A NEW restaurant was branded racist after bosses banned baggy clothing, beanie hats and “sunglasses after dark”.
The Choptank came under fire before it even opened by posting its strict dress code online.
The Choptank restaurant in Baltimore was slammed for its strict dress code[/caption]
The rules have since been tweaked after people accused bosses of being racist[/caption]
Some users said the rules – which also banned “backwards hats and athletic attire” – were designed to “deter black diners” from visiting the Baltimore seafood restaurant.
The restaurant has since made minor changes to the rules, but they insist other places in the neighbourhood have similar rules.
Also on the list of banned clothing were trousers worn below the waist, shorts below the knee, work and construction boots and back packs.
The Choptank found itself in a social media storm when journalist and author R. Eric Thomas tweeted a picture of the dress code sign.
He claims he was then blocked by the restaurant after asking management to explain its “blatantly discriminatory” dress code.
Thomas said the restaurant later unblocked him but didn’t answer his question regarding their clothing rules.
A photo of the sign was first shared on Sunday by photographer J.M Giordano.
He posted: “Dress CODED sign at the new Choptank restaurant in Fells.”
But the restaurant defended its regulations, insisting other restaurants in the area used the same dress code.
One angry Twitter user wrote: “If you were just trying to follow neighborhood standards, why block people asking? ‘Maybe acting in a way that looks like you’ve got other motives, intentions, and cares isn’t the best bet.”
The Choptank has now made some changes, allowing athletic wear until 10 pm.
“Excessively baggy clothing” has also been changed to “pants must be worn at the waist”.
It also added religious exemptions to brimless headgear, and changed “strictly prohibited” to “house rules”.
The section mentioning “-enforcement at the manager’s discretion” has been omitted.
In a statement Atlas Restaurant Group, which owns The Choptank, said many other places in Baltimore have stricter dress codes.
It said: “In fact, Disney has its own dress code, as does M&T Bank Stadium and the Baltimore City School System.
“This is important to the environment and experience that each institution is trying to create, whether a learning or dining environment.”
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The company said it employs more than 1,000 people, two-thirds of whom are ethnic minorities.
It added: “We spend half a million dollars on local entertainment, the majority of which are minorities.
“We have one of the most diverse and inclusive customer bases in Baltimore. Diversity and inclusion is incredibly important to our company.”
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