

* ABRA regularly sends undercover persons into liquor-licensed establishments to check on whether their laws are being enforced. That’s their job. It is our job to enforce those laws so the business doesn’t get fined or shut down, as well as so employees don’t lose their jobs.
There is no way for an employee to *know* what bizarre circumstance calls for an exception. Therefore, there are no exceptions.

* After the woman who wrote this letter to PoP (and also sent in her one-star review on Yelp) screamed at Gregg “YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER WOMAN IN THIS BAR AGAIN AFTER TODAY”, a nearby person on the sidewalk said “oh bitch go protest somewhere else”. I write this because I anticipate she will levy more false allegations, and I want to make it clear that neither Gregg nor Marc made any comments that were embarrassing to the woman with the breast milk or her “friends”, much less rude or mean-spirited. No other employees were involved in this situation. If someone made an ugly remark, it was not an employee of LMW.

* I could attempt to placate all those concerned by publicly apologizing for how Marc and Gregg handled the situation, but I will not throw them under the bus. Allegations that they were rude, or impolite, or tried to embarrass anyone, are simply untrue. The “friends” of the woman with the breast milk made the situation loud and embarrassing, and Marc and Gregg remained composed even as the women screamed at them. I know I risk further public outrage by stating that I am very proud of how they handled the situation, but they were stuck with an impossible and bizarre circumstance in the middle of the busiest night of the week, and I am genuinely heartbroken to see their respective characters so wrongly called into question like this.

* I encourage anyone to please come meet Marc and Gregg (who happen to be brothers). Marc checks ID’s (and your bags) every Friday and Saturday night. I am certain you will immediately realize that he is a soft-spoken man who does not make incendiary comments, much less even raise his voice. As one friend commented about this situation, “Marc doesn’t talk like that”. Gregg bartends every Monday and Wednesday night. He regularly works weekends as well. I am certain you will find him polite and positive, just as he has been since he began working with us four years ago. This is one of the many reasons he has the keys to the business and is a signor on its checking account.

* Lastly, I know Marc’s and Gregg’s mother is an impressively accomplished woman- in both business and family- for whom they have tremendous respect. She raised her sons to treat people with respect, which I know because they have spoken of it and because they act like it.

Most sincerely,

Mark Thorp, owner”

411 Comment

  • palisades

    $20 says someone in the past has ruined that for you guys. I bet someone thought they were geniuses by trying to sneak liquor via a “breast milk” story and got caught. Now everyone has to suffer the consequences

    • justinbc

      Yeah, usually if a place is absurdly strict on these types of rules it’s because they got burned on it in the past. It certainly couldn’t be a common tactic, but I wouldn’t put much out of reach for the LMW crowd (having been part of that crowd myself many times). His candor about the situation sounds like it needs improvement though, there’s no need to be hostile to potential patrons, although it would be far from the first time people have made that type of comment about certain staff members here.

    • Yeah, this. Even if it wasn’t a “breast milk” (quotes intended) story, they’ve probably had to deal with so many excuses that they now err on the side of being assholes.

    • I definitely agree on the liquid part, but banning the pumps too? (“We don’t allow those devices.”) That seems weird.

      • That’s why I don’t think they get a free pass here. They (the bar staff) could have handled this so much better, but it sounds like others have commented saying their staff is a nightmare generally speaking. I feel for the OP’s friend, they definitely didn’t need to make her feel like that, but I’m okay with them saying no to bringing in the milk.

    • Except the breast pump suggests she’s not bringing in a White Russian or some almond milk.

      • Well, after a night of drinking vodka tonics, breast milk could be 2/3 of the way to a White Russian – just add Kahlua. Just sayin’.

        • BTW, I am very disappointed that we didn’t get a special URL here. An opportunity missed, Prince! 🙂

    • nightborn

      but… couldn’t the bouncer see the color of the breast milk if it was in a bottle? I mean, what liquor could possibly be that color?

      • This is Awkward

        That’s like someone walking in with a gatorade bottle and saying, what could possibly be this color besides gatorade? as an excuse. Anything could be mixed into whatever the base liquid is. Bars can’t afford to start making judgement calls and inevitably get it wrong, that’s why they have universal policies on stuff like this.

        • TSA has no problem with breast milk, why should a bar?

          • This is Awkward

            I would *hope* TSA would be better equipped to deal with the safety/appropriateness of liquids than some random bouncer with experience in….sitting at a door and checking IDs.

          • I used to work at TSA HQ and they test breast milk with a device called the Itemizer. Anyone who has travelled with breast milk has had to hand it over so it can be run through the machine to verify its properties.

          • justinbc

            TSA has a problem with nail clippers and makes you take your shoes off, bars don’t. Surely you can understand why different rules apply to different scenarios? You go to a bar for the purpose of consuming liquids, so if anything is going to be clamped down on it’s very likely other liquids, sensible or not.

          • I bet if you don’t have a baby with you TSA would have an issue.

          • TSA has not ever, in my experience, tested breast milk that I’m bringing back. Breastmilk is exempt from the liquid limitation as well, whether or not you have a baby with you. It is considered a medical substance and treated as such.

          • I traveled with breast milk and sans baby on several occasions. The milk was never tested. And other than a couple agents who needed to ask their supervisor (who promptly ok’d it) no issues at all.

          • As a guy who has transported expressed milk on a cross-country flight sans baby or female partner, I can report that the TSA did not have an issue with my little cooler full of breast milk (at least on this one occasion).

          • @Northzax, not true. Plenty of women go on work travel while they are still breastfeeding and have to bring back milk that you pumped while away. TSA won’t have an issue with it – they just go through the same tests as if you did have a baby with you.

          • If you look a certain type. Like my wife and I, breast milk or any milk is tested all of the time by TSA.

        • Actually, they can make judgement calls, if it seems plausible. Not sure they could be liable for anything if the person lied to them.

          • This is Awkward

            You think “they told me it was just water/gatorade/etc” would get a bar off the hook if someone snuck something in and things went awry? They would definitely be liable.

        • She should have offered him a taste, to reassure this ardent defender of his employer’s liquor license (snort) that it didn’t contain any adulterants. I bet that’d have shut him up.

    • Yeah, bar seems in the wrong on this one, but if they offered an apology now and some kind of recompense, I’d be inclined to chalk it up to “once bitten twice shy” and poor handling of a less common scenario. The fact that they tried to accommodate, even if it was pretty obviously insufficient, suggests to me their motivations weren’t too far off base.

      • Generally agreed. The bar handled this poorly. Not outrageously per se, but poorly.

      • How so? they offered to store it for her. I cannot see any issue with this. They have rules to follow so that the liquor inspectors remain content.

    • Ally

      I agree. But how does that in any way make their response okay? As a new Mom, I’m seriously considering not ever going back to Little Miss Whiskeys over this.

      • Seriously?
        You’re going to boycott a place that wouldn’t let someone else’s entitlement and life choices violate their policies?
        She could have “pumped and dumped” for one night. She could have called before hand and asked if this would be ok. She could have went to a place near her house so she could stop home with the milk before hitting the next spot.
        Bars are notoriously subjective about door policies for lots of random reasons. She should know that. I’m sure this isn’t her first rodeo.

      • Oh enough Allie, no one cares about your opinion “as a new mom.” You make your choices and you live with them, but don’t expect everyone else to have to live with them too. I support LMW 100%. Having a baby doesn’t mean the rules no longer apply to you, or that you’re some kind of victim.

      • Do that. I will take your place because I don’t believe a business should suffer due to trying to follow the law and not have their employees lose their job if they get shut down for days or weeks. Plain and simple.

      • As a new dad I won’t be going back because I don’t have time to spend in bars anymore. But that’s the only reason.

  • Since when do bouncers check bags?

    • Lots of places esp. Where people are likely to bring outside food+ drink.

    • Granted, I don’t go out as much as I used to anymore, but I haven’t been in a place that checked bags in *years*. Generally, my rule of thumb has been if they feel the need to check a person’s bag, they’re looking for something I don’t want people around me to have at a bar, like weapons, and if they’ve had enough problems to start checking, I don’t need to go there. The one or two places that I noticed were checking bags at the door I turned around and went somewhere else and never went in. If I wanted the people in my group to get security screening, I’d go party at Gate 19 over at BWI.

    • That was my first question. My second: When did LMW start checking bags? I’ve been there a few times and have never seen that.

  • WOW, I’m just gonna go hide under a rock now.

  • Thanks for sharing this – these guys sound like idiots that need a little education so they can treat new moms with some respect – and since when was having a baby a ‘condition’? Hope you guys had a good night out eventually.

    • Ally

      +1. My business will be going elsewhere after this if they don’t issue an apology. Even creepy TSA allows in breast milk!

    • +1! Yes, this is the part of the story that really made my skin crawl! Just as a rule of thumb, the words “no disrespect” like “no offense,” are usually followed by something very disrespectful or offensive.

    • Being a “new mom” doesn’t mean you’re entitled to any more respect than anyone else.

  • I’m really sorry this happened to your friend. Sounds like she needed a night out (twins!), and I hope you still had fun.

  • Maybe next time don’t go up to a bouncer and announce that you want to bring liquid in?

  • just another example of why i think this city is for DINKS and singles

  • *sigh*
    So many ways to make things hard that don’t have to be hard. Isn’t it better to let one four-ounce bottle of possible outside booze in than to piss off potential legions?
    However, I’m reminded of a time I was returning from a business trip with a cooler bag full of pumped milk. The TSA agent, an older man, followed protocol and checked my pump, then checked the bag. Seeing the quantity, his eyes widened and he said to me “You GO, Mama!”

    • “So many ways to make things hard that don’t have to be hard.”
      .
      Along those lines, you know those little socks that look like shoes that infants wear? A TSA agent made a friend of ours, traveling alone with her infant and 2 yo, that the infant had to “remove those shoes” (this was obviously long before the age cutoff was enacted). She protested that they were socks, not shoes, and the TSA agent replied, “Well they look like shoes, so she has to take them off.”
      .
      The lesson is, as always, that no one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the average American.

      • Most TSA agents I’ve encountered while flying are class acts. But it’s clear that some of them, and more often those who are managing them, are barely capable of breathing, much less accomplishing the task they’ve been employed to do. It’s clearly a job for those who are unqualified to be a mall cop.

      • Embarrassingly, I screwed that up. It’ should be overestimating, not underestimating. But you get the drift.

    • ” Isn’t it better to let one four-ounce bottle of possible outside booze in than to piss off potential legions?” Not if they want to keep their liquor license.

      • +1 also, I seriously doubt that there are legions of breastfeeding mothers dying to go to LMW’s.

      • That’s disingenuous, or possibly innocently dumb. Even the TSA doesn’t classify breastmilk as a liquid/ beverage. It’s in a medical classification. If the alcohol cops cared, every bar/ restaurant in town would display a health dept placard on the subject.

  • “We don’t allow those devices.”
    .
    That’s one of the funniest (funny absurd, not funny ha ha) things I’ve ever read. On the list of things bars have a legitimate reason to exclude from the premises, breast pumps, rank approximately 12,693rd, right between shoelaces and hipsters. Come on.

  • That is so weird that the bouncer and the manager acted that way. My husband is a bartender and 5 years ago, right after my twins were born and were still in the NICU, I was heading to the NICU to drop off a bag of pumped milk. I decided to stop by the bar to say hi to my husband and to show him some pictures from my earlier trip to the NICU. It being 11pm the bouncer asked to look in my bag. He got all embarrassed when he realized what he was looking at. But then he told me congratulations on the new baby and told me to walk right in. Which was the appropriate way to handle that situation. Again, I am really sorry you guys had to deal with such jerks.

    • But you’re also the wife of a bartender there. That could have affected his reaction.

      • It was a new bouncer who I had never met before which is why he asked to look in my bag. I wasn’t used to getting asked (special treatment) and he wasn’t used to the idea that a recently pregnant lady would be regularly carrying in bags of milk and breast pumps at all hours of the night. We both quickly learned – I started leaving the milk bag in the car and he stopped asking to see in my purse.

  • In the future, just remember that there is a lot of nicer places on H Street than Little Miss Whiskeys… and forget about going to Jimmy Valentines on Bladensburg Road.

  • Well, that takes Little Miss Whiskey’s off our list of places to patronize.

  • This is probably an uncommon situation, but the bouncer/manager handled it poorly. I’m sorry to your friend – hope your night was better once you moved on from LMW.

  • This is Awkward

    Hate (not really) to be the lone non-parent champion in the wings here, but why does OP’s friend expect special treatment *at a bar* because she has a baby? To OP’s point, baby was not with her when she went to the bar, so why did she need to carry the breast milk? I can’t imagine that’s ideal, having warm milk in your purse all night and then bringing it home for the kids. I understand moms need to pump in advance, but put that in your work or home fridge, you need to carry it on you at all times in case of…what exactly?

