A sign in the woman's restroom at Patrick Molloy's in Hermosa Beach reads “Are you on a date that isn't going well? Is your Tinder or Plenty of Fish date not who they said they were on their profile? Do you feel unsafe or even just a bit weird?”
Women who feel uncomfortable on a date or with an aggressor trying to pick them up at a bar, now have an escape. Local eateries are implementing a method that allows customers a cry for help if they feel unsafe or intimidated.
Ordering an angel shot tells a server or bartender the woman needs an escort to her car. Ordering an angel shot with ice means the bartender will call for a Lyft or Uber. Ordering an angel shot with lime means call the police.
The angel shot was inspired by a movement in the U.K. called Ask for Angela.
While working with clubs in Lincolnshire, a sexual abuse strategy coordinator came up with the idea to have women go to the bartender and "Ask for Angela," according to motto.time.com. Hayley Child named the strategy after an acquaintance, Angela, who was struck by a hammer and murdered by her husband in 2012. The practice now has spread to other countries and its offshoot angel shots, was spread via social media.
The local practice is being promoted as part of a safety campaign by Hermosa Beach police.
“If you can easily say something to a bartender or waiter to give a head ups, 'Hey, call me a cab or get me out of here, it's uncomfortable.' That's never a bad thing," said Hermosa Beach police chief Sharon Papa. "Whether that's the right way to go or not, I thought it's one more tool in the tool box, so to speak, and I thought why not give it a try.”
Papa admitted she had never heard about the angel shot until a meeting with the owners of Patrick Molloy's, American Junkie and Baja Sharkeez. They were discussing cleaning up the downtown and making it safer for visitors and locals. Patrick Molloy's was the first to post the sign in their woman's restroom, but Greg Newman, who owns the Sharkeez restaurants with father Ron, was also receptive. Newman said he plans to implement angel shots in a few weeks.
When Papa met with the owners, she outlined other areas where they could improve safety.
“She asked to meet with the three of us because the perception was a lot of the problems were coming from the three in a row (Patrick Molloy's, Baja Sharkeez and American Junkie),” Newman said.
Papa said the police department wants bar owners to invest in “crime prevention through environmental design.”
This means implementing strategies such as improving lighting, lowering music volume, enforcing a strict dress code, monitoring who is coming and going, and paying more attention to the type of drinks they serve.
In addition to designing a better bar experience, Papa said she asked the owners to address whether or not there's an issue with drinks being spiked.
“It's common throughout America right now with drugged drinks," said Papa. "... women saying they don't remember what happened, they think they were drugged, can't really prove it, they are difficult cases to handle.
"It's not unique to Hermosa, it's not unique to LA, it's a national problem … don't leave your drinks unattended.”
A previous versions of this article misspelled "Patrick Molloy's." We regret the error.