- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - The owner of a bar that requires female employees to wear shorts and bikini tops asked Springfield police for help after he said he received many harassing phone calls and threats to burn down his business.

But police say they are unlikely to help because Chris Dunn, the owner of Squeeze Play Sports Bar, has no record of the calls.

The business opened last month in downtown Springfield, the Springfield News-Leader reported (http://sgfnow.co/1DIXG3l ). A negative Facebook review about how workers dressed and the bar’s response defending their attire started a dispute online.

“Won’t be spending my money anywhere that uses women’s bodies as a selling point or a way to advertise,” wrote Erin Booher Wheaton. “Is it mandatory for women you employ to wear a bikini? Or can (they) dress in jeans and a T-shirt like the men?”

Wheaton told the newspaper that she wrote a vague status on Facebook about being displeased with the response from the bar, which said it wouldn’t be spending money at the hair salon she worked at either.

“Yes (our) girls wear shorts and a bikini top, and they look nice and are respectable,” the bar’s reply said. “And yes the guys dress differently and I doubt anyone would want them wearing a bikini top!”

That response led to more people writing more negative reviews on the bar’s Facebook page.

Offended, Dunn’s employees replied to defend themselves, Dunn said.

“Our business was being attacked by someone who had never been a customer or even come in,” he said. “After that happened, I had people calling the business, threatening me.”

He said he took his phone number off the Facebook page after receiving 300 phone calls, but left the page up to allow workers to weigh in on the reviews if they so wished.

Dunn said he’s been receiving multiple calls each day.

___

Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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