    Sounds like the manager gave an appropriate option, putting the milk in the bar fridge, but these women felt so entitled that they could not suffer such injustices. You aren’t with your kids, you’re in a place that doesn’t even allow children by definition Bars have to take extreme measures sometimes bc the fault is 100% on them if someone sneaks something in. No outside liquids in bars is a basic, near universal thing (whether or not they check is something different). OP’s friend should not expect them to make exceptions for her.

    • Based on your comment you didn’t need to say you were a non-parent, it was totally obvious. You also have no idea what you are talking about, so you really shouldn’t comment. I’ll just leave it at that.

      • This is Awkward

        Right, because if you’re not a parent, you have no sense of anything in the world or any issue that involves humans with children. Other than the comment about whether or not breast milk goes bad (though I do have a sense of what normal milk would do, imagine that!), my opinion on this is just as informed and valid as anyone’s. In fact, I’m being far more fair in this situation that most commenters because I do not automatically assume OP’s friend is in the right simply because she gave birth.

        A bar is a bar, they have rules. Quite simple. Maybe these types of parents should be more courteous to the world around them instead of taking your entitled “nobody who isn’t a parent could possibly have a valid opinion” approach.

        • Man, I hear you.
          Rules apply to everyone, even mothers. No liquids means no liquids. Is it too hard to understand ?

        • Breast milk can be stored at room temperature for 4 hours. http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/milkstorage/milkstorage/#storage

          She pumped while she was at a restaurant and then had to store the milk in her purse. IF she had the child with her, she would not need to pump/store milk. The fact that you think it’s crazy for a woman to expect to be able to carry her pump in public is why it is easy to tell you are not a parent, and don’t know what you are talking about.

          • It’s not crazy for her to be able to carry it in public, she can totally do that if she wants to and they were not stopping her. What they did was strictly enforce their policy of not allowing outside liquids, because they could get in serious trouble if those people were lying. They gave a reasonable option, put it in the fridge behind the bar where she can pick it up upon leaving.

        • You have absolutely no idea about the shelf life of breastmilk (comparing it to cow’s milk is ridiculous.) What she does with her milk, how she collects it, and then how she stores it has absolutely nothing to do with you. Why you feel you have a right to judge her is beyond the pale. Breastfeeding can be a very difficult endeavor requiring women to jump through logistical hoops of packing coolers, bottles, pumps, finding spaces and power outlets to do it privately. Most women don’t know this before becoming pregnant. Your opinion on this issue in fact, is uninformed. Your whole argument is: them’s the rules, lady, take a hike! In my experience, parents are not asking for exceptions to the rules, they just want to be included into the daily and nightly life of the city. Like in any other city. In Spain, kids and old people are welcome practically everywhere. This is not unique in the world. It’s unique here to try so hard to exclude people. Everyone is turning into middle managers. It’s ridiculous, and makes me want to leave. My neighborhood turned from a place where young people, old people, middle aged people, middle class and poor lived, used similar stores, and other community resources, and generally acted neighborly toward one another. In less than 8 years, it’s now apparently overrun with young people who seem to need to create and follow arbitrary rules, people who want to pretend that old people, young people and poor people aren’t a part of the community. When they are confronted with them, they just want them to go away, “This place isn’t for you this is *my place*. This is my beer garden, this is my sidewalk, this is my coffee shop, so shushhhhh! Can’t you read the rules?!”

          • This is important. I feel the same phenomenon, that people are using mindless rule-following to segregate the city, and where effective segregation isn’t possible, hoping the not-like-us people leave.

        • It’s also illegal to not allow a woman to breastfeed in public places, so if by entitled you mean “legally entitled” then you would be right. ANY public place. You actually CAN’T tell a woman she’s not allowed to breastfeed. Whether that extends to the milk is an open question, but the idea that given that one is allowed to breastfeed one should be allowed to have breastmilk and a pump is hardly a huge leap. The reason there are laws protecting breastfeeding women is because non-parents like yourself think things like breastfeeding is entitlement.

          • It may be legal but you can also be considerate of your surroundings no ?
            It’s legal great but you don”t have to shove your lawful behavior down everybody’s throat just “because”.
            Smoking outside is totes legal my friend., yet i try not to blow my smoke in other people’s faces

          • Dear lord, the woman wasn’t going in with the pump attached to her breasts, pumping in the middle of the dance floor, she was carrying an already expressed bottle of breastmilk in her purse. Unless she was planning on taking the bottle out and showing the other patrons how she was able to bring it in, she was in no way shoving lawful behavior in anyone’s face.

          • Please clarify how carrying a small bottle in a purse is shoving anything down anyone’s throat. Thanks.

          • I get it. When you have a baby, all is fair bc miracle of life yada-yada
            The bar has a policy. Policy says so. Respect the policy or go somewhere else.

          • Don’t you think it smacks of entitlement to tell someone what businesses they can and can not patronize based on their medical conditions? Or to tell them what they can and can not carry in their purse? Especially when it is medical equipment?

        • “My opinion is just as informed and valid as anyone’s.” Since you obviously don’t understand that breastmilk is different and how breastfeeding/pumping works beyond the basics of “insert boob, milk comes out”, then no, you are not as informed as others. Admittedly, below you have owned up to the fact that your reading comprehension didn’t at first register that she had pumped while at dinner, so I will give you that at least you took a little responsibility for your asinine assumptions.

    • Breast milk is much more durable than cow’s milk. It can stay out at room temperature for a couple of hours (here’s a chart that you might find helpful: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/milkstorage/milkstorage/#storage)

      Pumping is difficult and time consuming. Some, like me, had a hard time pumping enough to meet my child’s needs. I certainly wouldn’t want to toss a bottle of pumped milk unless it was absolutely necessary. They call is liquid gold for a reason, and if you went through all the trouble to to maintain clean pumping equipment, pump in uncomfortable places, and worry about storage, I think you’d understand why this mom didn’t just throw away the milk. Hell, I’ve literally cried over spilled breast milk.

      • This is Awkward

        So why was putting it in the bar’s fridge not a valid option?

        • i wouldn’t leave my own drink in a bar, i would NEVER leave my baby’s drink in a bar

          • But she was planning on going “dancing”. Was she going to set her bag down somewhere in the bar or take it on the dance floor?

          • Who sets their bag down in a bar??? In DC???? I’ve had coats stolen, no way in hell I’d just leave my purse lying around.

        • The OP mentions that the manager offered to leave it “behind the bar.” While that could be an option, there are a lot of moms that would feel uncomfortable letting that milk out of sight for the reasons I stated.

          Sounds like you’re just looking for a fight.

          • This is Awkward

            I’m not looking for a fight, I just think assuming you deserve special treatment because you have kids is nonsense in many cases, like in a bar.

            If the bouncer/manager embarrassed the woman or really was rude to her -we are all assuming we know exactly how this went down from OP’s pov only- then that is not right. But OP’s friend should also understand the bar’s rules are there for a reason.

          • When you attempt to impose your uninformed opinions on people living through something transformative and intensely personal, they will fight back. Now you know.
            “Those entitled diabetics are bringing syringes into my bar! Think of the risks!! They should just stay home if they can’t manage in public without syringes.”

        • 1) Breast milk is not finite and is actually pretty valuable to a new parent.
          2) New moms have to pump every few hours or risk leaking through their clothes.
          3) There’s a legitimate sterilization/safety concern about not keeping breast milk in your possession at all times.
          4) Trying not to feed the troll…

          • When it comes to using your body to feed a small child/human, yep you do get special treatment. That’s literally life. Going back to the TSA thing, you even get to bring in as much milk as is reasonable. All LMW had to do was ask what the heck is this, and once someone said breastmilk, let her in. If you are doing your job as a bar manager, you monitor your customers. She doesn’t buy a drink and drinks out of the breastmilk bottle, you thrown her -ss out. Breastmilk and gatorade just aren’t even comparable as far as people trying to sneak in their own booze.

    • “To OP’s point, baby was not with her when she went to the bar, so why did she need to carry the breast milk?”
      .
      Because she came from dinner, where she pumped, so she had it with her?
      .
      But, you were the first to break out “entitled,” the most overused word of the decade. Congratulations, or something.

      • Who’s more entitled: the parent who wants to manage their parenting in ways that are sometimes contrary to societal norms (which suck wrt to parents/ kids), or the childless internet poster who feels it is their RIGHT to spout ill-informed opinions on parents/ kids?

        • I think you know my opinion on this. 🙂
          .
          I will say that I deeply appreciate this thread. My beloved, long deceased grandfather used to say, “No need bein’ dumb unless you show it, but don’t overemphasize it.” I always appreciate any reminder of him, and this thread has given me quite a number of them.

          • justinbc

            I think it’s full of the obvious-parents spouting the usual obvious-parent tropes, and obvious-DINKs doing likewise. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but regardless of that, if we are to believe the OP’s account of the story I think both sides would / should agree that it sounds like the bar staff handled the interaction itself poorly (policy / legality / liability / etc can be argued separately).

    • Your entire rant can be summed up with “that’s what she gets for trying to leave the kitchen.” It’s gross. And she wasn’t looking for special treatment or exceptions, just an ounce of common sense.

      • This is Awkward

        You’re right. Because I don’t think bars should risk their license to accommodate someone carrying breast milk I am obviously 1) anti-women 2) anti-feminist 3) anti-human.

        Should they then, just allow her also to bring in the baby? And if so, maybe then they should make sure the bar is safe for babies, remove the alcohol just in case, etc etc.

        Bars have rules for good reasons. It doesn’t seem that outrageous to expect to have to obey them, esp when she was offered a work around.

        • Keep moving those goalposts, Awk.

        • Yeahhhh sure, because wanting to bring in a small bottle of breastmilk into the bar is the same as demanding that the bar allow her to bring in the baby.

          Its just breastmilk. Let the woman keep it in her purse. It’s just common sense and it’s nobody’s business why she would have it with her at a bar. If you see her chugging out of it later and OMG ITS ACTUALLY LIQUOR THAT SNEAKY WOMAN then yes, kick her out and/or call the breastmilk cops or whatever it is you think should happen here.

          • lol I feel quite sad indeed for any individual who feels so compelled to bring their own alcohol to a bar that they mix it with breastmilk/use a bottle… because stealth, right? Let mom BYOBreastmilk, everything will be fine.

    • When you’re a new Mom (or if you breast feed exclusively) you can’t always just pump before you go out. Generally you need to pump every 2 hours at that point or experience extreme discomfort and risk your supply dropping.
      A new parent who wants to get out of the house and have a night away being told “sorry, you have to go home now because we can’t handle your bodily needs” is extremely rude and not about special treatment but respect – even if it’s something you have never experienced and can’t understand.

    • It CLEARLY says in the post that her friend had to pump after dinner, before they left the restaurant. I don’t have kids (I don’t even like them) but I understand from friends that breastmilk is valuable, and its not infinite. She probably didn’t want to throw it away, so that she could use it later. Also, I am pretty sure its supposed to be room temperature. That could be wrong though.

      It was still a choice for her though: toss the milk or spend her money elsewhere. I personally understand the bar’s position, I just think that they handled it horribly.

    • How kind of you to be concerned about the safety of breastmilk kept at room temperature. FFR, breastmilk pumped into a sealed container doesn’t need to be refrigerated for at least 4 hours, and you’re likely fine up to 8 hours!
      As for why she needed to carry it, that stuff can be really hard to make. One does not waste it if it can be avoided.

    • The post makes pretty clear that she was trying to go to the bar as part of a longer night out–if she has to pump every couple hours and doesn’t live within walking distance of the bar, it seems pretty difficult to just pop back to her “work or home fridge” to avoid confusing a bouncer. And as to your second point, I would feel pretty uncomfortable and embarrassed giving a random dude who worked at a bar a bottle of my breast milk…

      • This is Awkward

        I can appreciate the potential embarrassment, but her bag was checked and they had to go through the whole explaining of the breast milk already, so it seems at that point the fridge it would have been a reasonable option?

        If her bag wasn’t checked, I wouldn’t expect her to go exclaiming to everyone that she had breast milk on her.

        And good lord, a thousand apologies about missing the part about pumping at dinner. That perfectly explains why she had it on her, though not why she should expect the bar to risk liability.

        • The bar can’t risk liability and let a lady with a few ounces of breast milk. But they can risk the liability by trusting their staff will properly store breastmilk in their fridge behind the bar.

        • What liability is the bar risking? Do tell.

          • Losing their license to sell liquor, the same thing that keeps them in business. Your ignorance of the industry and beverage laws echoes the similar comments from all these other people… The door man was merely trying to do his job.

        • I’m guessing she would have loved not to “go exclaiming to everyone that she had breast milk on her,” but she didn’t have an alternative given that the bouncer did, in fact, check her bag and did, in fact question what she was doing (and call her weird). If I were her, I still wouldn’t want to have to deal with the additional privacy invasion of handing it over to some guy.

