What This Bouncer Said to a Mom With Pumped Breast Milk in Her Purse Will Appall You
It was Whitney Bakke's first night out after giving birth to twins four months earlier, and any parent can tell you: that's a momentous occasion to be celebrated. Unfortunately, the staff at Little Miss Whiskey's bar in Washington DC weren't nearly as welcoming.
Before entering the establishment, a bouncer searched Bakke's bag and found a small bottle of breast milk she'd just pumped. He took one look at the bottle and the pumping supplies and told her she couldn't take it inside. She laughed, thinking he was joking.
"No disrespect for your condition," he said, according to a letter written by the mom's friend, first published in a local blog, PoPville. "But this is a bar. Why would you bring that here? It's weird."
As insulting as his response might be, he explained to Bakke that the DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration prohibits patrons from bringing outside drinks into the bar. In fact, the stipulation agreed upon by Little Miss Whiskey's ensures that "no patron bring alcohol" – exceptions such as breast milk are not mentioned specifically. Although it was near impossible that the bar would incur a violation – DC law allows for women to pump in public – for allowing someone to bring breast milk inside, he – and the bar's manager – refused to budge.
Even a manager and the bar's owner, Mark Thorp, thought the mom's issue was "absurd" and, in an email statement, defended his employee's handling of what he called "a bizarre circumstance."
Eventually, the bar offered to keep the breast milk behind the bar, but by that point, Bakke and her friends moved on to another bar. When the bouncer at the Rock and Roll Hotel searched the mom's bag and found the bottle of milk, he simply let her in.