On a Bad Date? Feeling Unsafe? These Arlington Bars Can Give You an Out

Something from the United Kingdom's bar scene is coming all the way across the pond to Arlington, Virginia — but it isn't a new beer or liquor.

Several bars in Arlington County have implemented the "Ask for Angela" campaign, which aims to help women and anyone in an uncomfortable or threatening situation get help.

Bars and clubs throughout the U.K. have adopted the code word.

Patrons can simply go to the bar and ask, "Is Angela here tonight?" and staff will pull them aside away from the situation to ask what they need.

“It’s a discreet way of just letting the bartender know or the waitress know that something is not right,” Autumn Jones, the director of the Arlington County and City of Falls Church Victim/Witness Program, said.

Jones trained the staff at Spirit of '76 in Clarendon on Tuesday on how to approach potential sexual assault situations. The training is in coordination with Arlington County Police.

“We want businesses to be successful here and part of that is creating an atmosphere where people feel safe,” Arlington County Police Officer Dimitrios Mastoras said.

Staff at the restaurants and bars that undergo training will offer the patron an option to get away from the situation or call police if they request.

“Restaurant staff should promote it. They should let everyone know that ‘we’re an #AskForAngela establishment’ and you should feel safe walking into that establishment,” Mastoras said.

The following bars and restaurants are participating in the campaign:

  • Bar Bao
  • Barley Mac 
  • Courthaus Social
  • Crystal City Sports Pub
  • Don Tito
  • Federico Ristorante Italiano
  • Freddie’s Beach Bar
  • G.O.A.T.
  • Liberty Tavern
  • Lyon Hall
  • Mexicali Blues
  • Nam-Viet
  • O’Sullivans Irish Pub
  • Pamplona
  • Ragtime
  • Rhodeside Grill
  • Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub
  • Whitlow’s on Wilson
  • William Jeffery’s Tavern
  • Wilson Hardware
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