    • Breast feeding and pumping puts people on schedules that are often very hard to sway from, because breast milk is a demand based supply. Pumping and breast feeding twins is quite the undertaking. Mom here had to pump that evening at dinner in the bathroom or she would have been incredible pain, or she her supply would have begun to go down. She pumped in order to keep with the schedule that is often out of her control, put her milk in her bag, and went out with her friends. Incredible, actually.

    • Since you admit to knowing nothing about breast milk, pumping or breast milk guidelines I’ll go ahead and help you out. Pumped breast milk can be stored at room temp for 6 hours. I’m assuming she was going to be home within that time frame and therefore wasn’t concerned about keeping it in her purse. It’s annoying enough to tote around a breast pump and bottles. Add a cooler to the mix and it becomes even more cumbersome. Would you like to carry all that with you to dinner and an evening at a bar?

    • I dunno, I’m a non-parent who thinks entitled parents are the worst. I don’t think this is a case of a parent being entitled. I respect that the bar can’t and shouldn’t make exceptions, but the bouncer did not need to call her “weird” for having breast milk. If the manager was in fact hostile, that’s also not cool. Honestly, if it were me, I probably wouldn’t even think twice about whether I was able to walk into a bar with a baby bottle so I’m going to side with the OP here.

      • +1 also a non-parent who sides with the OP

      • +1. When I saw the headline, I thought this post was going to be about someone acting all entitled… but I think the OP’s friend was being pretty reasonable.

      • +1 same. I don’t even like kids, but the bar could have handled it better. They didn’t have to make her so uncomfortable about it.

    • 1. new moms need to express milk about every 3 hours or they risk clogged ducts, pain, possibly infection. Plus it is generally very uncomfortable to go for longer then 2-3 hours between pumping/ feeding. So this mom probably pumped just before leaving for the bar and didn’t have anywhere to store the milk. Like, maybe she pumped at work before leaving for happy hour. Or she pumped at her friends house after eating a group dinner.

      2. Most pumping moms have little bags that keep your pumped milk cool. Also, milk can go for a couple of hours in your bag and be totally fine.

      3. It is not special treatment. Its basic common sense. It’s little clear baggies of breast milk in a bag with a breast pump . It is not a half full ‘water bottle’ or ‘grape juice in a Nolgene bottle.’

      4. Could she have given the bartender the breast milk. Sure. But what about “that device” that the manager said they don’t allow anyways? Leave it under the front steps?

      It doesn’t have to be this hard.

    • I feel like the health department would have more of a problem with a bottle of breastmilk in the bar’s fridge than the risk that someone was bringing in 4oz of liquor in some elaborate scheme (including toting around a breastpump) to save money.

    • we have decided as a society that breast is best ( i am not personally saying it is or is not but ) Doctors and health personal heavily promote. push women to breast feed and thus as a society we need to support breast feeding moms. It would be like telling people to not drink and drive and then not allow someone in a group to only drink water at the bar because they are not actually buying anything

    • Also not a parent, but I do know that breast milk should not be considered outside food and drink and they were not asking for special treatment. They should have followed whatever protocol they have if someone had a bottle of liquid medicine or eye drops or insulin in their purse and their protocol should be to allow you to bring them in. She was carrying the breast milk but she needed to pump between dinner and the bar (as stated in the post!). She was not carrying the milk around in case she happened upon a baby. The bar is in the wrong here.

      • “They should have followed whatever protocol…”
        The issue is that they probably don’t have a rational protocol at LMW for breast milk. I doubt most bars in DC have actually determined a policy. The only protocol they have is “No outside liquids allowed” and I can understand how a bouncer won’t allow anyone to skirt that rule if he is interested in keeping his job.
        If anything, we have a good opportunity here for DC nightlife establishments to have a discussion with their staff and request a clarification from ABRA and DoH.

        • According to the OP, they said no outside food or drink. They did not say no outside liquids. They should have treated it like any other medical device or medicine and not as if she was bringing in a flask.

          • Your point is a pedantic one. I think we all understand the venue’s rules when they say no “food or drinks.” We all understand that to mean bottled liquids of any type when there’s a place with a bag check and strict rules on what may come into the venue.
            Again, I can’t fault the bouncer here for following his instructions. The manager should have handled this better.

          • No, I would not assume that when they say no food or drinks, they mean all liquids. I would assume that I could carry the bottle of eye drops I carry in my purse, or my contact solution, or any number of liquid items that might be in my purse. The bouncer should not have insulted the new mom – but it was fine for him to ask for further guidance. The manager should have handled this much better.

    • Sure you have a sense of the world, issues, etc. but you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to pumping and breastfeeding….we can debate rules all you want, but if you breastfeed, you need to pump often. Ops friend clearly pumped after dinner, before going to the bar, and needed to save that milk for her babies (that’s valuable stuff for those little ones). There was and is zero sense of entitlement from these women. It’s a minor accommodation that a customer was asking for. Being a parent or not has nothing to do with having a sense of the world as you say in your later comment, but I really hope that you can just acknowledge that there are challenges as well as benefits that we all have in life that come from our life choices (in this case, having kids and breastfeeding) and you kind of make yourself sound like an idiot when you say things like, “I understand moms need to pump in advance, but put that in your work or home fridge, you need to carry it on you at all times in case of…what exactly?”

      On another note, LMW is definitely out of our bars to patron from now on!

    • Ally

      Seriously ignorant. It’s like asking why women should expect to be able to fly on a plane with breast milk. Ask your mother.

    • Are you really that much of a stickler for rules? You can’t imagine any circumstance in which a rule might not apply and an exception should be made? This is a specific case, and guess what, it IS special. Breast milk is not like any other liquid that someone is carrying around. Even the freaking TSA allows breast milk to be brought in through security while no other liquids are allowed – is that special treatment? No, it’s a logical, reasonable, and humane. You are seriously lacking empathy and apparently have no ability to assess a situation and make decisions for yourself.

      And while I’m at it, if I were that mom, and had this disagreement with the bouncer and bar manager, you better believe I also would not have agreed to store my milk in the bar’s fridge. That milk is going to be fed to her baby, I don’t blame this mom for not trusting those people to properly handle it.

      and ALSO – props to you, new mom of twins, going out dancing! You go!

      • “Are you really that much of a stickler for rules?”
        Only someone who has never dealt with ABRA or DoH would say this. IF there is no specific clarification from DC regulatory agencies, any bar with a “tavern” or “nightclub” license should assume it’s not allowed. ABRA is notorious for undercover stings they use to entrap bouncers/managers and all sorts of ticky-tack fining for a huge number of seemingly minor violations. Please see the recent lawsuit of Madam’s Organ against ABRA. I believe LMW has also been specifically targeted by ABRA in the past, so this is probably why they were so anal retentive about the liquid regulation.

        • By carrying around a breast pump? Even if I give you the breast milk, which is considered a medical liquid like insulin (are you telling me a bar would refuse entry to a diabetic because of ABRA????), they refused to allow the breast pump. What possible justification is there for that based on ABRA? And once they had been informed of a legitimate medical purpose for the breast milk, that serves the purpose of due diligence. Certainly once they agreed to keep the milk behind the bar, they agreed that it was breast milk and not a substance that shouldn’t be allowed. If they were willing to let it be behind the bar, it stopped being an ABRA thing and they accepted that liability.

          • ….aaaaaaaaand read the update above from LMW. They confirmed everything I’ve assumed.
            Like I said, if you’ve never dealt with the beast of ABRA, you don’t know what’s involved. The regulatory environment is a nightmare for DC’s bars. And yes, I wouldn’t put it past an undercover ABRA investigator to use the guise of “breast milk” to entrap a bar into allowing illegal alcohol onto their premises. This is why the bar manager was so insistent on keeping the milk refrigerated behind the bar.

          • A Diabetic will become very ill w/o their insulin. A woman will not become very ill if she cannot carry her previously pumped milk around with her. To even compare the two is asinine.

          • It’s actually not a stupid question. When the baby isn’t with you, you don’t NEED the milk. She could have pumped and dumped. She chose not to. I know that nursing moms hate to do that, but if she really needed a night out, she could have done that one time to meet her other (very real) need to hang out with friends, free of babies.

            I can’t believe no one even suggesting that the nursing mom take any responsibility for (1) not checking the policy before she went there or (2) not having a back up plan.
            She’s an adult. She has a kid so I assume she’s responsible.

            I am all for places accommodating moms, but does every single establishment, need to accommodate every single mom, no matter what choices she’s willing / not willing to make?

          • They are listed as equivalent liquids by health and security authorities. Because a woman needs to pump every couple of hours or she will become engorged and risk infection and leaking. And also because both are bodily fluids. Would all of these people citing ABRA please tell me where it says that breastmilk is considered an outside food/beverage, because I can tell where in DC law it says that it is protected and allowed in.

  • Once it’s in the fridge it has to be in the fridge and consumed within 4 days. Logistically she couldn’t put it in the bar fridge then go home and still use it. That doesn’t matter, though, it’s ridiculous that they would use the word condition. Way to make a Mom feel like she doesn’t deserve to be out. Won’t be going there anymore. Sounds like completely uniformed bouncers and managers. It’s fine if the bouncer doesn’t know what to do but managers should have some sort of “life judgement” to not act like complete dicks in these situations.

  • Sounds like after the initial confusion, they checked her back, offered to store her milk and allowed entry. Not that uncommon for a potentially childless bouncer to not know what a breast pump is.

    • But if they were as rude and inconsiderate (and clueless) to her as it sounds like they were, I don’t blame her for not trusting them to properly store the milk that she intended on feeding her baby. I would not have taken them up on that offer either.

  • I’ve had problems with the bouncers at Little Miss Whiskey’s too. I got yelled at for having the DC paper license while waiting on the DMV to send me a real license. This place is NOT worth it. The bouncers and management are rude.

  • If the baby wasn’t with you, then what did she need the milk for? I can understand why a bar would not let guests walk in with outside liquids.

    • Did you bother reading the first paragraph?

    • When the baby is not with you the milk still comes. You have to pump it or else it becomes uncomfortable and leeks. THis is why workplace have to have a place for moms to pump while at work (without their babies) Most women pump and want to keep their milk so they have a supply for their partners or child care providers can feed the infants.

    • This question is utterly ridiculous! Even if you don’t have or want children, it might be helpful to have a rudimentary understanding of how the female body works when it comes to motherhood!

  • In my opinion, the mother shouldn’t have gone to a bar knowing she would need to pump breast milk. This city is becoming more entitled to by a select privilege group.

    • Oh, yeah, DC is a paradise for new parents, and is becoming increasingly more unliveable for the childless. Please.

    • so moms should just stay home all the time? When my friends were all breast feeding during the first few months I think they had to pump or feed every 4-5 hours. I bet this OP needs to do this even more because she had twins.

      I am childless in DC and I don’t understand why my childless peers are so hard on this breast feeding mom.

    • Your knack for sarcasm is even better than mine. Kudos!

    • Hold on – when did the law start allowing new moms to dance? I need to have a talk with the town council about this….

    • I am constantly amused and shocked at how new parents in this town see every thing as a slight against them. Always the victim. God forbid you not get to go late night boozing at “insert name of trendy bar here” for 6 months or a year after you give birth. No one says you have to live in a cave after you give birth, but I would no more expect a bouncer at a late night bar to make allowances for my pump and milk, any more than I would expect a monster truck rally to have a lactation room set up, or a charging station for my Tesla.

      Who knew that when I had my kid and chose to socialize with my friends around my baby’s schedule and requirements, and not make everyone else adjust to mine, that I was doing it the wrong way.

      Breast fed for a year and didn’t hit one bar and had probably ~2 glasses of wine the entire time. Considering how easily alcohol is passed into the milk, I am always a little weirded out by mothers who breast feed and drink anyway.

      You chose motherhood. No one is saying you have to give up your career or your friends but I think we can all agree that being able to hit the late night bars for a while after birth is an odd priority for a new breast feeding mother.

      • What’s the problem with bringing a pump into a bar if its in your bag?

      • That is some excellent channeling of the DCUM sanctimommies. It’s almost as if you really believe that your choices are the only right choices, and that flexibility should only be allowed to the extent that you personally needed it.

        • +1. And “considering how easily alcohol is passed into the milk”–really? Having a drink right after (or hell, during) pumping/breastfeeding is the best time to do it since alcohol will filter out of your milk the same way it does from your blood. So if you have a drink (especially with/after a meal) and then don’t pump/nurse again for several hours, your milk shouldn’t have alcohol in it. Believe it or not, some lactation consultants will encourage moms to drink certain types of beer to help with milk supply!
          .
          Glad to hear you’re a happy mommy martyr. Personally, an occasional night out–either with friends or with my wife–is sufficiently beneficial to my mental health that it’s worthwhile. Do I go out weekly? No. But it’s a nice change of pace on occasion.

      • Martyr…party of 1.

