What to Know
- A New York bar is under fire after refusing to serve a man who would not take off his 'Make America Great Again' hat
- The man under the hat Dion Cini posted a video of the incident at Jake's Dilemma. The bar responded saying it welcomes all political views.
- Cini has a history of being banned and booted from places for waving Trump merch, and says he is often denied service due to his MAGA hat
A Trump supporter with a history of being booted and banned from establishments for Trump-related stunts is back in the news -- this time being kicked out of a Manhattan bar after refusing to take off his "Make America Great Again" hat.
Now the bar in question has issued a statement on the incident, saying the employee who refused to serve the Trump supporter was wrong to do so, and that employee is being disciplined and retrained.
Dion Cini was asked to leave Upper West Side joint Jake’s Dilemma last Wednesday after he says he had been in the bar about an hour and had consumed three beers and some of a plate of fish-and-chips.
He said a female bartender had been serving him, and when a new bartender started his shift he saw them whispering together and looking at him. “I knew what was going to happen so I started recording. I’ve been refused service before in New York City but I've never had service when they've taken my money and then kicked me out before I finished my food,” he said.
In Cini’s video, he is seen getting into an argument with the bartender about leaving the bar. The bartender reaches for Cini’s phone, and they have words.
“You won’t serve me because I’m wearing my hat, right?” Cini says in the video. The bartender replies, “Right.” Cini replies, “It’s a Trump hat, right?....It’s because the hat is red? You hate America?” Security calls police and Cini is escorted from the bar. Video of the incident has been viewed on Facebook more than 90,000 times.
The New York-based Trump supporter said he often wears a Trump hat or other Trump clothing and has been denied service from places in the city about a dozen times, but was bothered that he was served and then denied, and that they ran his card without permission.
"Denying service is OK, I get it, your bar, your restaurant -- you call the shots. But if you accept service and then kick me out, then it’s a problem,” he said.
Cini said he was also kicked out of another New York bar for the same reason, but they picked up his $200 tab.
Bar owners, managers and bartenders are legally allowed to refuse service to those wearing MAGA hats, a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge ruled last year, after a man sued over a being denied drinks at bar The Happiest Hour. However, Jake’s Dilemma issued a statement Saturday saying it welcomes customers of all “beliefs and affiliations.”
“We do fully acknowledge that one of our employees took it upon himself to wrongly promote his political views. We can assure everyone that this employee has been disciplined and will be retrained before being allowed to serve at Jake’s Dilemma,” it said on Facebook.
Speaking with NBC 4 Monday, bar owner Mitchell Banchik said Cini also made anti-Semitic comments and was being too loud. He said he was kicked out for those reasons, however the bartender did also address the MAGA hat, which Banchik said he shouldn't have done. Cini responded saying those claims were "100 percent false."
Cini has a history of making the news for his very public Trump fandom. Last November he was permanently banned from Walt Disney World for holding a “Trump 2020” sign on Splash Mountain, just weeks after hanging a similar banner elsewhere in the Magic Kingdom. He said he is also the man who unfurled a ‘Trump 2020’ flag during the curtain call of "Frozen the Broadway Musical” last September, having it snatched from his hands by Pabbie the wise troll, played by Timothy Hughes.
Cini said he is motivated to keep wearing his Trump gear because he is bothered by the comments he gets when he wears it. “I’m an American and a lot of people tell me to get out, I don't belong here, they do it to me every day. I call it, “Resist the resisters.”