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Swank NY restaurant said to ban solo females from bar on "call girl" concerns

Jodi Kantor talks cost of sexism on women

A creative executive's account of being told she could no longer eat alone at the bar of an upscale Manhattan restaurant due to a crackdown on prostitutes is prompting an outcry on Yelp and elsewhere.

In an essay published Tuesday and entitled "The Night I was mistaken for a Call Girl," London resident Clementine Crawford relays how she has for years frequently dined at the bar of a Madison Avenue eatery while in New York on business. 

During a recent visit, Crawford describes being ushered to a table and told nobody is allowed to eat at the bar anymore. Then, after spotting a man perched at her favorite spot, eating a meal, Crawford inquired further, learning the owner had ordered a crackdown on hookers and he could run his business as he pleased.  

"All these years we have been battling for a room of one's own; and, little did we know it, but we are still fighting for a seat at the table (or bar, to be strictly accurate)," she wrote. 

While Crawford did not identify the restaurant, and could not be reached for comment, she told Page Six it was Nello, a pricey Italian restaurant known for being frequented by celebrities including Beyoncé and Sarah Jessica Parker. 

Nello did not respond to an emailed request for comment, and the person who answered the restaurant's phone declined comment. 

Multiple reviews on Yelp soon offered comment in the wake of Crawford's story, however. 

One reviewer wrote: "If you want pasta with a side of sexism, eat here..." Another Yelper expressed hope that Nello would amend its policy, saying: "I eat alone at NYC bars all the time, and relish the fact that I've earned the right with my hard work to spoil myself.  I can't imagine this happening in any of the places I frequent." 

Read jean b.'s review of Nello on Yelp

The restaurant was also called out on Twitter, including calls urging its customers to eat elsewhere.