      • “Breast fed for a year and didn’t hit one bar and had probably ~2 glasses of wine the entire time. Considering how easily alcohol is passed into the milk, I am always a little weirded out by mothers who breast feed and drink anyway.”
        .
        Please provide the address where I should send your cookie.

      • justinbc

        I’ll leave the other moms to debate the rest, but it is entirely possible to have fun dancing without needing liquor. We don’t know whether the woman in question was drinking at all, based on the story provided. Maybe her friends were, hence the bar, but she’s somehow able to control the urge?!

        • Exactly. What the what?! I have friends who have never had a drop of alcohol in their life, but they go to bars…and HAVE FUN! Being in a bar does not always mean you’re drinking.

        • I’m aghast at how ignorant people are about breastfeeding, human milk, and drinking and breastmilk. If you don’t know anything, try keeping your mouth shut. Drinking a drink or two while nursing is fine. It’s in your milk in incredibly small amounts and won’t affect your child. Drinking more than two drinks is fine if you wait a couple of hours to nurse again. Society, and in particular men, need to stop telling pregnant and nursing mothers how to live their lives. You are not smarter or more informed than them. There is nothing wrong with what this woman did. What’s weird is that they search you before going into a shitty bar.

          • justinbc

            I’m not sure who you’re arguing with, but in case it wasn’t obvious I agree with you. I definitely don’t know the first thing about breast milk pumping, storage, etc, I’m commenting merely on the fact that it’s entirely possible to have a good time without needing booze at all.

          • True enough. Do the math: Alcohol passes into breast milk at around the same concentration as it does the bloodstream. If you’re legally intoxicated, your blood alcohol content is .008. I think that translates into about .10% ABV (I might be a little off there, but it’s close). Barely alcoholic, in other words. And that’s without waiting.
            .
            And this from a scientific journal: “Even in a theoretical case of binge drinking, the children would not be subjected to clinically relevant amounts of alcohol.”
            .
            Also true about it being a shitty bar.

          • Oops. I meant .08. The math still works though.

    • Ally

      The mother did not go to a bar to pump. She pumped early (you have to do it every couple of hours or you become engorged) and simply wanted to be allowed to take the milk in for her baby. Seriously. I’m not even a baby person (despite having one) and I got this LONG before I had kids. Did no one have biology?!?

  • IMO
    The ONLY thing the bar did that they shouldnt have was be rude/ aggressive to anyone in the situation

    LMW is or has been in the past under fire from local PD liquor boards etc.
    I dont see anything wrong with them not allowing outside liquids in the bar at all whether it be water on a hot day or milk after a pair of twins… they have a business to run and rules to follow just like anyone else.
    they even went so far as to accommodate her(ideal or not) by offering to safely store the milk while she stayed

  • Welcome to the land of the non-free and repressed when common sense does not prevail.

  • I wasn’t a fan of the staff to begin with and this just adds to it. Many other places to patronize.

  • I dont know if someone mentioned this already (waaaaaay too many comments per usual) but as a bar manager (and mother), you are trained via tips training to NEVER allow outside drinks of any kind into a bar. In fact I’m fairly certain you could be fined by ABRA. It’s not worth it. The post is one sided. I doubt they were telling her to go F herself. The group was probably coming to her defense obviously outnumbering the one bouncer who may have been short, feeling like he needed to nip the situation in the bud so he could continue doing his job. I wouldn’t read too much into it. But then again that what popville readers are notorious for! Ha.

    • Plus + 10000 They are so quick to bash an establishment- that they WOULD never step foot in to begin with. It’s now OK to be on a dance floor with breast milk and a pumping station?

    • This is an interesting point. LMW has had issues with ABRA over the last few years, so they may be acting out of an abundance of (misplaced) caution. I’d be interested to see what the ABRA regs say on the matter.
      That said, we can’t expect the bounder to be an alcohol regulatory attorney. He’s told “no liquids allowed” by the bar and he has to stick with that, if he wants to keep his job. A guy making $12/hour is basically put into an impossible position here; it sounds like he was as respectful as he could be given the circumstances. The criticism should be focused on the bar manager who handled this poorly. It’s especially important to be as nice as possible when saying “No.”

    • Yep, it’s a health code violation. You can’t control food or drink that people bring into your bar/restaurant.

      • If it’s a “health code violation” (in quotes because it’s not. It’s considered a medical liquid, one that you are legally entitled to feed your child with in public, even in restaurants), then they would still be at fault for offering to store it behind the bar. Plus that ignores that they also refused to allow the pump.

        • Well the child wasn’t there, just a bottle of unidentifiable liquid.

          • And a pump. And someone who identified what the liquid was. That they clearly accepted because they later offered to store it behind the bar.

    • That’s fine, but there’s a nice way to say it. You don’t say a woman has “a condition” . You explain why it’s a violation you can’t risk. And I’d like to see where the rules say she can’t bring a breast pump. That just seemed to be overkill.

    • That may have been the case, but it sounds like the bouncer & manager were jerks about it. Politely explaining policy is one thing, calling her “weird” is another.

    • Yeah, but breast milk isn’t considered a “drink.” It is considered a medicine, and regulated like insulin. As a diabetic, even when your bouncers find insulin and needles (gasp! Drug paraphernalia! But it keeps me alive!) in my purse, they still let me into your bar.

      Common sense tells the bouncer to not be rude and go get the manager. Common sense tells the manager to politely offer to put the pump and milk in a back office or elsewhere (not behind the bar).

      • justinbc

        You indicate several things where common sense put onus on the bar, but quote no times where common sense would have helped the lady in question. Surely both sides could have done things with a bit more “common sense”, as you want to call it?

      • Where in the world is breast milk “regulated like insulin”? Breast milk is food. Baby food.

        • Blithe

          I’m making a leap here, but I’m guessing that at least some people commenting here are extrapolating from TSA rules, which make exemptions for medications and for breast milk, formula, and juice for infants and children.
          I’ll make another leap and guess that the reasons for the rules and restrictions relating to bringing liquids onto a plane are likely very different from the reasons for the rules and restrictions relating to bringing liquids into an establishment that serves liquor.

    • Amen, sister.

  • I get the need to get out of the house on your own with a young child, but the confusion of the bouncer reflects the fact that most people refrain from getting hammered at LMW once they have children.

    Do you really need to do combos with interns to enjoy yourself?

    • Sit down. This is the kind of attitude that is truly offensive – not the bar strictly enforcing a rule, not the commenters who say parents are too entitled. This shit & your shitty assumptions and your sanctimonious ‘tude. Seriously. No.

    • where in this post did OP say she was out to get hammered. I think I read she was out dancing?

    • If she were indeed hammered, she wouldn’t be saving the milk. That’s when you pump and dump, my friend.

  • Man oh man how will this very popular and normally super crowded bar ever stay open if they don’t dare cater to that lucrative “new moms still pumping breast milk and just need one night out” demographic that most bars would kill to attract?

    • Is that the point? That’s what you’ve taken away from this discussion? Obviously you’ve missed the point.

      • I get the point, this person wrote to PoP to spread word and get people sympathetic to her situation to avoid this establishment. And they have every right to do so, but let’s not act like this bar will shut down because a couple new mothers decide to go elsewhere on H instead of here. Roughly 99% of their customers don’t give a darn what their policy on allowing in breast milk is

        • It’s not the policy on breast milk, it’s the manner in which they treated their customers. You would be happy to patronize a bar that is known to treat its patrons badly?

          • I vote with my wallet and don’t return, I wouldn’t turn on the bat signal to mobilize the enraged mommy brigade to boycott a place for following the law

    • I’m not a parent, but my spouse and I do not patronize businesses with this kind of attitude. So we’re taking our business elsewhere–and will tell our friends to do so, too–even if this “policy” doesn’t affect us directly.

  • Does anyone know DC’s actual law on accommodating breastfeeding mothers? I know the law on nursing – you’re allowed to nurse your baby anywhere you’re legally allowed to be. Would be curious if there is a law on transport of breast milk also.

    • Wouldn’t that contradict the law bars must adhere to regarding allowing outside liquids?

      • Breastmilk is a medical liquid and not subject to those laws. If you think about it, any mother whose nursing is bringing that liquid in, whether it’s in the boobs or not.

        • justinbc

          Nobody is arguing that fact (or I should say most people aren’t). What you’re missing out on is that ABRA code doesn’t have an expressly permitted exception like TSA does. Do you want all bouncers across DC to undergo some sort of breast milk identification training or something? They are not allowed to just take people at their word that what’s in a bottle in question is what they claim it is, bars HAVE BEEN busted for this (false liquid claims, not breast milk specifically) and received fines and other penalties. You may not like the proposed storage location from the manager, but even both sides admitted that they tried to compromise within the confines of the law.

    • ” I know the law on nursing – you’re allowed to nurse your baby anywhere you’re legally allowed to be.”

      Incorrect. The law actually says ” A woman shall have the right to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where she has the right to be with her child” D.C. Code § 2-1402.82. Rights of breastfeeding mothers.

      A child has no right to enter a bar, therefore there is no affirmative right to breastfeed in a bar.

  • He is right that DC health code does not allow patrons to bring outside food or drink into a restaurant or bar. The reason being that a restaurant or bar is liable for anything eaten or drunken on their premises and they cannot be expected to guarantee the health and safety of something brought in from the outside. Whether or not a bottle of your own milk counts is a matter of interpretation. But given that it’s a bar which undoubtedly has pretty high mark ups on drinks, I think they are right to be skeptical.

    • Oh my God! You mean that all those times we brought formula, or Cheerios, or baby food, to a restaurant we were BREAKING THE LAW?!?!?! Please excuse me while I turn myself in. Given the number of infractions, I’ll see you all in 10-15 years.

      • Yes it was a health code violation. It was nice of the owners not to kick you out since you are taking the risk for them to get a fine, poor health grade, or lose their license. I’m sorry that the law doesn’t meet with your own personal convenience.

        • Yes, it was breaking health codes. Just because you got away with it doesn’t mean every should at all times, even well-meaning people with good reasons.

    • It also states that you are allowed to breastfeed anywhere in public, and businesses can be fined for not allowing it. So the parents are right to be skeptical as well.

      • She wasn’t breastfeeding nor in public or in a place the child was legally entitled to go. Just a woman with a bottle of liquid.

    • justinbc

      Just as a matter of debate, I think that LMW actually has one of the lowest markups on alcohol in the area. They’ve long had one of the better priced beer lists in particular in the city.

  • That is outrageous! I’m so sorry for your friend. I think (and hope) she will find that the VAST majority of businesses in The District understand that human milk feeds human babies and will not discriminate against breastfeeding mothers. I seriously cannot believe that happened. I very much hope that you calling attention to this changes the absurd policy apparently in place at LMW. Unbelievable.

  • “condition”??? makes it sound like she was checking a colostomy bag. Good grief

  • If anyone wants to let LMW know that they don’t appreciate what went down over the weekend and it will impact your future business, send them a note. Might make a difference, might not. http://www.littlemisswhiskeys.com/contact-horizontal/

    • Besides being rude & aggressive what did they do wrong?
      i get that the attitude may not have been needed nor appreciated but are yaul really that upset that a bar that has had problems with the law in the past is seemingly doing everything that they can to stay out of trouble? i dont get the outrage

  • Allison

    Curious as to what they would do about a catheter bag.

  • Sorry if this was posted, but no conversation, in the history of conversations, that starts with “No disrespect but…” is not going to end up being disrespectful to someone.

  • What a bunch of jerks. I’ll make sure to never step foot in that place!

  • Just read the update from LMW – it was mitigating until they felt the need to write “LEADER OF THE BREAST MILK BRIGADE” in all caps. Nope. I was never a big fan of this place anyway, so not a big loss.

    • Where’s the update? Couldn’t find it….

      • It was in the original post but now its gone. It said that the bouncer in question is a very fair, calm guy and never would have said the woman was “weird”. Then that the woman with the milk/pump was telling her friends to “let it go”, but the friends were intent on making a scene. Then referred to the friends as the “LEADERS OF THE BREASTMILK BRIGADE” looking to cause problems. Oh and then recounted how one of their loyal patrons called them bitches and proclaimed his/her love for LMW.

        I guess they realized this clarification did not help their cause and asked for it to be taken down? They should have stopped after “bouncer is a nice guy”.

    • Wow. Seriously can’t believe that.

  • This incident is all manner of BIZARRE!

    • And – I should have added, but I was turning purple with rage – the bouncer and manager were completely out of bounds, inconsiderate, lacking compassion, and seem disgusted by women/mothers/babies. It’s terrifying to imagine people with this kind of hostility against the mother of an infant. These people DO exist, just like the two male drivers today, who, one after the other, would not stop and let me through a crosswalk while I was pushing a stroller. What happened to humanity? It used to be that even the toughest, meanest people were at least temporarily softened by the sight of a baby or the presence of a woman who just had one.

      • Millennials are obsessed with fairness. Their helicopter parents insisted that everyone get a participation trophy, and so they think that anytime someone has something that they personally don’t have, it’s “entitlement” and “not fair”. Unless we’re talking about $600k condos and bike lanes, of course.

