A lesbian-owned, vegan restaurant that charged an 18% “man tax” has closed its doors after less than two years of business in Brunswick, Australia.
Handsome Her, a small restaurant billed as “a space by women, for women,” made international headlines in 2017 after announcing upon its opening that female customers would get priority seating and men would be charged an optional 18% tax “to reflect the gender pay gap.”
Less than two years later, the cafe’s owners announced that they would be closing up shop in order to continue their mission with more “hands-on work.”
“When we opened Handsome Her in 2017, we expected that perhaps we might make a stir through our brazen public discussions of structural inequality and oppression,” the cafe said in a Facebook post. “The man tax blew up the internet, an idea that we didn’t think was all too radical, yet the way the world responded showed us how fragile masculinity is and solidified the necessity for us to confront and dismantle patriarchy.
“While it is a shame to lose the physical space (and we understand how essential it is for women and lesbians to hold space), we leave knowing that the communities we have made transcend the trendy vegan café on Sydney Rd, Brunswick,” the cafe said. “We look forward to continuing Handsome Her in a variety of other, more creative ways and expanding our efforts to drive change with flexibility and mobility throughout Australia.”
While the cafe’s last day of business was on April 14, the owners are holding a farewell party with “story-telling, dancing, singing, eating and drinking” on Sunday.