A discrimination lawsuit against West Village burger and cocktail bar The Happiest Hour for allegedly denying service to a man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat just took another turn.
The Daily News reports that Greg Piatek — the Philly man who claimed that the bar wouldn’t serve him because of his hat — now says his MAGA gear was not a political statement, but part of his “spiritual beliefs,” according to the suit.
Piatek claims that he wore the hat, which was sold as campaign gear from President Donald Trump, when he went to visit the September 11 memorial as part of a “spiritual expression,” the suit says. It goes on:
it is Plaintiff’s sinere belief [sic] that the hat is representative of a set of closely held spiritual asprirations and convictions that entirely transcend the political realm. For Plaintiff, the hat is religious as a tangible expression of his personal commitment to achieving those spiritual aspirations.
The suit further argues that Piatek is part of a protected class, specifically one related to religious and spiritual belief. The argument came after the bar’s attorney said that political beliefs aren’t protected by discrimination law.
In March, Piatek sued the hot spot, alleging that staff refused to serve him in January because of his hat. He claims that a bartender called him “a terrible human being” and would not serve him. In August, The Happiest Hour shot back in court saying that despite Piatek’s claims, they had receipts saying that the man spent nearly $190 at the bar — and left an approximately 20 percent tip.
In light of the new “religiosity” argument, The Happiest Hour still isn’t backing down in the discrimination lawsuit. The bar’s attorney tells the Daily News: "The plaintiff's arguments are entirely fanciful. There is zero case law to support them. This latest filing shows once again that this action is a publicity stunt in the guise of lawsuit."