        • When my daughter was 5, she felt the same way. She’s getting better about it, though, not that she’s 9 (though there are still some regressions). We’re hoping she grows out of it entirely by 14 or so.

        • @wdc Who are you responding/referring to here? Not me, I hope. First of all. I’m far from a “millennial”. Secondly, I was referring to trying to cross the street in a legal crosswalk with a baby in a stroller. You don’t think someone should stop so that a pedestrian can get across the street? If you see someone with an infant trying to cross the street are you telling me you would continue to drive and not stop so that person could pass? I really am at a loss as to who your comment was referring to.

      • I don’t think she was asking for a trophy. She was asking to carry breastmilk and a pump into a bar.

      • “It used to be that even the toughest, meanest people were at least temporarily softened by the sight of a baby or the presence of a woman who just had one.” Really? It doesn’t surprise me that people who are jerks would be jerks to everyone, making no exceptions for women with strollers.

        • Another pointless and thoughtless comment.

          • Wow. Maybe you’re too worked up about this situation to notice that I’m NOT one of the people who’s saying that the OP’s friend is “entitled”? (Or people like Toad Bosley, who probably also believes that people shouldn’t give up their seats to pregnant women on Metro?)
            .
            The thing about a stroller in a crosswalk — Some people are hostile to ANYONE or anything that they perceive as being in their way. They’re jerks through and through, not jerks who melt/soften at the sight of a baby. Yes, this is disappointing, but I’m not sure why it surprises you so much.

          • Gonna have to back up textdoc here. For me, whether you have a baby with you or not makes zero difference in terms of crosswalk behavior. If I see someone in a crosswalk, I’m going to stop and let them go. I don’t care if it’s a homeless guy or a woman pushing a stroller. But, I’m not a jerk. I’m guessing if I were a jerk it similarly would not matter who it was, I would just keep going.
            .
            * I would also add that on the few occasions I haven’t stopped for someone, it was because I didn’t see them in time to come to a stop without slamming on my breaks and potentially causing a rear-end collision. As in the case of a crosswalk with no stop sign or light and a large truck or bus blocking the curb so I can’t see someone trying to cross. My point is, not everyone who doesn’t stop is a jerk, sometimes it’s just too late/not safe to do so.

        • justinbc

          softened by the presence of a woman who just had a baby…….lol, seriously? melodramatic overkill.

      • @Toad Bosley AGAIN another comment from someone with no clarification of who you are referring to. I’m assuming you’re talking to me since you wrote “you”. Please tell me how trying to get across the street in a legal crosswalk is “special treatment”. Christ, you people with your crap attitude towards the world.

      • @jd Maybe you should move to the moon. Your comment about where I “should move” is uncalled for. I am talking about crossing the street in a legal crosswalk – not asking for special treatment. Have you ever been hit by a car in a legal crosswalk? I have, and thank God it wasn’t with a child in tow. Let me educate you: Pedestrians have to get across the street. We can’t do that if cars won’t stop. We are LEGALLY allowed to simply step into the crosswalk as DC law requires cars to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, but who wants to do that?? Who wants to step into oncoming traffic? And especially with a child in tow? THAT is how I was hit by a car. So please think twice next time someone complains about wanting to cross the street safely with a child, and don’t suggest they move someplace else.

        • There seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding of the law… You can’t just simply walk into a crosswalk and be given the legal right of way. The car has the right of way if it has already entered the intersection and you are not permitted to step in front of a car if you are not giving the car enough time to safely come to a stop.

          Additionally, drivers must yield to peds IN a crosswalk… Not at a crosswalk or near one.

          Being aware of these things as a driver and a ped can help avoid accidents and close calls

      • The reflexive, knee-jerk response of “Move to [insert name of suburb here]” is ridiculous.

  • A bad situation that was handled poorly by staff. That being said, staff were (likely) just following rules they are paid to enforce, no matter how dumb. As a former bouncer, I constantly enforced rules I didn’t agree. That’s the job but it probably could have been done a little more respectful in this case. “Be nice, until it’s time not to be nice.” -Dalton from Road House

    • “Opinions vary.”
      – Also Dalton from Road House (He was a Cooler, not a Bouncer. He felt that was a very important distinction.)
      .
      In all seriousness, any posting that perfectly employs a Roadhouse quote deserves a standing ovation, along with a big dose of chagrin from me that I didn’t think of it first. Nicely done.

  • There’s a reason that even the TSA allows breast milk to be carried through security while not allowing any other liquids. Guess what, breast milk IS special. It’s not like anything other liquid. This is hardly a case of demanding special treatment. I’m so amazed by people who take offense at the activities of parents. I mean, this is a society, right? We do want to continue populating the earth, as long as the climate will allow?

  • I just read through the comments, and I can’t believe the number of people who view keeping your pumped breastmilk with you as “special treatment.” The World Health Organization advocates breastfeeding for at least 2 years. There really DC residents out there who think new moms who choose to pump milk to feed their children should never go to a bar during that time? Unreal.

  • As a bar owner the law we’ve been told in DC is no outside food or beverage can be brought in. There are two reasons for it. One for the safety of your staff and patrons (since ultimately anything consumed in the venue we are liable for) and second so if ABRA comes by they can see you’ve paid taxes on it via your receipts you have to keep on hand. Unfortunately like Yelp we are only getting one side of the story. Maybe the Bar (which did the right thing) handled it wrong or MAYBE one of the women in the group embellished what really happened so her friend would be the “victim.” And I bring of Yelp because this group of women are already on there writing trash reviews. http://www.yelp.com/biz/little-miss-whiskeys-golden-dollar-washington?sort_by=date_desc I also want to thank Dan for posting this because it reminds me how much I love going out on H St and will probably stop by this weekend to support them!

    • Three women have written reviews of their negative experience – yeah, that’s trash. and totally not what Yelp is for. Women just can’t be trusted to tell the truth about what happened to them.

      • All those crazy lady hormones flying around…we just can’t help it.

        Thirsty Cow, let me know which bar you own. Happy to not patronize that one too. What am I saying?? I’m a mother. I’m not allowed to leave the house.

    • So by offering to store it behind the bar you already took on the ABRA risks, but there actually aren’t any ABRA risks because breastmilk is considered a medical liquid. And by the way, what is your justification for disallowing the pump? What risk did that pose to the bar?

      I also wonder, a mother is legally allowed to breastfeed IN your bar. In the open. At the table. If a breastfeeding mom in your bar spilled breastmilk, is that considered bringing in outside liquid?

    • justinbc

      Funny reading the reviews. The person telling the story above says they went to RNR Hotel instead of LMW, but in the reviews one of the girls said they stayed at LMW and had “well drinks”. And they also apparently all flew into town from other places, but they’re going to be “boycotting it”…along with every other business since they don’t live in DC?

  • Ignorant bouncer does an ignorant thing. Person with fiefdom creates unreasonable level of authoritarianism. I think I’ve heard this story before. Its really not worth all this discussion. We’d talk all day for a week straight if everyone recounted the stupid, petty, illogical things bouncers, lifeguards, mall cops, and HOAs did in the name of “rules”.

    Move along.

  • OP: YOUR FRIEND IS AWESOME!!!

  • I find it disappointing that the conversation about the library security requiring a woman to remove her hijab or exit the library got like 8 comments and this is nearing 200. Not that the establishment in question here should just get a free pass, and if you think this worthy of this much outrage, that’s fine with me, but I am troubled that this is apparently worth a whole lot of outrage while a police officer threatening to cuff a woman for refusing to remove her hijab or leave the library got basically none.

    • Because most people on here can’t put themselves in the shoes (or hijab!) of a Muslim woman. American culture oozes this attitude that “does not pertain to me” might as well mean we should all pretend the problem doesn’t exist (which, coincidentally, happens to be the linchpin of GOP philosophy).
      But a whole bunch of people are at-the-ready to chime in when the topic of breastfeeding arises. Because many commenters can relate to the plight of the mother in this scenario.

    • I certainly won’t deny that the lack of diversity on PoP contributes to difference in comments, but the offending incident was also a bit buried in that post. The title is about an event for Muslim women.

      For what it’s worth – I think it’s crazy that a police officer would try and force someone to remove a hijab. What possible safety concern is there in wearing a headscarf?

    • Or because comments are a function of disagreement or at least heated discussion and everyone thought the library thing was unquestionably wrong and didn’t merit much discussion. Whereas there are clearly differences of opinion on this…

      • HaileUnlikely

        If I recall correctly, about half of the few comments on that discussion were regarding whether discrimination against Muslims is common or whether it is a problem, so actually, I don’t think that’s it, or at least not all of it.

    • +1

      This blog is merely a microcosm of the society is which we live, and this exact same scenario plays itself out in the real world time and time again. It’s frustrating and disheartening, to say the least.

  • DC Human Rights Act violation based on pregnancy and sex. Game over.

    • Nah. She wasn’t pregnant, and she wasn’t being kept out for being a woman. Only her breast pump and milk were being excluded. I’m obviously on the side of common sense and compassion for parents, but I doubt this would fly.

  • Update from Little Miss Whiskey’s:

    “* Marc (the “bouncer”) never said “No disrespect for your condition, but this is a bar. Why would you bring that here? It’s weird.” That statement was made by someone on the sidewalk not related to the business (details re: Marc below).

    * Gregg (the “manager”) was polite. He was apologetic in his attempts to explain policy. He was never “hostile”. He offered to keep the milk safe behind the bar (yes, “safe”, because contrary to evident suspicions we do not harbor any desire to tamper with someone’s breast milk (details re: Gregg below)).

    * Our business licenses are common. Those licenses prohibit outside alcohol being brought in by patrons. Any kind of liquid can have alcohol in it. It is not up to us to interpret either the law or what the contents of any liquid are, and, sadly, there is no end to the nonsense patrons will attempt in order to bring their own alcohol into an establishment (yes, in a shampoo bottle, and that’s exactly why bags are checked, and exactly why we adhere to rigid policy).

    * ABRA regularly sends undercover persons into liquor-licensed establishments to check on whether their laws are being enforced. That’s their job. It is our job to enforce those laws so the business doesn’t get fined or shut down, as well as so employees don’t lose their jobs.
    There is no way for an employee to *know* what bizarre circumstance calls for an exception. Therefore, there are no exceptions.

    * After the woman who wrote this letter to PoP (and also sent in her one-star review on Yelp) screamed at Gregg “YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER WOMAN IN THIS BAR AGAIN AFTER TODAY”, a nearby person on the sidewalk said “oh bitch go protest somewhere else”. I write this because I anticipate she will levy more false allegations, and I want to make it clear that neither Gregg nor Marc made any comments that were embarrassing to the woman with the breast milk or her “friends”, much less rude or mean-spirited. No other employees were involved in this situation. If someone made an ugly remark, it was not an employee of LMW.

    * I could attempt to placate all those concerned by publicly apologizing for how Marc and Gregg handled the situation, but I will not throw them under the bus. Allegations that they were rude, or impolite, or tried to embarrass anyone, are simply untrue. The “friends” of the woman with the breast milk made the situation loud and embarrassing, and Marc and Gregg remained composed even as the women screamed at them. I know I risk further public outrage by stating that I am very proud of how they handled the situation, but they were stuck with an impossible and bizarre circumstance in the middle of the busiest night of the week, and I am genuinely heartbroken to see their respective characters so wrongly called into question like this.

    * I encourage anyone to please come meet Marc and Gregg (who happen to be brothers). Marc checks ID’s (and your bags) every Friday and Saturday night. I am certain you will immediately realize that he is a soft-spoken man who does not make incendiary comments, much less even raise his voice. As one friend commented about this situation, “Marc doesn’t talk like that”. Gregg bartends every Monday and Wednesday night. He regularly works weekends as well. I am certain you will find him polite and positive, just as he has been since he began working with us four years ago. This is one of the many reasons he has the keys to the business and is a signor on its checking account.

    * Lastly, I know Marc’s and Gregg’s mother is an impressively accomplished woman- in both business and family- for whom they have tremendous respect. She raised her sons to treat people with respect, which I know because they have spoken of it and because they act like it.

    Most sincerely,

    Mark Thorp, owner”

    • Man, this is a common theme these days– some people feel they are the exception to the rule even though the rules apply to everybody. Reminds me of drivers who drive on the shoulder in traffic as if no one else on the road is trying to get anywhere themselves. As a woman, I am not sympathetic to OP for berating a business over this. You are a new mom, but in the eyes of the hundreds of people of working and drinking H st. on a weekend night, you’re just another person. No one really cares about you…no one really cares.

    • And that’s how you handle PR, folks. You be direct and tell your side of the story.

      Maybe Fig & Olive could learn a thing or two from you guys.

