Dirty Blonde criticised for "sexist" name

Two members of staff pose outside new Brighton club Dirty Blonde

Two members of staff pose outside new Brighton club Dirty Blonde

First published in News by

The latest addition to Brighton and Hove’s night- time attractions has been criticised for its “overtly sexist” name.

New speakeasy-themed night- club Dirty Blonde, which held its invite-only opening night on Thursday, has been criticised by equality campaigners for its provocative name.

But club owners have defended the name, saying it is based on a New York cocktail and is an innocent term, already in everyday use as a hair colour.

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas said: “It’s disappointing that this club has chosen such an outdated name.

“I thought that we had moved on from the overt sexism of the past, but this club appears not to mind alienating half of its potential clients.”

Ian Freeman, a spokesman for Dirty Blonde, said the bar name has “no relation to feminist or male issues” but was simply the name of a cocktail of vodka, vermouth, banana liqueur and pineapple juice that company CEO Reuben Harley tasted in a New York speakeasy.

Mr Freeman said: “It is never our intention to be sexist. We want to attract people of both sexes to our nightclub.”

The new 320-capacity bar and restaurant opened this week in East Street at the site of the for-mer Madame Geisha, which closed at the turn of the year.

Mr Freeman said the city had “always been an exciting testing site for the brands” of bar opera- tors Eclectic Bar Group which had previously launched Coalition and Lola Lo in Brighton and Hove.

He said: “I think Brighton is a progressive town, ready to embrace a new concept and where better to try this new speakeasy themed concept than in Brighton.”

The 1920s styled venue will be concealed behind a pawn-brokers shop which will sell or trade vintage ephemera, from guitars and brooches to cigar cases and per fume bottles in what owners are describing as an exciting new concept trialled for the first time in Brighton.

It will open six days a week from midday until 3am and from mid- day until 11pm on Sundays.

Between midday and 3pm, customers can sample a Dirty Brunch while a Boston Tea Party will be held between 3pm and 6pm every day.

The restaurant menu is described as “classic New York fusion” while after 9pm, the pawn- shop becomes a meet and greet area.

Comments (13)

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3:09pm Sun 30 Mar 14

MuammarQaddafi says...

What on earth is sexist about the name? Only women can be blonde?
What on earth is sexist about the name? Only women can be blonde? MuammarQaddafi
  • Score: 17

3:19pm Sun 30 Mar 14

SpiderMeringue says...

What about 'Gentleman Prefer Blondes', the barbershop in Hove? Surely more offensive than this!
What about 'Gentleman Prefer Blondes', the barbershop in Hove? Surely more offensive than this! SpiderMeringue
  • Score: 11

3:25pm Sun 30 Mar 14

brightonaire says...

Meanwhile gay men openly have ssm sex in a male only sauna and gay couples shove their tongues down each others throats after getting married in the sanctity of the Royal Pavilion..... what have you got yo say about that caroline lucas
Meanwhile gay men openly have ssm sex in a male only sauna and gay couples shove their tongues down each others throats after getting married in the sanctity of the Royal Pavilion..... what have you got yo say about that caroline lucas brightonaire
  • Score: -11

4:49pm Sun 30 Mar 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Shame Caroline doesn't show the same interest in protecting local parks from dozens of diesel vans parking up for weeks on end.
She really is losing touch with the city's priorities.
Shame Caroline doesn't show the same interest in protecting local parks from dozens of diesel vans parking up for weeks on end. She really is losing touch with the city's priorities. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 31

4:58pm Sun 30 Mar 14

her professional says...

Read the story - Caroline Lucas has spent about 1 millisecond saying it was "outdated" and "disappointing". Hardly her number one priority by the sound of it. Non story really, but excellent free publicity for the club. And before the usual suspects start whining about censorship, political correctness gone mad blah blah, they have been "criticised" , that's all.
Read the story - Caroline Lucas has spent about 1 millisecond saying it was "outdated" and "disappointing". Hardly her number one priority by the sound of it. Non story really, but excellent free publicity for the club. And before the usual suspects start whining about censorship, political correctness gone mad blah blah, they have been "criticised" , that's all. her professional
  • Score: -2

5:42pm Sun 30 Mar 14

Roundbill says...

(YAWN) Ian Freeman comes up with a slightly provocative name and then complaining "anonymously" about it to the local paper. Can't he just pay for some advertising space, like all the other companies who publicise their wares on the site?
(YAWN) Ian Freeman comes up with a slightly provocative name and then complaining "anonymously" about it to the local paper. Can't he just pay for some advertising space, like all the other companies who publicise their wares on the site? Roundbill
  • Score: 14

6:48pm Sun 30 Mar 14

Indigatio says...

Caroline Lucas, says it all really.
Caroline Lucas, says it all really. Indigatio
  • Score: 4

6:55pm Sun 30 Mar 14

ronrostog says...

Ah, it's the silly little overgrown student again....
Ah, it's the silly little overgrown student again.... ronrostog
  • Score: 7

8:07pm Sun 30 Mar 14

Reporter1 says...

Surely Brighton welcomes diversity?
Surely Brighton welcomes diversity? Reporter1
  • Score: 7

8:16pm Sun 30 Mar 14

brighton-breezy says...

They should have called it 'Dirty Greens'
They should have called it 'Dirty Greens' brighton-breezy
  • Score: 11

8:31pm Sun 30 Mar 14

bikerjimbo says...

I cannot understand what all the fuss is about. Surely our MP should be concentrating on more important things as well as her court case. As for publicity why not go for it bearing in mind this is a new venture, and we need all of the council tax we can get, well according to Mr Kitcat who wanted to raise it extortionately. Like the comment brighton-breezy, but it doesn't sound quite as attractive!!
I cannot understand what all the fuss is about. Surely our MP should be concentrating on more important things as well as her court case. As for publicity why not go for it bearing in mind this is a new venture, and we need all of the council tax we can get, well according to Mr Kitcat who wanted to raise it extortionately. Like the comment brighton-breezy, but it doesn't sound quite as attractive!! bikerjimbo
  • Score: 2

4:28pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Bill in Hanover says...

MuammarQaddafi wrote:
What on earth is sexist about the name? Only women can be blonde?
Dirty Blonde is a hair colour, and as there is no reference to gender I can't see how it is sexist
[quote][p][bold]MuammarQaddafi[/bold] wrote: What on earth is sexist about the name? Only women can be blonde?[/p][/quote]Dirty Blonde is a hair colour, and as there is no reference to gender I can't see how it is sexist Bill in Hanover
  • Score: 3

10:07pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Vigilia says...

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas said: “It’s disappointing that this club has chosen such an outdated name. I thought that we had moved on from the overt sexism of the past, but this club appears not to mind alienating half of its potential clients.”

Dear God in Heaven, will this woman never stop. I have been treating friends to Dirty Blonde cocktails in New York for over fifty years. Not to my taste, I prefer a Whisky Sour.
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas said: “It’s disappointing that this club has chosen such an outdated name. I thought that we had moved on from the overt sexism of the past, but this club appears not to mind alienating half of its potential clients.” Dear God in Heaven, will this woman never stop. I have been treating friends to Dirty Blonde cocktails in New York for over fifty years. Not to my taste, I prefer a Whisky Sour. Vigilia
  • Score: 1

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