Chauvinists & Caesars Don’t Mix at Cocktail Competition in St. John’s

The Fifth Ticket took the top 2 places, and one contestant lost their job.

The Ship Pub hosted this year’s regional Caesar Competition, an annual event sponsored by Motts Clamato. The winner, Heather Rose of The Fifth Ticket, will be representing our fair city in the Motts Best Caesar in Town National Competition on November 20th

Besides the obvious boost to their bartending resumes and free trip to Toronto, this event is also a chance  for entrants to get to know other bartenders and share skills. The crowd was small, tight knit, and very interested in all the details of the extra special Caesars the bartenders devised, in hopes of bringing the tomato red trophy home. Any amateur mixologist would enjoy this crowd and the tricks being shared. The downtown core of the city was represented by bars including Merchant Tavern and Beir Markt.

Merchant's rep (left) and winner (right)
Merchant’s rep (left) and regional winner Heather Rose (right)

Fifth Ticket Takes Top Two Prizes

Fifth Ticket took not only 1st place, with Heather’s win, but also 2nd place, which went to Andrew Dawe, their second representative. A colourful presentation from Klondike Jake’s reminded me that the Village Mall is still an option in life. If other staff is as fun as she was, Klondike’s might just be a hidden gem in that part of town.

Defending champ Lyndsey Hamen of The Ship may have lost the battle this year, but her unique Winter Caesar, featuring pickled beet garnish, juniper berry sea salt rim, and iceberg ice was a tasty ode to Newfoundland . The diversity was impressive in the entries.

Ship Management Step in As Male Contestant Heckles Female Journalist

Where The Ship took top honors in this year’s event was in helping a journalist do her job in a calm and professional fashion while being harassed.

As someone who often photographs events at the Ship, I stand on the back bench to shoot, raising myself a little above the crowd to make up for my shortish stature. A male Bier Markt contestant and his 2 companions, a middle-aged couple who could have put any crazed hockey mom to shame, began to harass me, as they felt I was blocking their view.

I attempted to explain I was with a local paper and covering the event, sanctioned by both The Ship and the organizers, and that I would be out of their way as quickly as I could. I simply needed to be in this spot to do my job.

This was where it began to get ugly, with degrading comments and thinly veiled threats. At first I attempted to ignore them. I’ve never been treated this way before, and didn’t want to let bad energy get in the way of getting work done.

I became more frightened as the bullying kept up and I was told repeatedly to “go back to my barstool” as “chicks who dress like you aren’t real press,” and “you’re not welcome here, no one cares about you.”

It had become psychopathic so I quietly spoke to an owner of The Ship and we decided it was best to photograph from behind the bar and deal with the events after the competition had been successfully completed.

Bier Markt Respectfully Issue Apology and Fire the Man for His Actions

A great time was had by contestants and judges alike and it was a joy to see Heather’s face when she took the trophy.

The judges enjoying the show
The judges enjoying the show

The next day I contacted Bier Markt general manager Lindsay Klyne for comment before making any judgments on the establishment . It’s new, and finding its feet right now in the city, and I’d like to give any new business in the current economic climate the benefit of the doubt. It’s tough times, and I feel a little solidarity with anyone trying to offer more to the city is a good thing.

Contacting Lindsay was the best thing I could have done. She had not even known this man had entered the competition, and was mortified that the Bier Markt had been misrepresented in such a horrible way.

She went on to explain the establishment has a strict no bullying policy and employees must sign an agreement to abide under a code of conduct including that policy, both in the bar and while representing the bar at events.

The employee was immediately terminated  and emails were sent out to all staff to remind them that bullying is grounds for dismissal. I received a written apology.  A lesson in dealing with this sort of situation correctly.

As shaken as I was the night of the event, 2 days later I feel more faith in my community and am very grateful to the management of both The Ship and The Bier Markt for making it possible for me to do my job with dignity.

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19 Comments

  • As moderator of these comments, I am afraid, for the first time, we’re going to delete the entirety of a comment thread. Nothing productive is coming from this and it’s getting offensive to both sides.

    • ‘offensive to both sides’, and yet – the author is the one publishing ad hominem attacks in print media, and using outdated phrases like ‘crazed hockey mom’, which is stereotyping in the extreme, as well as very insensitive to anyone who deals with mental illness

  • To you who just wrote “Haley is dumb as her name” makes you know better than Ms. Roberts . You are as disrespectful as Ms Roberts and as far as being spoiled brats I doubt it just people who have respect for themselves and others.

  • After reading Both comments from both sides, it sounds like Ms. Roberts, has inflated the truth,!. Which I find very scary, because if one person can print outlandish comments I feel sorry for the people that she writes for. I would like to know who from the ship management stopped into talk to the “middle aged couple or the contestant. Maybe she has read too many fiction novels. Maybe if she lost her job and income she would start reporting the truth .

