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May 26, 2015

Same-sex couple claims to be turned away by McGillin's for wearing a tank top

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McGillin's Old Ale House Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

McGillin's Old Ale House is a rather popular destination for Uber users on Thanksgiving Eve.

Is McGillin's Olde Ale House starting a no-tank-tops policy on weekends for men?

No, according to McGillin's. All the same, a Philly same-sex couple claims they were turned away around 10:15 p.m. on May 16 by a bouncer who told them it was the bar's policy to not let in guys wearing tank tops.

Said Vincent DiMaria, who came to the bar and restaurant with his boyfriend, Nick DiCostanzo, who was wearing the tank top:

"We had a few drinks before arriving, but were by no means stumbling or slurring our words or anything like that. Nick and I walked up to the two bouncers outside of McGillin's. They asked to see our IDs, so we pulled out our wallets and I handed my ID to one bouncer and Nick handed his to the other. Then my bouncer turned to Nick's bouncer and pulled on his own shirt sleeve while nodding towards Nick. It seemed like he was gesturing to the other bouncer to look at what Nick was wearing. Then Nick's bouncer said 'We have a no-tank-top policy ... on weekends ... for guys.' It happened very quickly, but there was enough time for me to look past the bouncers to see a girl sitting down inside the bar wearing a tank top. Nick didn't say anything, and I'm pretty sure I said 'What? Oh, really?' Not in a combative way, just in shock. And the bouncers said 'Yeah' or nodded, and Nick and I stepped onto the sidewalk to figure out where else we could go."

DiCostanzo added that the bouncer offered to sell him a T-shirt as they stepped away.

One McGillin's manager, Christopher Mullins Jr., offered this in response:

"No one is turned away at McGillin’s for what they’re wearing, or their race, gender, sexual orientation, hair color, eye color, for being left-handed or for whether they can carry a tune. I say some of that in jest -- but, candidly, it’s the mixture of people here at McGillin’s that makes it so much fun -- people with pink hair, gay, straight, off-key singers, those with mismatched socks, 21 year olds and 78 year olds -- everyone has fun together. I’m shocked by [the] question but absolutely will look into it -- not because I believe it could possible be true, but because we care. McGillin’s has been in my family for three generations and we work hard everyday to make it a special place for those who have tattoos or grandchildren or both and everyone else. If but by some chance it is true, you bet we’ll take care of it because we want everyone to know they’re comfortable here. That’s why we’ve survived for 155 years and we’re still going strong."

Mullins said he's uncertain which bouncers were on duty at that time, and that management is looking into the matter. 

McGillin's, located at 1310 Drury St., is a legacy establishment in Philadelphia. It opened in 1860 and has been managed by the Mullins since 1993.