Strict Policy For 4 Establishments Owned By Animal Lover And Vegetarian

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As we head into the winter you might be tempted to wear fur. Well, you better not at a handful of Manhattan bars. The owner has banned fur.

No, really.

As CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reports, you better be ready to drop it at the door.

They are like any other bars in Manhattan. At any time you’ll see drinks on tap and patrons having a toast.

But if you happen to be wearing fur — good luck getting past general manager Tim Bassett.

“We have a no-fur policy,” Bassett said.

Bassett runs the the Toy Company on Norfolk Street and Revision on Avenue B, among four Manhattan establishments owned by animal lover and vegetarian Johnny Barounis, whose businesses have a strict no-pelt policy.

“He doesn’t want to be involved in anything that stems from animal abuse. He’s rescued animals during Hurricane Katrina. I actually saw him run down Norfolk Street and actually rescue a dog that was hit,” Bassett said.

On busy nights, there’s a doorman at the entrances asking patrons point blank if they’re wearing fur. And if they are, well, they can’t come in.

Giselle Hernandez of Los Angeles was lucky to be wearing her fake fur when CBS 2’s Dennis caught up with her inside the Toy Company on Tuesday night.

“I think it’s a little extreme,” she said.

“And I don’t think that that many people come into the place with a fur, so …” added Dimitry Sokolow of Paris.

What you will find inside Revision, for example, is vintage, recycled furniture like chairs made of used skis, turntables retrofitted into a Lincoln Continental and couches from old caskets.

Then there’s a secret door to the infamous “back room,” where there is plenty to keep fur-free patrons coming back.

“While we may lose some business, I still think we gain on the other end,” Bassett said.

And just in case, there is a coat check with hangers that will hold anything — but fur.

Patrons are given the chance to take their furs to their car, or leave them outside with friends. In addition, party reservations are made with the disclaimer, no furs allowed.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (22)
  1. Alexandra Kuvaldina says:


  2. Linda Ann Gray says:

    MR. BASSETT: I salute you. Your compassion for the furry co-inhabitors of this earth is commendable. Thank you.

  3. Danny says:

    This sounds like discrimination to me. What if I opened a bar and told the customers “No beards or skinny jeans”? The owner is discriminating against a certain lifestyle and he is wrong in doing so. What if the person wearing the fur is an immigrant of eastern European decent? Fur is very common among these people. It not fashion for them. I hope the ACLU fights him.

    1. Michael H. says:

      So restaurants with dress codes are discriminating against people? There are already dozens of bars in Manhattan that do not allow hats, shorts, etc. There are restaurants where you must be wearing a jacket and tie. This is not a new kind of policy. It’s just a variation on something that has been done for years.

      1. M. Aronson says:

        Nicely said, Michael. Thank you.

    2. TJD says:

      It’s not fashion for them? You gotta be kidding. They can go to the bar next door. Descrimination? Skinny jeans and beards don’t abuse and hurt animlas but fur trimmed coats and fur coats do.

  4. TomNJ says:

    Banning fur – lol – Give me a break. This is just another way to get more customers by pretending to care about animals and make tree hugging types feel smug and self righteous as they get loaded. Believe me, if for any reason, he finds out he will to lose money over this, he will change his policy in a minute. Nice ploy, though. Good gimmick.

    1. TJD says:

      It’s not a ploy or a gimmic. He believes in not hurting and using animail fur in vain. He is not advertizing it or using this to generate buisiness, it’s just his strong belief. I’m sure your passionate about something too and if you could instill it in something you owned, I hope you would. Try to understand it instead of knocking it. How on earth would it make him money?? Especially when her is not advertising it and/or using it as a marketing tool? lol…really?

      1. TomNJ says:

        By this story and word of mouth that is “if you love animals – go to his bar – he loves them too”. That’s how it attracts customers and makes him money.

  5. joey of B'hurst says:

    Since this is on the Lower East Side, how do they cope with the rat problem?

  6. BarOnBlock says:

    Well i’m going to forbid jews in my bar because i think they are cruel. Guess it’s the same, right?

    1. Michael H. says:

      This is one of the most idiot things I have read here in a long time.

      1. Michael H. says:


        1. TJD says:

          Seriously idiotic.

  7. M. Aronson says:

    I am so impressed by this story that I just had to share it at Facebook. I wish that all restaurant owners would follow Johnny Barounis’ lead by having the same rule. Bravo!

    To answer Robert HP, there is still a huge difference between the fur and leather trades. Although vegans won’t wear leather at any time for any purpose, it is still just a by-product of the meat trade. The fur industry, on the other hand, kills animals only for their fur. Sometimes that killing is done extremely painfully and/or via long-lasting torture, such as leg-hold traps, which can take a long time to kill the animal (if the animal doesn’t chew off it’s own leg to try to escape first.) Did you know that in Asia and parts of Europe, cats and dogs are also killed in the cruelest manners possible (I’ll spare our readers the truly gruesome details) to obtain their fur?

    With modern fur substitutes that are 100% blood-free and cruelty-free, there is never ever ANY excuse any more to wear fur. The new substitutes are as warm and as beautiful as the real thing.

    I sincerely hope to see more business owners follow Johnny’s lead by forbidding fur in their establishments!

    1. SoTired says:

      couldn’t have said it better myself..

    2. TJD says:

      All is right on and accurate. Thank you M. Aronson

  8. Robert HP says:

    Does the owner also ban leather?

    1. sb says:

      freaking awesome question!

    2. Michael H. says:

      First question that popped into my head. Although cow hides are generally from cows that were slaughtered for their meat. Same goes for lambskin. I own a lambskin jacket that I have no qualms wearing because I know the animal was used for its meat.

      When it comes to fur, does anybody actually eat mink?

      1. Yukon Cornelius says:

        I enjoyed mink cutlets in gravy over the holidays.

        1. Michael H. says:

          That must taste really gamey…

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