A Chicago pizzeria and bar is coming under fire for instituting an insanely complex “dress code” that some patrons are calling racist.
The Bottled Blonde, in Chicago’s upscale River North neighborhood, says it requires a “high standard of dress at all times” but especially at night, when the “casual neighborhood concept of restaurant & nightlife” turns into a nightclub. The list of banned items is practically two feet long, and includes everything from “beanies,” to “manpris,” to “athletic wear,” “jean jackets” and “men’s jewelry.”
One Reddit user snapped a picture of the dress code when he passed by the restaurant last weekend.
Immediately, the bar was excoriated by social media users as “racist,” with one hyperbolic Facebook commenter even calling the list evidence of a “new Jim Crow.” Another accused Bottled Blonde of contributing to the breakdown of the moral order across the country.
There are, indeed, quite a few items listed in Bottled Blonde’s dress code that give rise to the idea they’re attempting to exclude minorities. Prohibitions against baggy pants, expensive sneakers, hoodies and single-color clothing, target gang members, but they also target minorities.
But is the dress code racist? Maybe not.
In order to effectively comply with Bottled Blonde’s extensive list of restrictions, most patrons would have to be practically naked. No plain-colored tees or shirts are allowed, no plain white tee shirts, no Hawaiian shirts, no bright clothing, no “obnoxious” prints (they list skulls, but aren’t specific), no “odd-colored” or acid washed jeans, no rolled-up jeans, no cargo pants, no pants with zippers, no leather of any kind and no leggings or athletic wear.
If you go naked, you might also have a problem. Bottled Blonde doesn’t want to see any visible tattoos.
Fortunately, they don’t appear, from their Facebook page, to strictly enforce their dress code. They also don’t appear to take very many photos of patrons of color.