‘Unhappy Hour’ in Healdsburg Highlights the Gender Pay Gap

Women receive 20 percent discount on drinks to mark Equal Pay Day 2019.

Upset about the gender pay gap? On Tuesday, April 2, you can raise a glass to hardworking (and underpaid) women around the world during “Un-Happy Hour” at Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg.

The event, co-hosted by the Healdsburg American Association of University Women (AAUW), will highlight the persistent wage discrepancy by offering women patrons a 20 percent discount on drinks. (In 2017, American women earned on average 80 percent of what men earned, according to AAUW, a disparity that gets even greater when you contrast the wages of women of color with those of white men). The Healdsburg happening is part of a nationwide campaign to mark “Equal Pay Day,” the symbolic day up to which the average woman must work in a particular year to catch up with what her male counterpart earned the previous year. (Men are welcome to attend the event, but will not receive discounted drinks.)

Bridge the Gap at the Tap at Duke's Equal Pay Day Un-Happy Hour, hosted by Healdsburg AAUW
Bridge the gap at the tap at Duke’s Equal Pay Day Un-Happy Hour, hosted by Healdsburg AAUW

In addition to discounted drinks, Duke’s will also serve up a special drinks menu on April 2. Created by Duke co-founders Tara Heffernon and Laura Sanfilippo, it will feature libations produced by women distillers and winemakers. The Ledbetter Punch, for example, will pay homage to Lilly Ledbetter, women’s equality activist and plaintiff in the Supreme Court case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (Ledbetter sued Goodyear for gender discrimination, alleging that the company had given her a low salary because of her gender. Her name is attached to the Fair Pay Act of 2009).

In a wine and spirits world long dominated by men, Duke’s Spirited Cocktails is among a number of local establishments that pay tribute to women distillers and bartenders. This past month, they have poured a Wild Women Do cocktail to celebrate Women’s History Month and the launch of the Women’s Cocktail Collective, a collaboration aimed to “elevate and amplify the voices of all women in the industry.” Fifty percent of sales from the drink, which is made with Square One Organic Vodka, Pür Pear Likör, Buddha’s Hand Shrub, and lemon, will be donated to the National Women’s History Museum.

Wild Women Do cocktail at Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg.

Heffernon and Sanfilippo are also featured in a 2019 Bay Area Bar Women calendar, produced in partnership with Scottish spirits company Edrington. The calendar spotlights women from twelve influential Bay Area bars with the subjects dressed up as influential and inspiring women. Heffernon and Sanfilippo appear in September as paleontologists Annie Alexander and Louise Kellogg.

“So many of the other female bartenders were being powerful and sexy entertainers…We’re Sonoma County farmers and we wanted to portray women connected to the land,” said Heffernon. 

(The calendar is for sale at Duke’s – all proceeds benefit the Helen David Relief Fund for Bartenders Affected by Breast Cancer and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Edrington is matching 100 percent of donations.)

Heffernon, a Healdsburg local, says that creating the Healdsburg bar with her longtime friends has been a dream. In June, it celebrates its three-year anniversary. 

While weekends get crowded at the bar, she says that weeknights are all about the locals. “We get to make nerdy craft cocktails but without the pompousness that can sometimes go along with that. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you order or what you’re wearing or what your day was like – we just want you to come in and feel very, very welcome.”

Equal Pay Day unHappy hour will take place from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at 111 Plaza St. in Healdsburg.