    • Shorter LMW response: The OP isn’t telling the truth, both the bouncer and the bartender are good guys. They never, EVER would say anything like that! Plus, their mother raised them right – I know this because they told me.
      .
      So we have a he said/she said situation, where no one who wasn’t there knows what happened. (This is true for everyone, whether you are a new mother with an automatic affinity for OP and her friends, or whether you know Marc and Gregg personally and help them build houses for Habitat for Humanity in their spare time.) But, it was tremendously entertaining to read the over-the-top posts on both sides of the debate. PoPville, you never disappoint.

      • I will say, though, the histrionic yelp comments by the friends make me disposed to the bar owner. “I have never been so offended . . .” Seriously?

      • “PoPville, you never disappoint.”
        .
        I think everyone can agree on this!

    • Mark Thorpe is one of the most considerate and attentive business owners I have ever met in my decade in the DC hospitality industry. His employees were trained properly and acted in complete accordance with the law. Why, I ask, WHY are people trying to demonize this man and his establishment for trying to comply with ABRA regulations?! They offered the best solution they could in trying to store the liquid behind the bar. This is a moronic witch hunt by women who have nothing better to do than pick a fight behind the curtain of social media and comment sections such as this one. It makes me sad to read these comments and I wish you would all find more meaningful things to protest, of which there are many.

  • Wow, interesting response from LMW management.
    So has anyone changed their mind? And yes, when you scream “YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER WOMAN IN THIS BAR AGAIN AFTER TODAY” on H Street it reeks of entitlement.
    Though, I’m not sure it’s as obnoxious as Tenleytown Library Mom.

    • No. He repeatedly refers to the notion of a woman carrying breastmilk as bizarre. The responses of this woman’s friends have nothing to do with it.

      • I wasn’t planning to comment, but I completely agree with this–the repeated references to my friend’s “bizarre” conduct are more evidence that this guy doesn’t run a woman-friendly business. (I also recommend checking out what he’s been saying on Twitter.) Beyond that, I don’t know what Marc and Gregg’s intent was–I’m fully willing to believe that they’re good people who responded inappropriately in this one situation–but they did say the things mentioned in the post. More than one of us heard the statements, and I actually even took notes on my way home because I wanted to get it right. Finally, FWIW, I didn’t say (much less “scream”) anything about whether women would come to Mr. Thorp’s bar in the future, and I haven’t written any Yelp reviews about him, not that it would be relevant if I had.

        • So about not posting on yelp, guess it was one of your friends:

          From “A.R”:

          This place is discriminatory and sexist! I went with my girlfriends recently, and the bouncer and manager both were extremely rude to my friend for trying to come in as a new mom. They said something that implied that “moms shouldn’t be out for a drink” – seriously?! I have never been so offended. It just so happened to be her birthday and 5 of us had just happened to fly in for her big night, and they refused to let her in because she had a breast pump and milk tucked in her bag.

          I hope others join us in boycotting this really discriminatory establishment!

          Also note I ordered a well drink before we left, and it was disgusting, with a really dry and old lime on the side! And the bar was empty and boring.

          (FWIW my friend was just there to dance!)

          http://www.yelp.com/biz/little-miss-whiskeys-golden-dollar-washington?hrid=B5a7AkGJBKuQG-uE6WUwuQ&utm_campaign=www_review_share_popup&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=(direct)

        • HaileUnlikely

          In fairness to him, he did not call your friend’s conduct bizarre, he called the circumstance bizarre. The dictionary definition of bizarre is “very strange or unusual.” I suspect this qualifies in the literal sense that the vast majority of bouncers at bars will probably encounter this specific circumstance a grand total of not more than once in their entire career. It isn’t a judgment about your friend’s behavior to call this a bizarre circumstance, but I think it is entirely fair to call it a bizarre circumstance.

        • i was on the fence about this but your comment makes it pretty clear you are just trying to find a reason to get worked up. No where in his response did the LMW guy say anything about your friends conduct being bizarre, much less repeatedly.

          You and your friend’s attempts to characterize the bar as not being woman friendly for not meeting your immediate needs at the potential risks to thier business (which seem to have been explained to you at the time) shows your inflated sense of entitlement

          • But be a human being and put yourself in new mom’s shoes. Regardless of the comments of the friends (I’m guessing they were coming to her defense), she was likely hurt and embarrassed (I note that she’s not the one posting here). Bar owner should be more sensitive (I guess that you’ve pegged me, I am indeed a woman). It is his comments, more so than the description of what happened (which is more subject to he said she said), that makes me think that this establishment truly is not welcoming to women. I am thinking twice about going back.

        • HaileUnlikely

          p.s. I’m not arguing with anything else in your original post or in this one; I just don’t think anything offensive was intended nor was reasonable to infer about the use of the word bizarre to describe a situation that most bar staff will never encounter.

          • I agree with Haile. The situation WAS bizarre. A situation being bizarre has nothing to do with a person being bizarre.
            .
            And also, for some reason I thought it was common knowledge that outside drinks aren’t allowed in bars? I’ve heard of this policy many many times before in DC and have certainly spent less time (in years) in DC and at bars than OP and others posting here. Not sure how this isn’t more common knowledge….

      • justinbc

        @KP, you’re misquoting him. Go back and reread how he used the word bizarre. It’s actually used quite properly in this scenario.
        bi·zarre
        bəˈzär/
        adjective
        very strange or unusual, especially so as to cause interest or amusement

        I’m fairly certain most people would describe the situation as outlined by both parties as unusual, and it’s certainly caused interest.

    • Nope, I still haven’t changed my mind that they should have allowed her in and let her keep the breast milk in her purse. It doesn’t matter how the parties treated each other – breast milk is considered a medical substance, in the same category as insulin, and no, I’m not comparing this to not letting a diabetic bring their insulin into a bar; just noting that they are considered the same category and should be treated as such. LMW was in the wrong in that respect.

      • That’s so false

        • I’ve had multiple conversations with security personnel in various situations that say otherwise, but thanks for your well-reasoned rebuttal.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Just to play devil’s advocate, here is the difficulty for the staff: taking what you say at face value, I could put whatever I want in a container that is made for breast milk, assert that it is breast milk [or some other medical substance], and march on past security, no questions asked, because the mechanism by which they can verify its contents does not exist. Checking the contents of people’s bags is a really sh!tty job. Asking them to make exceptions on the basis of unverifiable assertions that “the contents of my container is X, and X is a medical substance, so because X is a medical substance, you have to believe my assertion that the contents of the container really is X” would make it virtually impossible for the guy to do his job.
            .
            I’m absolutely not accusing the OP’s friend of trying to sneak alcohol or illicit drugs past security by disguising it as breast milk. However, I get where the staff are coming from. I do not envy the guy who earns his money checking the contents of peoples’ bags at a bar.

      • If alcohol is brought in that way, the establishment is fscked with ABRA. That’s simply a fact. ABRA *will not say* “oh, the patrons claimed it was breast milk, so therefore the bar is off the hook for allowing outside alcohol into the establishment.” Instead, their license will get dinged.

        • justinbc

          Yeah I have no idea how a bouncer at a bar is supposed to be a qualitative judge of breastmilk vs almond, cow or any other kind. And it’s got to be such a small number of possible instances for a bar with hundreds of people coming in on any given night that it’s not worth them learning.

          • How about by the fact that she had the breast pump with her as well? Breast pump plus small bottle made for holding breast milk seems like a really unlikely rouse to sneak alcohol in. What alcohol even looks like breast milk? There is no ABRA policy against bringing almond milk or cow milk.

            I would honestly like to know how they would treat any other medical substance – insulin, eye drops, etc.

    • It absolutely reeks of entitlement.

  • I know Gregg, Marc and Mark. They are all great guys and I am a fan of Little Miss Whiskey’s. I think their response is absolutely acceptable. It’s really a he said vs she said thing with the comments, but I know Gregg and Marc well enough that Mark is absolutely right, “they don’t talk like that”.

    I would file this under a Post-Nuclear Mombie Apocalypse Freak Out. No mombie, your tit spit is not the most important thing in the world. Yes, ABRA will fine bars for any sort of outside liquids brought in and out. Yes, LMW did what they are supposed to do to try and legally accommodate mombie’s tit spit. No, no-one cares if you and your hive-minded mombies don’t come back to LMWs.

    • So, you see, when you say that “they don’t talk like that” then follow it up with “no-one cares if you and your hive-minded mombies don’t come back” you sort of undermine your authority there……….

  • Nothwithstanding its maudlin appeal to Motherhood, the language of the “rebuttal” tells the tale. Being a person who has to pump breast milk–and therefore carry it with you–is not a “bizarre circumstance.”

  • Screaming that “you will never have another woman in this bar again” is over the top and pathetic. I am glad LMWs owner clarified what happened. And I don’t doubt for one moment that OP and her mommy friend will try to punish LMW in other ways, i.e. Trashing them in social media. I don’t drink alcohol and feel like going there this weekend.

    • As a woman after having read this blog post, I’m glad that the OP has been responsible and brought an issue to our attention. If that is in fact the law, then the law is sexist and should be changed. I was not remotely satisfied by the bar’s answer. Could be the bouncer was an idiot, could be the manager was too – a couple days later, the bar owner should have the balls to man up and apologize to new mom. It’s perfectly reasonable for her to be surprised that she couldn’t bring in her milk, and to be embarrassed and hurt by the exchange – regardless of the letter of the law. Rather than making her feel even worse by commenting on the rudeness of her friends, who likely were just coming to her defense, bar owner should show a little sensitivity and respect. I’m disappointed and won’t be coming back.

      • Screaming “YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER WOMAN IN THIS BAR AGAIN AFTER TODAY” is not “just coming to her defense.”

        But it’s obvious that one side of the story is all you cared about.

        As you go on through your life, I suspect you’re going to spend a lot of time disappointed.

      • I think it’s unreasonable that a bar would have to “apologize” to someone about a law they did not create. Maybe OP should take this up with the government rather than someone who is relatively helpless in changing policy.

  • That’s ridiculous. Little Miss Whiskey’s really does take things too far. I was trying to go there with a friend last week and happened to have half of a tea cake in my bag from earlier in the day. The bouncer said I couldn’t bring it in even though I wasn’t planning on eating it and had in fact forgotten I had it. I don’t throw away perfectly good food as a principle. It feels like such privileged wastefulness to throw away food that could sustain someone somewhere else in the world just to get into a bar.

    It’s their business and they can enforce whatever rule they’d like. But they lost my business because there are a lot of other places in town where I can go and be trusted. We can’t have a trust-based system at the TSA checkpoint but where the most damage I can do is secretly eat my cake in a bar that doesn’t serve food anyway, I don’t want to be policed like that.

    • Something tells me if you’re willing to boycott an establishment over half of a tea cake, you probably weren’t going to go there very often in the first place.

      • I never used the word boycott. That’s way too strong but yeah the idea is that I don’t feel particularly excited to go back. And whether a regular or not, I’m sure they won’t be missing my business because they have plenty. I was simply stating how I’d rather be treated because it wasn’t the first time I went to a bar in DC (have lived in the city for years) with food that I happen to have on me.

    • Their establishment, their rules. No one is entitled to bring in outside food, beverages, or large quantities of liquid (breast milk sans baby or otherwise). If people don’t like their rules on Friday and Saturday nights, then don’t spend any money there. You can vote with your dollars.

      • justinbc

        It’s not really even their rules. They didn’t just make them up, a regulatory body did, and will fine them if they don’t follow them. But won’t someone think of the tea cakes!

        • I actually did say exactly that: They can enforce whatever they want, even if it weren’t ABRA’s (does that include food?!). It’s literally their business!!! I just don’t feel great about going there and wanted to share that with the owners who may be reading. Thanks for your input though.

    • A person who not only has a TEA CAKE in her purse but who also actually forgets that it’s there is probably pretty well-placed to identify privileged wastefulness and speak for someone starving somewhere else.
      .
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA You officially win this thread.

      • RIGHT?! THAT WAS MY THOUGHT TOO.
        Ugh.

      • But the point is that it’s a stupid rule about FOOD, when they don’t even serve food. Sure, it’s their rule. But it’s a damn stupid rule.

        • justinbc

          You have to understand your anger is directed at the wrong subject, right? If you want to write a scathing post about why breast milk should be allowed in bars, do it after attending a DCRA / ABRA meeting where you’ve voiced your concerns and can dictate how well it was received there. Getting mad at someone who’s subject to fines and penalties for trying to avoid those is o_O?

          • DCCRA and ABRA does not actually ban breastmilk. That is just something people are saying over and over again, including the bar owner, without actually looking it up.

          • justinbc

            They ban outside food, under which liquids are classified as a type of food. Nobody said “breast milk is banned”. The broad category is banned, so as not to have to ban EVERY SINGLE POSSIBLE SUBSTANCE. Just because the law doesn’t say tacos specifically are banned doesn’t mean they’re not, because they’re food, and food is banned. I’m not sure why this concept is so hard for you in particular to grasp, but you keep arguing against it. The average person who has never come into contact with breast milk as an adult (statistically most men plus women who haven’t given birth) isn’t going to be able to distinguish it from other types of milk. In this case, if you’re a bouncer, if it looks like a duck it doesn’t matter if it’s a goose, you gotta assume it’s a ducking duck.

