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
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)
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(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.