    • Dear Haley:
      I’m glad as someone who wasn’t there, you have, based on the comments of this guy’s family members, decided Felicity is a liar and The Overcast will publish anything. Very astute reasoning. However, for what it’s worth, I was there, and these people were like spoiled brats who thought they owned the place, it was annoying, and they need to own that. The guy was fired, not by The Overcast, but his employer, which does sound harsh, so, why is this crusade happening in this thread and not on the Bier Market’s? Seems unproductive and a gross displacement of blame. I agree it’s nuts he was fired, so there’s obviously more to the story than we know.

  • So the way this reads is that Ms. Roberts felt privileged and instead of an apology she had this young man fired for calling her out for being rude. From comments above he now starts a new school year at Mun with no job to see him through. Shame on you Ms Roberts and shame on you Overcast for printing to me is a one sided story. To the young man who lost his job I hope better things come your way and congratulations on coming in third place.

  • I am not one to get involved in or comment through social media. However, in this case I feel the need to respond as being the other half of the middle aged couple. In all fairness what this person has written is not accurate by no means. First of all we decided to show our support for our nephew as he was entering this competition so we attended the function at the Ship. My husband and I found a window seat that had a church pew underneath. This person comes over and rudely steps up in front of me with her butt literally about a foot in front of my face. She did this about 5 or 6 times without saying a word . I did not say anything at first just thought she was awfully rude. I did ask her a question as she spoke to one of the judges and asked what they based the contest on and I had asked her what they said and she told me. She then asked why I was there and I responded by telling her to support my nephew then she said well I don’t feel bad about stepping in front of you then. So I wasn’t important enough I guess to say excuse me to. What warranted that response I have no idea?? My nephew heard what she had said and told her that was rude and she then said I won’t be taking any pictures of you and got down. She then went over to the other side of the bar talking and pointing at my nephew . She then proceeded to come back with a smirk on her face and said I brought a bodyguard who happened to be a co owner of another business and not any management from the Ship. At no other point in the evening did anyone intervene. She then got up as rudely as she did before all the while smirking. I had no issue with her wanting to take pictures but she did so in a very rude manor and then said some very rude things that were not warranted. My husband asked the so called “bodyguard ” who she was and then asked who she wrote for. As she got down I did say to her she was very rude in the way she conducted herself . In a normal tone of voice as I didn’t want to draw attention. She completely ignored me and walked away. My nephew was not out of line by no means. He was not rude and did not raise his voice. Anyone on the other side of the bar would not have known what had taken place so whatever she said to them on the other side of the bar was what they based their opinion on. My nephew is attending Mun and had this job to help support himself. In no way , shape or form should he have been fired from his job . My nephew is devasted as she has now as literally made it impossible to find another job in this field. It is crazy to think that someone would make up such lies and ruin someone’s reputation and get him fired by such lies and print it and call his place of employment only to protect herself from any backlash that night.

  • So, Ms. Roberts, you have chosen to sit there in your wrongness. Fair enough. The beauty of living in a society as great as ours is that we are all entitled to our own opinion, even when wrong. With this chosen stance I’d like to offer a quote, “A man must be both stupid and uncharitable who believes there is no virtue or truth but on his own side.” — Joseph Addison

    It is my opinion that sufficient time has past since my previous post for the truth to be told and it hasn’t. The truth will told, I just wished you would had realized the benefits of admitting when you wrong. Being able to admit when you are wrong is important, but so is standing up for your self when you are right. We will stand up for ourselves!

  • There was definitely a case of bullying here, no doubt. However from the entire tone of this article, the attack was not on the “femme fatale” but on a middle age couple, hockey moms and someone who wouldn’t stand for her acting like a jerk. I feel like this girl has been stomping her feet and squealing “no fair” since long before the night in question. Sounds like he, amongst others in the crowd, were trying to put her in her place and she just wasn’t having it, no matter what the cost.

  • I can’t help but feel that although the mature solution was reached, It was reached too late. These “middle aged” individual’s had attended to watch their nephew partake and eventually place 3rd in this competition. If these patrons had a concern about not being able to see the proceedings, no doubt they should have consulted the manager for some help. That being said, we can only assume these patrons don’t spend every Wednesday’s Folk Night hanging out at the Ship, while Ms. Roberts on the other hand, is “often” there to document events and would even possibly be on a first name basis with the staff. Would not a professional member of the media do everything in his/her power to make sure that people who had attended to show support were accommodated? Especially at first sign of tension. After all, no support? No event, and therefore nothing to document. The other thing that concerned me when I read this article, is the subtitle: “Male Contestant Heckles Female Journalist.” Does this matter? I feel this may have unnecessarily brought gender into something where it was irrelevant. I say this with complete genuine concern as a male who was not only raised by a working single mom, but one who has come to have complete respect for women and all that they accomplish inside and outside the work force. Obviously no one knows this mans heart condition and motive for speaking up in defense of his guests, but the subtitle invokes the feeling in a reader that he picked on this journalist because she was female, and I don’t think its fair to assume this, even going so far as to playfully alliterate the title with an accusation that the man is a chauvinist. I know it seems like beating a dead horse, but I doubt the title “Feminism and Fuzzy Navels Don’t Mix…” would be met with a positive response. Again, just thinking out loud.

