Is Bar Louie's new dress code racist?


Bar Louie, a popular Uptown spot among bar-hopping 20-somethings, has enforced a strict dress code that some customers are calling overtly racist.

The dress code prohibits entry to those wearing flat-brim hats, sleeveless undershirts, excessively baggy clothing, large chains worn outside the shirt, athletic apparel, sports jerseys without collars, and long white t-shirts from 9 p.m. to close, Thursdays through Sundays.

See also: Target relaxes corporate dress code, now allows jeans


Bar Louie's manager told Fox 9 that the dress code was passed down from the chain's corporate entities, though it isn't currently enforced at their second location in Minnetonka.

"You might as well say, 'No black folks allowed. It's ridiculous," Minneapolis resident Michelle Horovitz told Fox 9, adding that the dress code is the "new Jim Crow being enforced in a colorblind way."

This isn't the first time Bar Louie's dress code has come under fire. A Memphis location was criticized last August for hanging a sign with the same clothing restrictions, WMC-TV reported. After a patron wrote a critical review about the code on Yelp, the general manager agreed to take the sign down, but said the dress code would still be enforced.

Aqua Nightclub & Lounge and the Imperial Room in Minneapolis enforce strict dress codes with almost identical requirements. Hot Dish reached out to the latter, but they declined to comment.

Similar dress codes have been enforced across the country in recent years, sparking widespread outcry among those who feel the codes target specific racial stereotypes.

Just before St. Louis's long-awaited Ballpark Village opened earlier this year, it was discovered that eight of the new entertainment district's restaurants and clubs would enforce a strict dress code after 9 p.m., banning sleeveless shirts on men, exposed undergarments, profanity on clothing, athletic shorts, sagging pants or shorts, bandanas, and excessively long shirts. Though Ballpark Village is across the street from Busch Stadium, jerseys are only allowed in conjunction with Cardinals games.

How do Hot Dish readers feel? Is Bar Louie's new dress code racist?

Send your story tips to the author, Emily Eveland.