A restaurant chain’s new weekend dress code has sparked claims of racism by those who believe it discriminates against African-American customers.
On Thursday through Saturday from 9 p.m. to close, Bar Louie in uptown Minneapolis bans apparel such as excessively baggy clothing, large chains worn outside the shirt, sleeveless undershirts, flat bill hats, long plain t- shirts, athletic apparel and un collared sport jerseys are prohibited.
The restaurant’s manager told Minneapolis Fox affiliate KMSP that the dress code was a directive from the chain’s corporate office. Some Bar Louie locations have followed suit, while others have not, among them a Bar Louie location in Minnetonka, Minn.
However, according to Milwaukee NBC Affiliate WTMJ, other locations in Memphis and Nashville abide by the dress code. The manager of a Milwaukee location declined to offer a comment to the station.
Michelle Horovitz, a former patron of the bar, said she is utterly disgusted at the law and sees it as indirectly racist.
“It’s the new Jim Crow law being enforced in a colorblind way,” the told KMSP. “You might as well say, ‘No Black folks allowed.’ It’s ridiculous.”
“If you do not want African Americans to frequent your establishment, then maybe you should just say that and not just break it down to the dress code,” Imani Vincent told the TV station, adding that a boycott movement could be an effective measure. “Hurt ‘em in their pockets! That’s where it would hurt them the most. If they don’t want us there, then we don’t have to be there- and that’s their loss.”
Others have no problem with dress code. Matt Freter, a patron at the Water Street location in Milwaukee told WTMJ that “it’s a private business and they have every right to make their own decisions as long as they are not extremely discriminatory.”
The story that TMJ4 reported on was posted on their website where viewers had a chance to place their viewpoints on the situation. One woman’s comment shows direct evidence of their being a racist bias at a Bar Louie location.
Calls made to the restaurant’s corporate office for a comment by the two TV stations, were not returned.