Venice Bar Uses Discount to Lure 'Poor Yanks'

Old Hemingway haunt bucks up faltering dollar with 20% off

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 8, 2008 10:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – Harry's Bar in Venice has offered hospitality to tourists and expatriates since the days of Ernest Hemingway. But in recent months Harry's has noticed a sharp drop in the number of Americans showing up at the home of the Bellini cocktail. So restaurant owner Arrigo Cipriani has a novel solution: a 20% discount to subprime-stricken Americans for everything on the menu.

The discount will last as long as the weak dollar keeps Americans away from the classic Venice establishment, Cipriani told Reuters. US citizens won't need to bring their passports—"We will judge by the accent," he said. If other Anglophones manage to fool the bartender, they'll get the discount as well, he added. Indeed, Cipriani knows something about deception: he was convicted of tax fraud last year.

A view of the sign outside the entrance of Harry's Bar, in Venice, northern Italy, in this April 5, 2008 photo made available Monday, April 7, 2008.
A view of the sign outside the entrance of Harry's Bar, in Venice, northern Italy, in this April 5, 2008 photo made available Monday, April 7, 2008.   (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
Arrigo Cipriani, owner of Harry's Bar, pours the bar's famous Bellini in his bar in Venice. Harry's is offering a 20% discount to Americans hit by the falling dollar.
Arrigo Cipriani, owner of Harry's Bar, pours the bar's famous Bellini in his bar in Venice. Harry's is offering a 20% discount to Americans hit by the falling dollar.   (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)
Arrigo Cipriani, one of the owners of the city's venerable Rainbow Room and Cipriani restaurants, exits Manhattan State Supreme court, Tuesday, July 31 , 2007, in New York. Arrigo and his son Giuseppe  pleaded guilty to evading $10 million in state and city taxes.
Arrigo Cipriani, one of the owners of the city's venerable Rainbow Room and Cipriani restaurants, exits Manhattan State Supreme court, Tuesday, July 31 , 2007, in New York. Arrigo and his son Giuseppe...   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
The Grand Canal in Venice. Harry's Bar is offering 20% off its menu to Americans hit by the declining dollar.
The Grand Canal in Venice. Harry's Bar is offering 20% off its menu to Americans hit by the declining dollar.   ((c) strato56)
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