          • It’s not worth responding to this Erin character. She even attempted to distort the very clear Tweets from the Office of Human Rights as called out by multiple people at the bottom of this post, so she’s obviously biased here.

      • Either you don’t know what a tea cake is or I don’t because I bought it for $3.25 at Firehook if you must know. It wasn’t air delivered from the Buckingham Palace or anything. Also way to decide whether someone who grew up in a developing country and worked in international aid knows what’s wasteful or not.

        Anyway, thanks for letting me win this thread. I do feel special for making you laugh in all caps.

  • Why are people trying to spin this and make the bar wrong? DC law states ……if it was TSA at Reagan National they wouldn’t bend the rules so why should a bar BREAK THE LAW. The option was extended to keep the container with liquids behind the bar, if that wasn’t an option maybe putting it in the car. One wants to be sympathetic to a mother but this is an arbitrary situation where the staff doesn’t have the flexibility to just say OK. Focus on the facts here not speculation of what could have been potentially said or done.

    • Where does the law state that? Seriously. It doesn’t. This is just a made up fact. You bring up TSA, which allows breastmilk.

  • The experience sounds awful and Mr. Thorp’s response (excuse) is even worse. Apologizing for employees, whether right or wrong, is simply about acknowledging your customer’s experience and why they should patronize your business and has nothing to do with throwing employees “under the bus”. I hope Mr. Thorp learns effective public relations before his business customers leave for good.

    • justinbc

      LMW has been open since 2009 (if I recall correctly), and they’ve had the same IDGAF attitude towards customers as long as I’ve known them. I don’t foresee this being a “come to Jesus” moment for them, nor do I see it having any impact on their bottom line.

  • This is a really great blog post, and I’m grateful to the PO to bringing it to our attention. Interesting comments too – some ill informed, some rational casual observers, and some who speak a bit more passionately – probably the new moms in the world.

    A few thoughts, and a recommendation for the owner.

    1) I find it very hard to believe that DC law applies to bringing breast milk into bars. This just not make sense to me. If TSA allows it, I think that bars should fall into the same category. The fact that they went down the street without a problem makes me think that there is at the very least, no consensus legal opinion out there. I would recommend that the owner double check the legal applicability in this case

    2) IF this is actually the law, and breast milk is not being allowed into bars along with new mothers, then I would say that we live in a pretty sexist society and we have some serious educating that needs to happen and we need to work to change the law. Another poster had an excellent point that breast milk is best, and since this is a public health campaign, our laws should be adjusted to encourage the practice, not punish it.

    3) Regardless of the he said she said here, the owner of the bar needs to apologize. I found his posting to be really out of sync with the sensitivities in this case, and it is that posting that has changed my mind about going out at LMW. Have some common sense and put yourself in new mom’s shoes – she’s going out on the town, is probably completely sleep deprived, and is finally out without the kids. Imagine being denied entry when all you’re trying to do is have a fun night out, and because you don’t feel comfortable leaving your breast milk with a bartender. Pretty reasonable, right? Management here should step up to the plate and apologize. Don’t have to throw your guys under the bus, I get that, but have some good business sense and show yourself to be a human being. Else the outrage will continue.

    • You’ve posted on this thread multiple times. If you care so much about this topic, why don’t you look up the laws yourself? That way you can share your informed opinions instead of your feelings?

    • this seems to be coming from one of the friends – probably one of the three that wrote the Yelp reviews. After reading both sides I agree with an above comment that mentioned they seem to be trying to get worked up over something. They certainly can’t seem to let this go.

      • +1. Just noted that multiple friends wrote in on Yelp. And honestly, if I was looking at Yelp reviews and saw there were three or four comments in a row about this, I would totally discount them. This is really all too much.

    • justinbc

      1) the fact they went down the street simply means that RNR, or some other destination, didn’t check their bags (although according to one of the reviews they stayed and drank at LMW). or that other place is comfortable taking the risk associated with being fined.
      2) yes, of course we live in a pretty overtly sexist society. this trickles through in so many ways that using an arbitrary case like this isn’t even necessary. there are plenty of examples where it’s much more obvious and not matters of contentious law grey areas.
      3) completely disagree. business owners do not have to, nor should they simply apologize to customers based on the old “customer is always right” nonsense. ideas like that are what lead to the claims of “entitlement” that you see repeated in this thread.

  • You can’t expect the world to conform to you. It sounds like you wanted the bar to bend its rules because you feel special or entitled. I would applaud this bar for first, offering a reasonable solution and second, sticking to its policies that are in place for solid reasons.

  • Typical. Tons of people go crazy getting all up in arms after hearing one side of the story.

  • Unfortunate and sad. I don’t have children but I can imagine being humiliated by this situation. A new mom who just wants to go out for a bit like a normal human being, while keeping up with nursing mom duties. Seems like compassion and a little empathy were missing from both the story and the bar owners response. I love DC but it really losing its soul (which this story illustrates).

  • After reading the preceding posts I learned a lot about breastfeeding and breast milk, but I found it extremely disheartening that no one seems to have any sympathy for the security person working the front door. It’s a low wage, thankless, but extremely necessary job. Generally someone working the door is struggling to make ends meet.

    Regardless of breast milk being classified as a medicine, there was no practical way for the security person to verify that it was breast milk and not vodka mixed with just enough milk to hide it.

    Expecting a security person, bartender, or manager at a bar to just trust you isn’t an option. Most people are law abiding citizens, but alcohol, money, and the potential for sexual conquest bring out bad people, and oftentimes the bad in good people.

    It’s sad that a misguided individual would try to publicly shame a person by name and actively work to harm their ability to make a living.

    The OP is the villain in the story. When slightly inconvenienced and offended she lashes out and tries to destroy someone’s reputation and livelihood.

  • I’m glad the owner came out with a solid backing to the two employees’ sides of the story. As someone who’s gone through TIPS training, I fully back any bar’s decision to ban outside beverage and/or food. It’s their establishment, their rules (and the gov’ts). You don’t like em, go home and drink/dance.

  • I really appreciate Little Miss Whiskey responding to these allegations. It seems the war on breast feeding and breast milk is just another reason for people to complain and feel more entitled. I feel like women who are breast feeding are making a bigger deal about it than anyone else. Congratulations, you had a baby. And just like when something great happens in anyone’s life, mostly those in your close circle are the only people who really care.

  • I’m a little ashamed to say that this really bugged me last night and I’m sure it’s because I’m a breastfeeding mom right now. But, if the circumstances were a little different, like if the incident had happened right after work and the woman was just bringing home the milk she pumped that day, would people still say it shouldn’t be allowed? Because that can actually lead to nursing mothers being excluded from networking events and other social/work events like happy hours (which do have a professional function, at least in terms of getting ahead in my office) because they want to feed their kid.

    • justinbc

      If she’s going to a place that regularly checks the bags of anyone coming in and doesn’t allow outside food or liquids, yes. The time of day really isn’t significant to the laws they’re trying to abide by, even if it adds more color to the story / interaction. As her and the owner both noted they offered to store the milk for her, so she wouldn’t necessarily be “excluded”, she just might have to make some choices.

    • HaileUnlikely

      This is a reasonable point, one of the few in this entire discussion in my opinion. That said, maybe I’m just too old or in the wrong line of work, but I’ve never heard of having a professional function at a place that has a guy checking bags at the door, and the ones that are uber-strict about food and drinks (as opposed to simply making sure you aren’t packing a weapon) are likely ones who have already been busted by the ARBA numerous times for various violations of liquor laws, which would seem to me like an especially bad place to hold a professional function.

      • I’m just thinking of the monthly happy hours that we have in my office. We would totally have it in a place like LMW (but it’s not convenient to work, so won’t actually have it there) and I wouldn’t want to request a change of venue because of my breastmilk. Others have mentioned it above, but having a bartender store your breastmilk behind the bar (or anywhere else not in your control) is not a good idea either for the safety of your kid or for the health of other patrons.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I follow. I didn’t mean that I thought a place like LMW would be a bad place for a happy hour because of concerns about bag check / breast milk / etc, I meant that I would think a place that has a need to take special measures to prevent their patrons from sneaking in contraband doesn’t seem like a great place for a professional function generally, for all sorts of reasons unrelated to the bag check. Maybe I’m just too old and/or too square to understand.

          • No, I understood and, frankly, agree with you. But, I don’t organize the hh’s in my office and I think that wouldn’t phase the people that do (including the upper management).

        • west_egg

          Would it be feasible to leave it in the fridge at work, and take it home the next day?

  • I would also like to note that this article was posted on MOTH with a message saying something like “do what you do”. In other words “ATTACK”! Such a one sided post should have never been allowed without at least ABRA’s rules and regs regarding outside liquids if any kids attached or a response from the bar attached. Businesses have to abide by the most insane rules and regs and sometimes that means their patrons do too. If you e got a problem take it up w abra and tell them to include a special clause for breastmilk. But don’t crucify the doorman whose just doing his job or the business that’s following orders.

  • LisaT

    Never been to this place, but I’m going to make it a point to visit now. Sounds like a bunch of mombies making much ado about nothing.

  • The fact that they keep describing the situation as “bizarre” makes me question how respectful they were. There’s nothing bizarre about breast milk, especially if they’re so used to patrons trying to sneak alcohol into the bar in baby bottles.

    And no woman is going to hand over her breast milk to a stranger for “safe keeping”. LMW handled this really poorly.

    • You’re purposely misrepresenting the bar’s statement. It was a “bizarre” situation for the doorman to encounter on a busy Friday or Saturday night. This place is packed with young 20-somethings getting absolutely blitzed and dancing. It’s not a haven for breastfeeding mothers on crazy weekend nights. The situation is “bizarre” in that they’ve never encountered this circumstance and probably never will again. And yes, people are trying to sneak in booze and all other sorts of illegal substances into bars on weekend nights. Hence the strict security.
      Had these women stopped by LMWs on a quiet Wednesday, their bag would have never been searched. There is no personal animus here to mothers or breastfeeding; there is simply the matter of the law and the bar’s requirement to following the (overly strict) regulations on outside consumables.

  • Re: Mark’s response. Classic men trying to discredit and invalidate women when they express the gendered microagressions they experience. Unfortunately, he’ll probably be believed because the patriarchy is alive and well (i.e., people are more willing to believe that women serve to personally benefit from telling their painful stories of sexism more than they are willing to believe that sexism is still pervasive; also, people more willing to believe that a woman, esp a new mom, is emotional and exaggerating than believe what she actually has to say).

    • justinbc

      Believe it or not, some men are indeed capable of forming opinions without taking the genders of the parties involved into account.

    • Gendered microaggressions? Really? And this is a “painful story of sexism?” OK.

      • Listen, I get that “gendered microaggressions” is an eye-roller of a phrase, but the point is valid. 100+ comments supporting the women, until a man piped up. At which point some switched their support to him, and some were encouraged and emboldened to remind women AGAIN just how unimportant we and our biological functions are. We hear this a lot. It’s hard not to see patterns.

        • I suppose, but I tend to look at this as bar owner v. disgruntled patron, as opposed to man v. woman. And where you see “a man piped up and everyone agreed with him,” I see 250 comments based on one side of the story, and then someone offered an account of the other side (not an anonymous commenter, but someone with a stake in the outcome). Some people revised their positions based on additional information (including the yelp rants, which don’t really help the cause). That the additional information came from a man isn’t important point – it’s that it came from the bar owner. Put another way, I think it’s a useful exercise to think about whether the reaction would have been the same if the bar owner had been Marcie, instead of Mark. I think it would have been.

          • You could make that case for every circumstance where a woman’s view is given less credence than a man’s. Guy gets credit for an idea that a woman had 20 minutes earlier in the same meeting? He just had better timing. Woman is raped, people ask what she was wearing/ was she drunk/ what time of night was it. And of course, any time the female end of human reproduction comes in to the conversation, we get such gems as tit spit, crotch droppings, etc. A dad who takes his kid to the park is dad of the year. A woman who does it is blocking the sidewalk with her stupid SUV stroller and her entitlement. (I had an umbrella stroller. Smallest one on the market. Still heard about how I was taking up too much room. My husband never heard it ONCE. Just lots of approbation about what a great dad he was to be out with his kids.)
            You don’t have to accept it in this case, (or ever, really) but this unrelenting contempt is real, and it comes in many forms, and it sort of piles up.

