If there’s a silver lining to be found in HB 2, it’s the way distinct communities continue to work together to employ creative ways to speak out against the discriminatory legislation. Concerned citizens are no longer relegated to holding signs and attending rallies (though you must still vote in November). These days, you can eat your weight in multicolored pastry or drink craft beer to speak out against HB 2. You can attend rock concerts and art shows. There’s even this amazing HB 2 toilet paper.
Raleigh’s Hadley’s is the latest local business to fight hate with good vibes. On Saturday, May 14, the downtown Raleigh restaurant is hosting an anti-HB 2 event that simply asks its attendees to drink heavy and tip well. They’ve invited Equality NC, an organization on the forefront of fighting HB 2, to use the space to circulate a petition, sell T-shirts, and register new volunteers.
“Hadley’s wants to get involved in trying to get this thing repealed,” says co-owner Drew Schenck. “I’m involved in the [North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association], and it’s hurting businesses all over North Carolina. There are all kinds of reasons to strongly oppose this law, including civil liberties and equality. We want to help make a difference.”
Saturday night will also see the return of Liz Masnik, the owner of the popular restaurant that formerly occupied the Hadley’s space, The Borough.
“As a business owner, you have to fight for the things that you believe in, but you also have to fight for your customer base,” Masnik explains. “To me, if you’re a nice person, and you can pay your tab and tip your server, then we’re good. Who you’re going home with, or not going home with, doesn’t matter.”
For the first time since closing The Borough, Masnik will return to her post behind the bar. In addition to Hadley’s traditional and modern martinis, Masnik has requested the ingredients for the How Do You Q?, including six flavors of vodka, sour mix, soda water, and grenadine. Raleigh citizens might remember—or might remember not remembering— the Q, a pint glass full of pink liquor served with a straw. It was The Borough’s most popular drink.
Masnik plans to donate all of the tips she receives throughout her shift to Equality NC. Hadley’s will match her donation with its own contribution.
“When I owned the bar, I never wanted to get political, because tolerance is a two-way street. The thing about HB 2, though, is that I don’t view it as political,” Masnik says. “It is a violation of civil rights, and there is no legitimate opposite view. This is not a political issue. It’s a human issue.”
The event begins at 6 p.m.