A man is suing New York’s St. Regis hotel after being forcibly removed from the venue’s iconic King Cole Bar, Law360 reports.
Andy Simon, who was escorted from the bar by security, says he was discriminated against for wearing what the upscale club considered inappropriate attire.
Simon, described in the formal complaint as “an openly gay black man of West Indian descent,” was carrying a clutch and wearing long black silk Givenchy shirt, Alexander McQueen evening shoes, and a Rick Owens silk scarf. He was also wearing makeup, including foundation and mascara.
After he was served a drink, the bar manager allegedly approached Simon and demanded that he leave immediately without explanation. Security then escorted him out, “humiliating Simon in the process,” according to the complaint.
To prove a point, Simon returned to the bar in a men’s tuxedo and received much better treatment.
The following day, he met with the manager at the King Cole Bar, and they reviewed video surveillance footage from the previous evening. The bar manager apologized in writing and offered Simon a complimentary meal and drink at the King Cole.
Simon, who filed his complaint earlier this year, has now petitioned the court to reverse a New York State Division of Human Rights’ ruling that stated there was no probable cause to believe the St. Regis discriminated against him on the basis of his sexual orientation.
His attorney, D. Christopher Mason, argued that Simon provided plenty of evidence that he was treated differently due, in part, because he was a gay man.
“Their thinking [at the St. Regis] was that Mr. Simon was removed from the hotel because he was not appropriately dressed,” Mason said. “The St. Regis had a sign saying ‘appropriate attire required,’ but they had no written dress code. They were the sole judge as to what would be considered appropriate attire.”
The St. Regis Hotel has declined to comment.