          • justinbc

            @WDC, no doubt it’s uneven treatment from society, but I think the characterization that everyone (or anyone) shifted their viewpoints on this particular subject because a man came to “set the story straight”, or however you want to view it, is presumptuous, at best. There was no shortage of people already questioning her due to her own account, long before Mark ever chimed in. And if it’s true that it was posted to a mommy-blog for the purpose of riling up the masses, who knows how many of the pro-comments were really considering the full story vs following orders, as they make it sound. I think (or would like to) most of the regular readers on this site of stories like these are accustomed to withholding judgment until both sides have been received, and then doing their best to come to a reasonable conclusion of what might have actually happened, given that none of us were there. But of course there are many who come into it with minds made up, the super-mom defenders and the stop-all-breeding protesters without a doubt, in which case anything Mark or anyone else said isn’t going to make or break their opinion. And then you’ve got the Millennial-complainers, even though nobody knows this woman’s age. So yeah, I would say this thread played out just about exactly how you would expect it to.

          • @wdc +10000000

          • @wdc – I agree with all of what you said, but I’m not sure what any of it has to do with this particular instance.
            .
            I agree with Justin that “the characterization that everyone (or anyone) shifted their viewpoints on this particular subject because a man came to “set the story straight”,” is off base. And I find the suggestion that anyone who remotely revises their position on this dispute based on the posting of the bar owner is comparable to someone who attacks a rape victim for what she was wearing to be pretty offensive.
            .
            You’re a pretty analytical person – what would you think of a person who forms an initial impression of an incident with one side reporting it, and when subsequent information comes out refuses to even consider the new information, based on the gender of the person who provided it? I think you’d view that person as intellectually dishonest – but you’re taking the exact opposite position here.
            .
            It’s perfectly defensible to say you don’t believe the bar manager, and still support the OP, or vice versa. But the suggestion that anyone who does credit the bar manager’s account is only doing so because he’s a man is completely without support.

  • The entitlement here is staggering. Being a mother does not mean that everyone should bend the rules for you. Motherhood and breastfeeding are not disabilities subject to accommodation, they are choices that should make you consider your plans and activities. Breastmilk is not medicine, it’s FOOD. You don’t deserve worship or special treatment. You’re a mom. Just like all the others. Plan accordingly next time. And if your breastmilk is so scarce and precious that it cannot be left in the hands of some bartender while you’re getting your swerve on, you’re underproducing and should consider formula. It’s not poison.

    – Signed, mother who pumped breastmilk for three children.

  • I still don’t understand why so many people think that the actions of this new mom are entitled. I used to pump milk at work and carry it home with me. Probably a few times I stopped at a restaurant or maybe even a bar on my way home. If this had happened to me I would have been humiliated. Pumping milk to feed to a baby is an extremely common, everyday occurrence. That is why is it so surprising that one would not be allowed to bring the milk into a bar. Not because it is something special that she should be entitled to, but because it’s happening all the time!

    The owner’s response solidified me on team new mom. It was really derogatory towards the women. Putting her “friends” in quotes for no reason, calling it bizarre (that’s a loaded word whatever the dictionary definition,) pointing out that someone else called them bitches, pointing out that one of them shouted something about no woman ever going there again, which to be honest, don’t drunk people on H Street shout entitled things all the time? They’re drunk. You run a bar. You should be used to dealing with drunk people shouting things that don’t make sense. Anyway, bar own, step up and admit that the way this unfolded resulted in your customers being offended and hurt. That is what you should apologize for.

    Maybe ABRA actually needs to make clear whether or not breast milk qualifies as what others have called a medical liquid, and whether or not bars need to make allowances for that in their rules. But then I guess sales of breast pumps are going to skyrocket, all these people desperate to bring in outside liquor in tiny 5 ounce milk storage bottles are going to need some cover for their made-up breast milk stories.

    • +1. The owner’s response does LMW no favors. Comes across as lacking class, making excuses, and attacking the women. At most, they should’ve said something like “We disagree with the patron’s characterization of the events, but we’d like to welcome her back at any time for a drink on the house to make things right.”

  • Interesting…

    We had an issue involving breast feeding a block from their in a restaurant a few years back. We were basically forced to leave because we were told they could not accommodate my wife’s need for privacy. Showing her breast to the entire restaurant was just not something she was comfortable doing and she needed to nurse a hungry newborn.

    I guess if you are a nursing mother, you should just stay at home. Your life of enjoying time out with friends is over. Motherhood is something to be hidden. At least this is the message I am hearing.

    Even TSA (which we all hate) does accommodate breast milk through security! Maybe some training with them is needed for the staff on H Street.

    • Well, it sounds like they didn’t have a private spot for you to use that was to your liking. There’s the bathroom or the dining room of the restaurant. Most restaurants in busy urban areas do not have non-public spaces available that could accommodate your individualized preferences. It’s your issue, if it’s not to your liking. I think expecting that a restaurant, bar, deli, dry cleaners, hardware store, or any other place with relatively fast turnover of patrons is a bridge too far, especially in area with high real estate costs.

    • It’s a puzzling argument to request that an establishment “accommodate [your] wife’s need for privacy,” then suggest that it’s the *establishment* implying “Motherhood is something to be hidden.”
      .
      Everyone I know who’s breast-feeding uses a big bib or breastfeeding blanket designed for privacy-in-public. Baby eats, and mom avoids being uncomfortable. Highly recommended if you and your wife have another little dude/dudette.

    • Wait, this is not the same thing AT ALL. In what way did you think the restaurant could accommodate you? If your wife wasn’t comfortable nursing in the open, why did she go to a public place without a drape?

    • I’m a mom who nursed in public and I’m actually a little confused by this – did your wife expect a private room in the restaurant to feed the baby? I think they are legally required to allow you to breastfeed in the restaurant, but I don’t think they’re required to give you a private room in which to do so. I agree overall with your stance, but in this specific case she should have used a cover up if that made her feel more comfortable nursing in the restaurant, but since you said this was a few years ago, it’s not really useful advice at this point.

    • You do realize that the law protects your wife’s right to feed her child in public, however, it does not require that she be provided a private spot in which to do so, right? If your wife was uncomfortable nursing in public, then fine; but it’s not up to the world to accommodate her as an individual.

  • Clearly this woman has never worked in the bar industry… You cannot bring any liquid into a bar. If the bartender offered to keep it behind the bar, then this woman should have done so. She had to put it in coat check at RNR because NO liquid is allowed in with a patron. LMW doesn’t have that accommodation. Any bar could lose their liquor lisence because of someone’s ignorance.
    For her to walk into a bar so entitled just because you’re a mom bringing brest milk into a bar is ridiculous. Couldn’t she have left it elsewhere? If you are going to go out to bars, you should think twice about bringing any liquid with you. I’m sure this lady also exaggerated her story because, well, that’s what entitled people do. I don’t care what your story or circumstances are when you come out to enjoy yourself, but please do not be a scumbag like this lady and her friends.

    • Where did it say she had to put it at coat check at RNR?

      • 5th paragraph… Said she had to check it. It would be put in the coat check

        • Now that I reread it, I’m curious as to if she “checked it in” coat check or if they just looked. Either way, usually the policy there is if you have any liquid they will “courtesy check” it, so you don’t have to pay

          • Really tired of hearing the word entitled. It keeps coming up. Guys, and I do mean guys, this is a problem.

  • FYI I actually emailed ABRA about this and they didn’t really clear up the situation. They said that it’s up to each bar or restaurant to set rules on which non-alcoholic beverages are allowed to be brought in, and recommended I contact the DC Office of Human Rights for laws specific to breastfeeding and ‘associated rights.’

    • DC Office of Human Rights tweeted last night at LMW that breastmilk is protected.

      • C’mon, you don’t help the cause by misrepresenting the statement.
        The tweet said that breastfeeding and pumping is protected. It then says that the law is unclear on carrying breastmilk, and that they are unable to provide further advice without legal review.
        Of course, if the law is unclear, then the bar management could have scrounged up a little principled compassion and allowed the breastmilk in, then stood up to ABRA if it became an issue and gotten themselves a crazy amount of positive publicity. Missed opportunity, in exchange for this bullshit.

        • The problem with that is that standing up to ABRA could result in a suspension or revocation of their license.

        • Maybe I am reading the bar’s response incorrectly. Obviously this is one side of the story, but

          “He offered to keep the milk safe behind the bar (yes, “safe”, because contrary to evident suspicions we do not harbor any desire to tamper with someone’s breast milk ”

          I read this that LMW offered to make reasonable accommodations to the woman regarding appropriate legal storage of breast milk while the patron was on premises.

          If I were in a party with a woman carrying her breast milk, and the manager politely said, “I’m sorry, we have a rule about outside liquids, however, I will happily provide you storage for your breast milk while you are in this bar.” I would feel this is absolutely reasonable.

          • But that’s not actually reasonable accommodation. She wouldn’t be able to use the breast milk after leaving it behind the bar … chain of custody, this is her kids we’re talking about. While I’m sure that the bar wouldn’t have any desire to tamper with it per se, there’s a lot going on behind a bar, and would make any mother uncomfortable using it later.

      • Actually, what they said was, “Law says women allowed to breastfeed or pump milk anytime, anywhere; less clear on carrying it in.”

      • Who’s checking breast milk to ensure it is in fact breast milk? Should LMW take the word of everyone who walks in with a container of liquid and says it’s breast milk? If that’s the case everyone will be headed to LMW with their a White Russians…I mean breast milk.

    • Blithe

      Since the OP is an attorney, I wonder why she chose to contact PoPville, and Yelp, and Washingtonian — instead of say, working to clarify any relevant laws and policies, and working further to ensure that these laws and policies are consistently understood and implemented by DC establishments? What is happening is narcissistic rage trumping a more constructive way to address a genuine concern. That’s my take on it, anyway.

      • I completely agree with you. The response from these women is unproductive and malicious. Reminds me of mean girls.

        • I think that the bar’s comments were pretty inflammatory. If this had happened to me, and the bar owner responded in that way, I would probably continue to feel hurt and harassed as well.

      • +10000

      • “What is happening is narcissistic rage trumping a more constructive way to address a genuine concern.”
        .
        + a million. This should be the PoPville motto. Extremely well said.

  • A lot of people have talked about the lack of perspective of a nursing mother, but if you all remember, Mark Thorpe is the same guy that had his dog impounded by the DC police after an illegal search and seizure of his home. It does not surprise me, at all, that someone who is targeted by the police would have very strict rules as it relates to his businesses within the district, especially when the law is termed by the regulating bodies as a grey area.

    I think you all need to get over the fact that the bar followed a law conservatively, and be more proactive and request that the laws be clarified by the DC council. I don’t understand why you can’t have the conversation without all the outrage.

    • First person pointing out what I think is the single most important detail. If I were Mark Thorp (I’m not), I’d be so f’ing paranoid about ABRA running bullshit stings to hit me with nonsense violations.

  • bar still seems in the wrong on this one. obviously the owner reaches out and spins it so it seems like his employees did nothing bad. guess i’ll think twice before going there

  • wow, all this hoopla because of embarrassment. bars can’t allow liquid in.

  • The whole situation is unfortunate, and hopefully everyone can learn from this experience. We need to contact ABRA and have them update their policies to address breast milk. Common sense says that no woman is going to carry around a breast pump just so she can trick a bouncer into thinking she’s carrying breast milk. Pumps are expensive! However, we can’t leave this to random bouncers judgements, there needs to be guidance from ABRA.

  • Breastmilk and Teacakes,
    Backgammon cheapskates,
    Pop-ups and parking and bicycle road-snakes
    Dogs that are tied up outside of a shop,
    These are a few of my favorite Pops!

    (Sing to the obvious tune. I just want this to hit 400 comments!)

  • Ok. I have many of girlfriends who are currently pumping so understand the need to keep that gold mine in your bag once you pump, but what part of no outside food or drink is misunderstood? And why not take them up on keeping the goods behind the bar in the fridge when offered? As a woman I will continue to go to LMW and dance my a$$ off because it’s awesome.

  • i dj here all the time and have known most of the staff for years. some of the nicest people i’ve known/worked with. this was definitely blown out of proportion. rules are rules. i play at rock and roll and the staff there are amazing as well. sorry that one bar checked your bag (i mean, you are on h street FFS) and found liquid. things happen in dc, this isn’t arlington (where you’re more likely to get puked on rather than physically assaulted), unfortunate stuff happens. upstairs gets really packed, you have to take every safety precaution. i can definitely see the type of person to cause this bullsh*t aka the new dc. you guys are ruining nightlife in dc. you don’t like rules? go back to a-town/don tito’s/wherever you spend $100 on fireball. you got your privilege checked at the door, and now you’re mad. get over it.

  • I think this is a bunch of silliness. Don’t demonize a business for one incident. I’ve been to LMW several times, and have met the owner a few times – he seems like a very nice guy.

    Yes, it’s silly not to allow breast milk inside a bar. Just as it’s silly that I can’t get into a bar without my ID when I’m almost 40 years old. But the law is the law, and a policy is a policy, so when I have to go back home to get my ID – that’s what I do.

  • So torn. I hate babies. And I hate H Street.

Comments are closed.