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Veteran Bar Owner Apologizes After Ill-Conceived ‘Casting Couch’ Gambit Backfires

Idle Hands founder Erik Holzherr says he does not condone sexual harassment and regrets his ‘play on words’

Customers playing Twister at Erik Holzherr’s new game-filled bar, Idle Hands.
Idle Hands [Official photo]

Cocktail guru Erik Holzherr has apologized for naming part of his latest bar the “casting couch” — a provocative marketing decision that has sparked a backlash against fledgling cocktail den Idle Hands.

The founder of cherished Capitol Hill gin joint Wisdom wrote an open letter in local blog The HIll Is Home to anyone he might have offended by borrowing a phrase associated with predatory behavior in Hollywood, and sexual harassment in general. He says he is “truly mortified” that his poor choice of words would lead anyone to believe he supports the actions of alleged rapist Harvey Weinstein or any kind of abuse against women.

That revelation has come about now that online critics have threatened his livelihood by railing against the business, anonymous sniping Holzherr describes as “cowardice.”

On June 14 Holzherr told Washington City Paper that the he specifically created the VIP “casting couch” section of the bar — a spot where four people can hang together on leather couches — “to be fun.” He now claims that “casting” referred to the rolling of dice while playing featured board games.

Wisdom: Cocktail Parlour

1432 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast, , DC 20003 (202) 543-2323 Visit Website