Were they asking for it?
Two former River Café employees claim they were subjected to homoerotic harassment by a male manager at the landmark restaurant in Brooklyn Heights. Peter Pape, above, was a bartender and Jonathan Schenk was a server until they were both axed — they say for complaining about their boss Luke Vossen's creepy behavior. Pape and Schenk both stated from the outset of the discrimination suit that they are heterosexuals. Pape claims that shortly after he was hired in June 2015, Vossen allegedly told him that he had a “nice ass,” called him “sexy” and remarked, “Thank God you're good looking because you're an idiot,” according to the suit filed Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court. Vossen allegedly touched Pape's buttocks and “intimate parts” on several occasions and asked Pape to sit on the boss’ lap in his office while they went over the work schedule, the suit states. Pape contends that he told Vossen not to treat him like that, to which the manager allegedly responded, “Kids these days aren't experimental anymore,’” according to the suit. Pape retained a lawyer who fired off a letter to the River Café, which resulted in Pape getting demoted to server and then fired last December.
Schenk describes a similar hostile environment behind the scenes of the iconic eatery with its stunning views of the lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. Vossen allegedly made come-on comments to Schenk including, “I bet you could fit all kinds of things in that mouth” and “I could do all kinds of things to you,” according to the suit.