  • This article is a complete defamation of character. Firstly, there was no mention about how he placed 3rd in the competition, but the crazed “middle aged couple who could have put any hockey mom to shame” happen to be his aunt and uncle who he was defending (the nicest, calmest, most diplomatic people you could have the pleasure of knowing) against this woman who repeatedly got in front of them to take pictures, to which her response was “I’m the press” and ” don’t worry, I’m not taking your picture”. She went out of her way to taunt him that evening, bringing over a guy and saying “this is my bodyguard”. The “chauvinist” explained to him that the woman was smirking as she blocked the view of his aunt and uncle and that the event’s purpose was not to start fights, but to support local bartenders and have a good time – the “bodyguard agreed with him! They also asked multiple times who she worked for because of how antagonized they felt, which fell on deaf ears each time. We are all sick to our stomachs over this. Not only was he banking on this job because he’s about to go back to school, Bier Markt actually apologized about the unfortunate circumstances saying “it’s corporate” and “it’s out of our hands” and despite this article are still willing to give him a good reference. As a comment mentioned earlier, that I assume was deleted, now a man in this province is without a job because of a personal disagreement some people shared at a bar. As we all know, this was a drinking event, both parties in this situation were under the influence, however he didn’t go out of his way to contact the outcast and get this woman fired 2 days later – I think that in itself speak volumes about her character.

    • Hi Danica. There was no comment deleted, so I am not sure what you are referring to. I also can’t accept responsibility for someone losing their job by breaking corporate policies in how they conducted themselves in public. I also don’t think anyone owns a family-sized view of a competition in a public bar, media or not, it’s just a fact of life you can’t tell someone to get out of your way, or expect them to. As for the loss of a job, this person was fired before the article was posted, not after, so it was part of the story. not the demise of his employment. No one from this paper asked for this man to be fired, so the result of his conduct is on him, and/or his employer, not The Overcast or its valued contributor who was just trying to complete her assignment. I will investigate your claims of her conduct, but she has the benefit of the doubt, as a valued contributor to the paper, with an unmatched enthusiasm for promoting local culture, and a perfect record of professional conduct. In any case, I think your blame for the loss of a job is falling in the wrong place here: if he was unfairly fired, as you feel he was, it is more productive to take that up with the Bier Markt. For what it’s worth, this piece was not half as sensationalized as other media would have spun it, and no one was named.

  • Tell the truth Ms. Roberts! You know that this is not an accurate representation of the details. Also, that is a harsh representation of some of the most dedicated, loving, passionate and protective people in the world…. Hockey Moms – they are the best and I hope they don’t stop supporting and building their children’s confidence in Canada’s favorite pastime.

  • If BierMarkt really weren’t aware as you say they weren’t, could this man really then be considered an “official representative” of them? Because if not, it seems that someone is now without a job in this province because of a personal disagreement at a pub, which given that criteria, would leave quite a few Newfoundlanders without work throughout their lives and/or careers. Just thinking out loud…

    • Whether they knew or not, he presented himself as a representative of the Bier Markt, and competed as such. Nor would I describe this as a “personal disagreement at a pub,” in light of the discription of how things went down. He was representing the Bier Markt, she the Overcast, and this was explicitly understood. He then proceeded to make gross personal insults, within that role.

      Not only that, but if his bosses weren’t aware of his representing the Bier Markt, doesn’t that raise a whole other set of problems, i.e. Why was he doing so without permission, and doing so in a disgustingly unprofessional matter?

  • So well done. I admire your composure and your follow through. Thanks for being true Overcast press material inside and out.

  • Good for you!
    This in combination with Tara Bradbury’s experiences highlights a serious problem with how female press are treated in their jobs. It’s time some people learn that there are repercussions for that kind of behaviour and that is it unacceptable!
    I’m happy the business took it as seriously as they did.

  • Props to you, the Ship and the Bier Markt. Also, extra props for reporting the story without calling out names (which typically just results in social media bashing, and whole other form of bullying where the original bully is the one being bullied in an odd twist of events).

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