As the #metoo movement continues to gain steam with chefs being outed for their misbehavior seemingly every hour on the hour, local restaurants and bars are taking action. Earlier this week Bad Wolf Coffee, owned by Jonathan and Sara Ory, announced it would discontinue the use of Four Barrel coffee following a lawsuit against the roaster’s founder for sexual misconduct. And now Commonhouse Aleworks (4831 O’Hear Ave.), the newest North Charleston brewery, is joining the discussion.
Illustrator Alison Ross posted a hand lettered sign on Instagram that Commonhouse Aleworks commissioned her to make. It reads:
“Hi, I’m Angela, are you on a date that isn’t working out? Do you feel like you are NOT in a safe situation? Is your Tinder date not who they said they were in their profile? If you go to the bar and ask for ‘Angela,’ the bar staff will discreetly help you get out of your situation.” The verbiage was taken from other bars participating in the Ask Angela movement, a code word system designed to allow women to get out of threatening situations. As a reaction to conservative estimates that 25 percent of women have sexually assaulted and the fact that 50 percent of “all violent crimes, including sexual assault, involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, the victim, or both” many bars across the country have posted similar signage to help patrons out.
“Part of our whole business is welcoming all and making sure everybody feels comfortable at our establishment,” says Commonhouse co-owner Hank Hanna. “I don’t even remember who brought it up, but my business partner Pearce said ‘Hey have you guys heard of this movement? I think it would be great if we put information that way in the same way.'” Hanna says the staff all agreed it was a great idea and adds that all of the employees at Commonhouse will be trained to help someone who asks to for Angela.
“We will help in any way we can. We’ll escort them out through the kitchen door into the brewery, bypassing the taproom so they can leave the property or it may mean taking someone aside and assessing the situation and asking someone to leave the property,” says Hanna.
The property has three restrooms — men’s, women’s, and unisex, and the signs will be posted in the women’s and unisex.
“Guys aren’t typically having to deal with the harassment, so we’re not feeling the need to give them the sign,” Hanna adds.
The brewery owner adds that they didn’t decide to put up the signs to get pats on the back. Instead he says, “Were doing this so people feel comfortable being at our establishment.”
Commonhouse Aleworks unlocked its doors Wed. Jan. 10. It’s grand opening is this Sat. Jan. 13 beginning at 10 a.m. The party will include music from Derek Cribb, Danny Madison & Tumbleweed, and the Danielle Howle Band as well as food available from Brunch Holiday, BKeD SHoP, Short Grain, Wich Cream, and Dough Boyz Pizza Co.