Bars

“Angel-a, I’ll take it neat:” How a shot can save your life

Halifax bars respond to viral trend

Will Halifax start doling out angel shots?   Alexandra Biniarz

In some bars ordering an “angel shot” is now code for “the date is done.”

This new language is providing women with a discreet way to speak up — and tell the bartender when their Tinder date isn’t who they said they were.

The movement began in the U.K., through Lincolnshire County Council, with a series of posters telling people to “Ask for Angela” if they needed help. The posters even caught actor Ashton Kutcher’s attention:

Ashton Kutcher – Facebook   Alexandra Biniarz

Iberian Rooster, a Portuguese fusion restaurant in Saint Petersburg, Fla., picked up on the trend. They put a framed photo in the women’s washroom, encouraging women to order the “angel shot” that best fits their situation. If the shot is ordered “neat,” the bartender escorts the woman to her car; with ice, the bartender will call a Uber or Lyft; with lime, the bartender will call the police.

The ensuing Instagram post is now going viral.

@channinghailey via Instagram   Alexandra Biniarz

The Signal asked bar owners in Halifax if the angel shot would offered by local mixologists any time soon.

Eugene McCabe, Durty Nelly’s assistant manager, says “(the shot) is a good extra tool to have for staff to be able to know, and for customers to have that option.” However, he says his staff is already trained to recognize dangerous situations before they get out of hand.

“We like to feel that we are on top of situations like that, even before we had seen that phrase online,” says McCabe.

There is no immediate plan to implement the code in washrooms at Durty Nelly’s, but McCabe is open to the idea. McCabe has since shared the link on a staff Facebook group, in case a customer were to use it.

“The exposure is good and it will make people think twice about their date,” McCabe says about the Instagram post.

Laura MacDonald, owner of Stillwell Bar, says that customer safety is important to her.

“We’ve been lucky in a sense where nothing has happened,” she says. “It’s a small bar and I can see every inch of it.”

MacDonald says that if other Halifax bars start pouring out angel shots for their clients, she will consider doing the same.

“We might have our own thing for the location, though,” she says. “Because maybe a customer would be followed by their date and it wouldn’t work if they had seen the code online.”

Pamela Rubin is a certified therapist in Dartmouth who specializes in sexual abuse. She says this is a positive step towards culture change.

“Bars and clubs need to take responsibility for safety,” says Rubin, who has previously worked with the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre. Rubin says the most important way bars can help is by being vocal about their support for women.

“There’s a big role for bars to play,” she says. “If they become much more active then we may see a change. Alcohol is associated with sexual violence and the great majority are assaulted by someone in their social world.”

Statistics Canada reports that 85 per cent of sexual assault victims are women and 15 per cent are men. Twenty-six per cent of reported sexual assaults are from casual acquaintances.