An exclusive Sydney restaurant has come under fire for banning diners with visible tattoos, "designer labelled apparel" and "heavy jewellery".
Bedouin, a Middle Eastern restaurant and nightclub in affluent Double Bay, outlined the venue's "dress code/house policy" in a printed sign stuck on the front window.
The decision was intended to "discourage intimidating appearances", the Daily Telegraph reports, which left some people wondering if it was a joke.
"It is a bit controversial in this day and age," a local resident told the publication.
The popular restaurant is run by Poata Okeroa and his business partners Eric Jury and Julian Tobias, The Daily Telegraph reports.
It is a hotspot for celebrities with tennis player Nick Kyrgios and singer and X Factor judge Rita Ora reportedly being spotted there.
Mr Okeroa told the Telegraph that while they "value customers and community stakeholders," they've always implemented house rules, including a dress policy that "discourages intimidating appearances".
On seeing the dress code, Woollahra councillor Richard Shields reportedly "thought it was a joke" admitting the restrictions would "preclude a big chunk of the eastern suburbs." Councillor Mary-Lou Jarvis who has previously visited the venue believes the restaurant has the right to make its own rules.
Residents critical of bar's new dress code
Potential patrons didn't take well to the news though with many branding the move"ridiculous."
"I don't have any tattoos, but I fail to see why people who do should be banned from a venue. Ridiculous," one person wrote on Facebook.
"Pretty sure people are getting tired of people telling them what they can do and can't do with their own bodies," another raged.
Some, however, insisted the venue has a right to impose its own rules, even if it does seem "a bit over the top."
"Their restaurant, their rules. Plenty of other places that will take your money," one person said.
"A bit over the top but it is their shop, say goodbye to good customers," said another.
One person insisted people are "too easily offended" and urged those who don't like it to not go there.
Few suggested the new policy would rule out any chance of the restaurant trying to "recover from the pandemic" which saw many hospitality businesses struggle. Some closed down entirely.
The restaurant website refers to Bedouin as one of Sydney’s "best-kept secrets" and is inspired by three generations of family heritage.
Yahoo News Australia has contacted the restaurant for comment.
Sydney restaurant fumes over dodgy Covid behaviour
The owner of a popular Italian restaurant in Sydney’s east has called out a “frustrating” problem the hospitality industry is still facing after lockdowns.
Michael Bradley, who co-owns and manages Melo's Italian Restaurant in Potts Point, took to Facebook on Friday night after three tables failed to show up, admitting it leaves him "angry".
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